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Gordon Hayward Trade Rumors: Pacers Continue to Have Interest in Celtics Star

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistOctober 22, 2020

Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward (20) handles the ball during the first half of an NBA conference final playoff basketball game against the Miami Heat on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

The Indiana Pacers reportedly have eyes for Boston Celtics wing Gordon Hayward.

According to Ian Begley of SNY, "some within the Pacers organization continue to have interest in trading" for Hayward.

The Pacers have two players who could potentially be on the trade block this offseason—center Myles Turner and shooting guard Victor Oladipo. 

Turner could be on the move with the Pacers having another talented big man in Domantas Sabonis capable of playing center. Playing the pair together doesn't seem sustainable in the long term, though Begley reported that "several teams inquired with the Pacers about Turner trades before and after the NBA Draft, and came away with the impression that it would take a significant offer to land him."

He would make sense in Boston, upgrading the team at center over Daniel Theis. With talented big men in the Eastern Conference like Joel Embiid and Bam Adebayo, having a center like Turner would improve Boston's title chances. 

And while Hayward remains a very good player, he's also the fourth option for the Celtics behind Jayson Tatum, Kemba Walker and Jaylen Brown. Boston was bringing Hayward off the bench in the playoffs in favor of Marcus Smart, and the veteran forward averaged just 10.8 points in five playoff games after battling with a right ankle sprain

A Turner-for-Hayward swap wouldn't work on its own given the salaries, with Turner set to make $17.5 million next season and Hayward owed $34.1 million on a player option he'll be expected to exercise. There would be other moving parts in such a deal, or perhaps even a third team. 

As for Oladipo, his long-term status—he's entering the final year of his deal and will likely be looking for a very lucrative extension—has called into question his future in Indiana. Like Turner, Indiana would need to add more salary to make an Oladipo-Hayward swap work, though it's fair to question if Boston would be interested in a potential rental on the wing, where they're already very talented and pretty deep. 

Some sort of Turner-Hayward swap seems more feasible. Granted, all of that hinges on the Celtics having any interest in actually moving on from Hayward once he exercises his player option. 

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