Boston Celtics

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - DECEMBER 12: Gordon Hayward #20 of the Boston Celtics looks on during the game against the Philadelphia 76ers at TD Garden on December 12, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

98.5 The Sports Hub staff report

Another new team has entered the mix for the Celtics’ Gordon Hayward, according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe.

“I’d keep my eye on Charlotte,” Lowe revealed on Wednesday’s pre-draft edition of ESPN’S The Jump. “[Charlotte has] got a lot of balls in the air and would like a talent upgrade for next year, particularly on the wing like Gordon Hayward plays. So I think there’s a number of teams and there’s certainly going to be wild card teams.”

While it may seem like an off-the-board team to watch, it is worth mentioning that the Hornets have been mentioned as a team with a potential interest in the Rockets’ Russell Westbrook, too, leading you to believe that they do want to do want to make a move to put themselves back into possible playoff relevancy in the Eastern Conference.

They also enter tonight’s 2020 NBA Draft with the No. 3 overall pick in their possession, and with the Celtics (who own three first-round picks) doing what they can to make a serious push to move up the draft board.

The Hornets join a mix that already features both the Hawks and Pacers, with Lowe noting those clubs as the other two teams to watch as Hayward and the Celtics continue to look at their options ahead of their Tuesday-turned-Thursday deadline.

“For a possible trade, I think I would keep my eye on Indiana,” Lowe said. “There’s been buzz about the Pacers and Gordon Hayward for a while now and for free agency, I mean Atlanta’s been rumored. I’m not sure if that’s a stalking horse.

“There will be a lot of interest, but those are the main teams I’m looking at.”

The 30-year-old Hayward, who holds a $34.2 million option for 2020-21, averaged 17.5 points and a career-high 6.7 rebounds per game, and also shot a career-high 50 percent from the field in 52 games for the Celtics this past season.

Click here for 98.5 The Sports Hub’s complete coverage of the Celtics

Sign me up for the 98.5 The Sports Hub email newsletter!

Get the latest Boston sports news and analysis, plus exclusive on-demand content and special giveaways from Boston's Home for Sports, 98.5 The Sports Hub.

By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.