Hornets Add Gordon Hayward Via Sign-And-Trade With Celtics

3:43pm: The Celtics’ new trade exception will actually be worth $28.5MM, Marks clarifies (via Twitter).

2:42pm: The Hornets have completed their acquisition of Gordon Hayward, having officially added the veteran free agent forward via a sign-and-trade deal with the Celtics.

According to the Celtics (via Twitter), Boston are sending a pair of future second-round picks to Charlotte in the deal along with Hayward. Those will be 2023 and 2024 second-rounders, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

As part of the trade, the Celtics will creative a massive trade exception worth the amount of Hayward’s 2020/21 salary ($27.9MM, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks). Boston will also receive a future second-round pick from the Hornets, though that pick will be heavily protected and is unlikely to change hands, tweets Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. It’ll be a 2022 second-rounder, Charania adds.

Hayward’s agreement with the Hornets on a four-year, $120MM contract was first reported on November 21 after an eventful free agency that saw the 30-year-old draw significant interest from Indiana and New York as well.

By waiving and stretching Nicolas Batum‘s $27MM expiring salary, the Hornets created more than enough cap room to sign Hayward outright. However, the opportunity to create a massive trade exception that can be used at the trade deadline or during the 2021 offseason incentivized the Celtics to explore a sign-and-trade deal.

That $27.9MM trade exception – which is the largest in NBA history, per Marks – can be used to acquire one or more players earning up to that amount without having to send out any salary, giving Boston an intriguing weapon on the trade market over the next 12 months. Danny Ainge and the Celtics’ front office determined that exception was valuable enough to give up two second-round picks.

[RELATED: Hoops Rumors Glossary: Traded Player Exception]

From the Hornets’ perspective, the only downside of agreeing to a sign-and-trade instead of signing Hayward outright – besides helping out the Celtics – was hard-capping themselves for the 2020/21 league year. However, Charlotte remains well below the $109MM cap, so it’s safe to say the $139MM hard cap won’t be an issue. So essentially, the Hornets picked up a pair of extra second-rounders for a move they were making anyway.

For more info on Hayward’s deal, check out our original story on his agreement with the Hornets.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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60 thoughts on “Hornets Add Gordon Hayward Via Sign-And-Trade With Celtics

  1. It is amazing the Boston makes the high price signings, that they soon regret and then get bailed out.

    • gunsafetydwight

      How’s this a bail out? Hayward was signed via free agency after an atrocious 3 seasons in Boston. Boston definitely got the s**t end of this signing, they just re-couped a portion of their losses with this move

      • x%sure

        It’s a total bail-out and the mechanism used is a gift that should be thrown back.into the ether it came from.

        Whether or not Hayward is or was any good is irrelevant. Boston took the risk and other parties got outbidded. Utah would have made the finals with GH replacing their Bagdanovic; Miami may have won it all… it’s a what-if.
        Why should risk be protected in this case?

    • hiflew

      How did they get bailed out? The signing happened after the last season of the contract. Even if he opted in, there would only be one year on the deal remaining. Them getting bailed out would have been somebody trading for Hayward in the second game after he got hurt in the first. They still ended up paying Hayward a lot more than they got out of the deal.

        • OrienGreene

          Drummon and Thompson are redudant. They need depth at the wing and scoring off the bench.

          • MD300M

            Thompson is better than Drummond in today’s NBA, so I wouldn’t even say redundant

            • El Don

              I’d take Dre any day of the week & twice on Sundays ahead of TT & it isn’t even close!

              • Black&Gold

                Sounds like El Donica wants a date with Dre Dre. Make it happen Cleveland!!!! Fanboy Alert!!!!!

          • Sillivan

            Ibaka are Harrell are a much bether player than Thompson
            It’s not the best acquisition

            • OrienGreene

              Uh huh.

              Anyway, the Celtics aren’t trading for Drummond, because with them having Thompson it would be redundant. They need depth at the wing and scoring off the bench. Now you guys can all start arguing about nothing again.

              • hiflew

                Drummond and Thompson played together last year on the Cavs and it seemed fine. That would like saying having a starting PG and a back up PG is redundant because they both play the same position. Thompson was not signed to be a savior of the franchise. He could easily move to a back up position if Drummond were acquired.

    • Otogar

      Either Aldrige or DeRozan. SA is eager to unload them, and they can still be productive in a reduced role.

      • Sillivan

        Not worth paying that kind of luxury tax for them
        Owner would be more willing to pay for young bottom line star

  2. Sillivan

    My bench ranking at the moment

    Playoffs teams

  3. OrienGreene

    Oh Man, the Celtics got Thompson and this trade exception and they could have had Turner and Dougie Buckets. Boy, they sure blew it.

    • I Beg To Differ

      “Haha, Celtics are a mess when they make ECF and are about to flip Hayward for better assets. Got ya.” – OrienGreene

      “ThE CelTicS CoulD HavE HaD MYleS TurNer” – OrienGreene

      “Everyone on here the other day Oh Em Gee, the Celtics let him get away for nothing blabbity bla.
      This is why you have to let things play out.” – OrienGreene

    • OrienGreene

      As I understand it they can only bring in someone making up to 28.5, or they could split it up on a few players, but they can’t go over that amount on someone salary, which leaves out Love.

      • dust44

        But that’s not counting who they trade out tho. So they can trade a couple people making up the difference between the exception and the player taking in. From my understanding atleast. I may b wrong

        • OrienGreene

          I read this here. link to celticsblog.com

          They key is that the salary, or salaries, for whatever player is being acquired must fit within the trade exception. TPEs cannot be combined with other TPEs, nor can they be aggregated with outgoing player salaries. Meaning, Boston couldn’t add a $10 million salary to bring in a player who makes nearly $38 million.

          To clear up a common misconception, Boston can trade a player in a deal where they use the trade exception. The Celtics just can’t combine that player’s salary to the trade exception to bring in a bigger salary. This means Boston could trade someone who makes a relatively small salary, while bringing in a much larger salary that fits within the Hayward TPE.

  4. Can’t they add a couple of rookie contracts to the exception. They will have to add something to make it worthwhile to give up Love.

    • OrienGreene

      Umm, anyone with a contract they want to get rid of would do a deal for a couple young players and a pick or two. The point is Celtics don’t have to match salaries.

      • OrienGreene

        For example, and I am not saying this is a real trade idea, Celtics could get Otto Porter for a first-round pick in 2025. Bulls don’t want Porter, Celtics could use a guy like Porter. That’s the point of the trade exception.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      Sign? No. But you can trade for multiple players with the same TPE.

  5. onthebucks

    The Celtics now have $28.5 million to spend on a player who could give them that extra push into their next championship. Andre Drummond’s salary is $28.7 million. What a coincidence! Anyone who thinks Ainge has lost his smarts better think twice. He allowed Hayward to walk to a team that isn’t competitive and he disregarded the pressure to trade Hayward to the Pacers for Turner, who can’t neutralize Anthony Davis. For the record, Hayward is one of the best players in basketball, but he never fit in with the Celtics. He never got into sync with the rest of the team which is why the Celtics played better without him. The Celtics need to trade for Drummond ASAP and start printing the playoff tickets. He and Thompson are not redundant. They play entirely different games. Against bigger teams, a lineup of Drummond, Thompson, Tatum, Brown, and Smart will clean up.

    • Jeff Zanghi

      So for one thing… if Drummond’s salary is more than the trade exception they can’t acquire him with it period. Second I will admit I think Hayward is still a very good player — and better than his stats were in Boston but he’s not “one of the best players in basketball” by any stretch of the imagination. And lastly… they wouldn’t be running out a lineup that doesn’t include Walker… Smart may be great defensively… but no matter who else they get… their best lineup will never include Smart over Walker — unless Walker’s knee is really bad/worse this season. But the biggest point is… if Drummond makes more than the trade exception… the rest of the points are useless… because a trade exception can’t be combined with any other salaries… the player(s) acquire HAVE to make less/equal to the exception amount. period.

      • onthebucks

        1) You’re correct that the Celtics can’t use the trade exception to acquire a player whose salary is greater than the amount of the trade exception. Nor can trade exceptions be combined to acquire a player. So, the Celtics can’t combine the trade exceptions for Hayward, Kanter and Poirier to acquire Drummond. However, you fail to mention there are still ways the Celtics can acquire Drummond. For example, they could pull a 3-team trade sending Drummond to Boston, Kemba Walker to Chicago and multiple players and draft picks to Cleveland. The Celtics could then use their trade exceptions to acquire players through other trades or free agency to replace Walker. 2) Hayward is still one of the best players in basketball. Boston never saw the All-Star who played in Utah because he was injured. The best is yet to come for Hayward. Keep watching. 3) Kemba Walker is a great player, but expendable and overpaid. Watch for the Celtics to trade him soon – possibly for Drummond.

          • Black&Gold

            Agree Suess, but IF Kemba’s knee is on its way OUT in terms of full time PG duty, he won’t see out his contract in Boston. Just facts. D. Ainge is all about “tough love” as he has had to show in the past with IT who was likely wanted, but due to the bum hip, had to be traded. The C’s did supposedly “shop” Kemba around this offseason already. The C’s won’t TRADE him for anything other than a solid PG in return though, but signing Teague was insurance for Kemba, no question.

            • DrSeuss69

              They can reduce kemba’s minutes while he gets healthy with Teague..Boston has enough star power to make the playoffs and can now add another solid player with the 26 million exception…woo

          • onthebucks

            DrSeuss, The Celtics keeping Kemba Walker this season is a fairy tale. He’s overpaid, expendable, and not the same Kemba Walker who played for Charlotte. He didn’t play well in the playoffs, the Celtics don’t know if he’ll be in the starting lineup opening night or when he’ll be able to play 100%, and the Celtics have already offered him to Chicago. The Celtics won’t be willing to keep him if he can be used to help them acquire one of the few big men who can neutralize Anthony Davis. I speak, of course, of Andre Drummond. If the Celtics want to win the championship in 2021, they have to find a way to neutralize Davis, and Drummond is one of the few players who can give Davis a game. Contain Davis and you can beat the Lakers. The Celtics with Walker can’t beat the Lakers. They’ve already tried. The Celtics with Drummond will be able to. In the spirit of full disclosure, I am on drugs. I take a Multivitamin, baby Aspirin, and Vitamin E caplet daily.

            • DrSeuss69

              the celtics dont need him to be charlotte kemba..they have enough talent..hes a good playmaker and only had one year to fit in and chemistry will be better now…they have 26 million of free money to get even more insurance

              • onthebucks

                DrSeuss, Walker is an excellent playmaker and shooter. His defense is a problem. The Celtics don’t need him to be Charlotte Kemba, but they can’t beat the Lakers with their current team even if Walker plays like he did in Charlotte. They can if they acquire Andre Drummond, and trading Walker may be the only way they can acquire him. I like what Walker has done for the Celtics light years more than what Kyrie did for them, but I know how Ainge operates. He knows he needs Drummond to win a championship, and although he may give Thompson a look at center before he makes any trades, it won’t take long for Ainge to get on the phone with Cleveland if Thompson doesn’t play above expectations out of the gate or if the Kardashians become too much a distraction. If Ainge can’t figure out how to play Drummond and Thompson together, he may actually use Thompson as a trade piece to acquire Boston’s next legendary center.

                • buttholesurfer69 2

                  Suggesting anyone NEEDS Drummond to win a championship when Drummond can’t even stay on the floor in a tight game bc he shoots 15% from the FT line is just silly

                  • El Don

                    Last 3 years 59% in FT’s… but as usual don’t let the facts get in the way of your hating!

        • Black&Gold

          onbucks must be on bath salts, lmao. Kemba is a Top 10 PG in the league, easily. Not overpaid UNLESS all of them are… His knee issues were from his time in Charlotte, NOT Boston. Won’t last forever, he isn’t past his prime or too old to recover. Hayward “one of the best in basketball,” huh? What stats are you looking at exactly? FFS fanboy, Gordon has barely PLAYED in 3 years, not even 130 games!!!! LMAO, keep huffing away. Hayward won’t play more than 150 games in 4 years with the hornets, wait and see!!!! Clearly a fanboy, but common sense should suggest he won’t get the hornets to the playoffs, let alone BECOME a top NBA player…

          • onthebucks

            “His knee issues were from his time in Charlotte, NOT Boston. Won’t last forever, he isn’t past his prime or too old to recover.” Black&Gold.
            Walker has had knee issues for years and never had surgery, and you say he isn’t too old to recover. Where did you study orthopedics? Knee injuries, which are recurrent over a number of years and severe enough to make a player lose time, don’t usually get better on their own, even with PT and gut-wrenching anti-inflammatory drugs. Even if Walker has chronic tendonitis rather than an issue amenable to surgery, he’ll continue missing games when he has flare-ups and is unable to walk. I don’t know the nature of Walker’s knee condition but I do know he didn’t play like the old Kemba Walker during the playoffs, the Celtics are not sure he’ll be in the starting lineup opening night or when he’ll be able to play full-throttle again because of his knee problem, the Celtics proposed a trade of Walker to Chicago recently, and Michael Jordon didn’t think he was worth the money he was seeking to stay in Charlotte. Interestingly, Jordan did think Hayward was worth serious money – $30 million a year for 4 years. Jordan probably thinks Hayward is still one of the best in basketball or he wouldn’t be paying him the kind of money usually reserved for the best players. Hayward was an All-Star with Utah. As he continues to recover from his ankle injury and the effects of his extensive surgery, he may become an All-Star again with Charlotte. With time, he may have in Boston, but he just didn’t fit in with the Celtics current style. The Celtics slowed down their game when he was in the lineup, and the Celtics can’t afford to do that and win. A final thought – Walker is definitely one of the Top 10 guards in the NBA offensively, but not defensively. Best of luck in your orthopedics career.

  6. KnickerbockerAl

    Big option for Celtics to use later. Can make big move at TD. Signing Thompson and Teague addressed team needs. Much better for team chemistry. Only thing they will miss is Hayward FT shooting. Thompson can start at PF. He’s double double who plays D. He and Theis can anchor the team D. Celtics have always played D. Not their interior D is better. Can still use a rim protector. Tacko is there lol. Celtics are better to me. Now they just have to play. That TE will come in handy for a playoff push.

    • Black&Gold

      Coming from a knickerblower fan whose team was looking to add Hayward, that’s funny concerning the FT shooting…. lol. He might play better in Shart-town, but doubt he plays more than 100-150 games for them down there. You guys dodged a bullet, obvious that new yawk can ill afford to stumble on yet another FA due to the chaos that is the knicks franchise and that chode Doan ownership…. ha ha.

  7. DrSeuss69

    i know its not likely but imagine getting someone like Kevin Love…Three point sniper and great rebounder…..Kemba/Brown/Tatum/Love/ Thompson would be scary with the spacing/rebounding

    • Black&Gold

      Seems to have been floated out there often and agree, it could be good. That said, DL Love is SOFT as hell and highly doubt he has much left in the tank. Just got rid of a guy constantly injured, why add another? Plenty of other potential options out there. HOPEFULLY, D. Ainge and the FO already have someone in mind, but really hope they’re patient and move with patience and a level of methodical intelligence to get the RIGHT FIT for this roster. We need the RIGHT PLAYER for the playoffs, NOT the regular season.

      • DrSeuss69

        agreed..love is a risk due to being frail and injury prone..would love any stretch four on this boston team…wouldnt mind a big like Aldridge either…whatever helps them finally complete the team..they needed a big for years and finally got help

  8. FYI – the Celtics are hard capped. So, without some prior salary dumping of their own, they won’t be able to use the entire TPE this season. I would be a bit surprised if they use enough of it to go into tax territory at all, since it would put them in the repeater category next year when Tatum’s extension kicks in. It depends, of course, but clearly guys like Drummond, Love, etc. aren’t being targeted (direcly or indirectly) with this TPE. More like 15-20 mm of contracts they can acquire.

    • Sillivan

      You are right
      Celtics can only trade for a player whose salary is lower than 20 million this season

    • hiflew

      The Celtics aren’t hard capped. The Hornets are. Only the team that acquires a player in a sign and trade is hard capped. Now if Boston took Batum back instead of what they got, they would be hard capped as well. For example, last year both Golden State and Brooklyn were hard capped in the Durant/Russell S&T.

      Unless they are still hard capped from the Kemba deal. But I don’t think the hard cap lasts more than one year.

      • Luke Adams

        They’ll be hard-capped because they’re using the full mid-level exception on Tristan Thompson.

  9. Black&Gold

    Good for the Celtics concerning that almost 30 million trade exemption, now D. Ainge NEEDS to work with the FO team to MAKE SOMETHING SOLID happen with it. Sucks have to give Shart’lotte 2 2nd rounders for nothing, but it’s NOT as if the Celtics would use them anyways. Already essentially GIFTED Memphis #30 in the 1st round of the last draft for nothing much in return…. Don’t hate the guy and was most classy with his msg to Boston, but getting rid of headcase Hayward was addition by subtraction. He won’t play more than 150 games down there in NC over 4 years.

  10. stevep-4

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Bulls pitching Otto Porter in return for a couple of young players and/or picks. They do not want to keep him, but he will have to play and not get injured for a little bit of the season. He would be a good fit in Boston, if healthy.

    Harrison Barnes would also fit into that slot. Either of those two are ostensibly better 3pt shooters than DeRozan, who is strictly a mid-range shooter.

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