98.5 The Sports Hub staff report
Celtics forward Gordon Hayward, who officially opted out of the fourth and final year of his max contract with Boston and passed on a $34.2 million salary in the process Thursday, wants to go home.
“Gordon Hayward is fully focused and wants to sign a deal with the Indiana Pacers,” The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Friday. “His preference, and his desire over the last couple of weeks has grown to go back home. He played at Butler in college, he spends time in his offseason in Indy, so there is a strong level in potentially joining the Pacers.”
The Celtics, for what it’s worth, have appeared willing to accommodate Hayward on that front, as they’ve reportedly been engaged with Indiana on a sign-and-trade involving Hayward.
But those talks have hit an apparent snag, according to the Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn, with the Celtics wanting center Myles Turner and guards TJ Warren or Victor Oladipo in return for Hayward while the Pacers have instead offered Turner and forward Doug McDermott.
#Pacers-#Celtics sign-and-trade update. Hayward wants to play in Indiana. He's told the #Celtics that.— gary washburn (@GwashburnGlobe) November 20, 2020
IND offering Turner and McDermott
BOS wants Turner and Warren or Oladipo.
That's a big difference.
“It could take some time,” Charania said of a potential Hayward-to-Indy move. “It could take some more work.”
If Indiana isn’t a fit for Hayward, the Charlotte Hornets, Atlanta Hawks, New York Knicks, and even a return to the Celtics loom as potential options for the 30-year-old.
Hayward averaged 17.5 points per game last year, and set single-season career-best marks in rebounds per game (6.7) and field goal percentage (50 percent).