4:57pm: Hayward has told the Celtics he wants to go to the Pacers, Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe tweets. The Pacers offered Myles Turner and Doug McDermott to Boston in a sign-and-trade scenario but the Celtics want Turner and either Warren or Victor Oladipo.
4:45pm: The Hornets are expected to pursue Gordon Hayward in free agency but will likely need to work out a sign-and-trade agreement with the Celtics to make it happen, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype reports.
Hayward declined his whopping $34.2MM option in order to become an unrestricted free agent. In 52 games last season, he averaged 17.5 PPG, 6.7 RPG, and 4.1 APG on .500/.383/.855 shooting but missed a good chunk of the playoffs with an ankle injury.
Charlotte has approximately $19.4MM in cap space, so it’s unlikely Hayward would sign a multi-year deal unless there’s a sign-and-trade scenario with Boston and perhaps a third team as a facilitator.
Hayward has some history with the Hornets franchise. He signed an offer sheet with Charlotte in 2014 when he was a restricted free agent but the Jazz matched it.
The Pacers are also interested in Hayward via a sign-and-trade but are reluctant to part with T.J. Warren and Aaron Holiday, two players that Boston would have some interest in acquiring, according to Ian Begley of SNY TV. However, Hayward may try to force the Celtics’ hands. The former Butler University star is “fully focused” on returning to Indiana and playing for the Pacers, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania (hat tip to RealGM).
The Knicks are also expected to be in the mix for Hayward after freeing nearly $40MM in cap space.
Some with the organization have interest in signing Hayward as a free agent. However, the Knicks are unlikely to offer Hayward a four-year deal, Begley adds.