Gordon Hayward-To-Pacers Deal ‘Gained Major Traction,’ Holiday & Turner As Possible Trade Chips
After opting out of the final year of his contract with the Boston Celtics, veteran small forward Gordon Hayward is currently emerging as one of the most coveted players on the free agency market. Despite the financial implications of the coronavirus pandemic to the entire league, Hayward looks very confident that he could land a long-term contract this offseason. Since the 2020 offseason started, several teams have already expressed a strong interest in adding him to their roster.
As of now, one of the frontrunners to get Hayward’s service in the 2020 free agency is his hometown team, the Indiana Pacers. In a recent article, Marc Berman of the New York Post revealed that Hayward’s Indiana homecoming has “gained major traction” but with the Pacers’ limited salary cap space, they would be needing to engage in a sign-and-trade deal with the Celtics to acquire the veteran small forward. In the potential deal with the Celtics, Berman suggested that the Pacers could use Myles Turner and Aaron Holiday as possible trade chips.
“The chance for the Pacers to bring former Celtics star forward Gordon Hayward back to home to Indy, where he was raised and led Butler to two NCAA Finals Fours has gained major traction. According to a source, the Pacers are the front-runner for Hayward and trying to land him via a sign-and-trade. The Pacers don’t have the cap space but names such as Aaron Holiday and Myles Turner have come up.”
Two teams with major salary cap space, the New York Knicks and the Atlanta Hawks, have also expressed their desire in signing Hayward, but the former All-Star reportedly prefers “to go home.” Sacrificing Turner and Holiday would make sense for the Pacers if they think that adding Hayward to their roster could help them make a deeper playoff run in the 2020-21 NBA season. Hayward may have gone through plenty of ups and downs in the past years but last season, he has already shown a massive improvement with his game.
In 52 games he played, he averaged 17.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 4.1 assists while shooting 50.0 percent from the field and 38.3 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN. If he succeeds to regain his All-Star form and manage to stay away from major injuries, adding him to the core of Malcolm Brogdon, Victor Oladipo, TJ Warren, and Domantas Sabonis would give the Pacers a better chance of fully dominating the Eastern Conference and contending for the NBA championship title next season.
Meanwhile, the potential sign-and-trade deal with Indiana would undeniably be a no-brainer for the Celtics. Instead of losing Hayward as an unrestricted free agent without getting anything in return, the suggested trade would allow them to acquire a starting-caliber center in Turner and a backup guard in Holiday.