Gordon Hayward Remains On Pacers’ Radar

Some members of the Pacers‘ organization continue to have interest in making a trade for Celtics forward Gordon Hayward, according to Ian Begley of SNY.tv, who cautions that it’s not clear whether Boston is open to moving Hayward or what the C’s would want in return for him.

This isn’t the first time this year that Hayward has been linked to Indiana. Approximately four months ago, J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star said during a podcast appearance that the veteran forward – an Indianapolis native who played his college ball at Butler – was a potential target for the Pacers.

“The kind of player Hayward is, is the kind of player (the Pacers) would definitely be interested in,” Michael said at the time.

Although Hayward can technically become a free agent this offseason, he’s expected to pick up his $34MM+ player option instead. Turning down that option in favor of a longer-term extension that locks in more overall guaranteed money is a possibility, but a new deal likely wouldn’t pay Hayward anything close to $34MM in 2020/21.

If and when he opts in, Hayward will be eligible to be traded, so it’s possible the Pacers and Celtics could work out a deal at that point — Myles Turner is one player who might pique Boston’s interest, for example. However, no Pacer is earning more than $21MM in ’20/21, so multiple pieces would be required in any trade and it would probably be a challenge for the two teams to agree on a fair deal.

Additionally, Begley’s report doesn’t specify exactly which members of the Pacers’ front office are intrigued by the possibility of acquiring Hayward. President of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard has the final say on personnel moves, so he’d obviously have to be on board with the idea.

We shouldn’t close the door on the idea of a homecoming for Hayward, but his contract situation complicates matters, as does the fact that neither Boston nor Indiana has a ton of cap flexibility. We’ll have to wait to see if anything comes of the Pacers’ alleged interest in the coming weeks.

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16 thoughts on “Gordon Hayward Remains On Pacers’ Radar

  1. Jeff Zanghi

    I’m not sure I see a trade with the Pacers lining up with what the Celtics would need/want in return. Unless it became a 3-team deal. For the Celtics, personally I think they’d need to get significant value back in order for it to make sense for them to move Hayward. I understand he’s overpaid at this point and only has 1-year (assuming he opt-in to his current contract) left on his deal. But he’s been a good fit on and off the court for the Celtics and given their other overall lack of cap flexibility (which will prevent them from signing anyone significant in FA) they’d really need to get a starting-caliber player back in a trade. Turner is good — but not as good as Hayward (and the $ doesn’t line up either). Earlier I commented on a post about Drummond and that I might be willing to take a 1-year risk on a Hayward for Drummond deal (because I think he potentially brings an element – low post presence and rebounding) that the Celtics are lacking. But outside of bringing back someone like that — I’m not sure what else would entice the Celtics enough to part with Hayward given how successful their recent post-season run was. Maybe some sort of 3-team deal could make sense if the pacers really want Hayward that much it could allow the Celtics to get good value for him. But I do think that, despite him being overpaid and clearly not quite the player he was when they signed him, that he still provides quite a bit to the Celtics – maybe even moreso than his actual talent level but that (given their lack of cap space/flexibility) he’s still their best option.

    • 100% agree.

      I’m not the biggest Drummond fan, but do think the Celtics need an actual center who can guard Embiid (Philly is gonna be a lot better), Bam, or potentially Jokic, and AD (Timelord has done well against AD but feel like he’s not big enough for the others listed). Additionally, I think the change to a winning club could benefit Drummond.

      As for Hayward, he’s been injured or coming off injury for what feels like most of his tenure in Boston, but think it’s been flukey (he’s not an inherently ‘injury-prone’ player). When he’s been confident and healthy he’s been fantastic, and think the expectation that he’ll ever be the Utah version of himself at least with regards to ppg is unrealistic, not because he’s unable to but because on this team he doesn’t need to do that. On the Pacers, I could see him going back to a higher usage/ppg, but would much rather him suit up in green next season.

  2. davethemailman

    For $34 million dollars shouldn’t you be getting a franchise player like LeBron or Kawhi? I see Hayward as more of a supporting player not the first player that you would build a team around, and therefore not worth that kind of salary. He fits in well with just about any team that already has some stars and some identity, however, and usually makes the right play and doesn’t make many mistakes. He’s helpful, but it would have to be the right situation where you’re not depriving yourself of better options for the use of the money. I say let Danny Ainge keep him!

    • hiflew

      Sure in an ideal world. But I don’t think the Lakers are willing to trade LeBron for Myles Turner and salary filler. Hayward is not the first player you are building your team around. This is adding him to a top 4 East team in the hopes of continuing to be good next year. Hayward is not exactly a cancer because the team he was on last year had a better record than Indiana.

      I would agree with you completely if Charlotte or Chicago or Cleveland tried to get Hayward and build around him. But that is not the case here. Turner and Oladipo are likely gone next year. Hayward is expiring as well, but he is one of the few free agents that might see Indiana as an optimal destination in free agency. Trades are all about taking chances. They are all about mitigating your losses.

  3. hiflew

    It’s not hard to line up a deal for the two. Boston has enough draft capital to offset the additional players from Indiana. Something like

    Pacers get
    Gordon Hayward
    Vincent Poirier
    Javonte Green
    either pick 14 or picks 26 & 30

    Celtics get
    Myles Turner
    Doug McDermott
    TJ Leaf

    The numbers work, the Celtics upgrade their bench and get their center. The Pacers get their guy and get a little infusion of youth to help avoid a full rebuild and instead go with a minor reshuffle.

  4. showty

    theirs no way the pacers give up turned for another scorer….that’s the whole defense…..they need another defender not ah scorer….deals dead….pacers don’t pay anyone 34 million dollars for 1 year anyway

    • El Don

      Hear, hear! I am not at all a Turner fan, I really hope IND gets rid of him but even so he is still way too good to swap for Hayward, heck I wouldn’t even swap TJ for Hayward without a hefty compensation from BOS, right?

    • hiflew

      They probably wouldn’t pay him $34MM for 1 year. They would probably renegotiate something like 3/66 with a big 4th year mutual option . It would get Hayward more guaranteed money and gt him back “home.” It also would get a lower annual salary for the Pacers. That’s what I would do anyway.

  5. FromTheCheapSeats

    Why would anyone give up Myles Turner for Gordon Hayward?

    Wing scoring is literally the easiest thing in the league to find. And paying $34M for it should get you a legitimate star.

    The Pacers wrecking their roster to overpay for one year of Hayward is an awful plan.

    • hiflew

      Indiana will not be able to afford to keep Turner and Oladipo as it stands. Doing it this way could let them potentially re-sign Oladipo when Hayward’s deal expires and just keep everyone and try for a title in 2021. If that couldn’t work for Oladipo, they could always trade him in a separate deal as well and easily negotiate a longer term deal with Hayward at a lower yearly salary and make it a sign and trade deal. Lot of options are possible here. The point is that Indy is going to lose Turner and/or Oladipo for nothing unless they get some stuff for them now.

  6. greg1

    There’s no doubt that Hayward has not been the same since the injury, but his play this past season was much more in line with historical norms, and he saw an uptick in his 3PT %. I can see the draw for Indy, and while Turner and Sabonis are clunky together, giving up a premium rim protector for Gordon seems like a bad idea. Clearing some cap space and chasing Hayward in 2021 seems to be the better move for Indy.

  7. x%sure

    Not sure this is an actual interest by GM Pritchard; maybe more of a local media thing. Pritchard would be more interested in developing someone for lower dollars. Indeed it would take Turner & Lamb both to match salaries plus an extension to GH.

    I suspect halfway through the year Boston will wish they had jumped on Drummond, but he will be averaging about seven assists a game as a point high post and not be available! ha

  8. hoosierhysteria

    34m is real scratch. He will stay in Boston this year. He will finish with Pacers after contract in Boston ends. He doesn’t feel included by Boston teammates….brown,smart especially. The guard that went to Charlotte….was envious because of the $ Gordon got. He was the $hit disturber….along with kyrie….ainge had to clean it up….and he did.

  9. sayhaykid

    The Celtics need a presence in the middle
    Turner or Drummond might be the missing piece to put the team over.

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