After Gordon Hayward and the Boston Celtics agreed to extend his deadline to decide on his $34.2M player option, it became apparent that something was going on behind the scenes. At this point, it’s a forgone conclusion that Hayward will not be back in Boston next season.
To sum it all up: Gordon Hayward’s three years in Boston was a failed experiment. It’s not even Hayward’s fault, either. He just got screwed from day one after suffering one of the worst sports injuries you could ever witness. He returned and had a fantastic season last year but was still having difficulty staying on the floor because of all his injuries.
I’ve always been the one that had to defend Hayward from fans who said he wasn’t good or was hurting the team, simply because those statements are false. I’d love to keep Hayward around, but if he doesn’t want to be here, then that’s just how it is. I’d rather work to get a trade done than let him walk for nothing.
Therefore, here are a few trade possibilities for the Boston Celtics if they were to deal Gordon Hayward.
Atlanta receives: Gordon Hayward, picks #14, #26, and #30
Boston receives: #6 pick and Dewayne Dedmon
It’s been rumored that the Atlanta Hawks are “in play” to acquire Gordon Hayward, and this is the most realistic trade I can see getting done. The Celtics trade Hayward (most likely a sign and trade) and their three first-round picks to move up to #6 and get Dewayne Dedmon as well.
You may be wondering, why the hell do the Celtics want Dewayne Dedmon? Well, he’s a solid bench contributor, and the money makes sense. Would I be willing to include more in the trade if it meant getting Clint Capela or John Collins instead? Absolutely, but I’m not sure if Atlanta wants to cut ties with either of those players.
The Celtics can now draft a player they believe will make an impact not only now but for years and years to come. In my opinion, if the Celtics make this trade, it’s to draft Onyeka Okongwu. I can go on and on about him, but luckily for you, I already have.
Indiana receives: Gordon Hayward, picks #14, #26, and #30
Boston receives: Myles Turner, Jeremy Lamb, and Doug McDermott
In all honesty, this trade makes the most sense for Boston to make. They land a reliable starting center who can score and block shots, as well as two solid bench options that the team has been desperately searching for.
This deal would obviously be centered around Myles Turner, who averaged 12.1 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks a game, but getting Lamb and McDermott back will really strengthen Boston’s bench.
Lamb averaged over 12 points a game last season with 45/35 splits. He can be more efficient, but it’s obvious he can put the ball in the basket. McDermott averaged a little over 10 points off the bench with 49/43 shooting splits. Those 22 points a game is exactly what Boston needs coming off their bench. This trade would help Boston a ton.
Knicks receive: Gordon Hayward, picks #14 and #26
Celtics receive: Pick #8
This trade is a bit more unrealistic because I don’t think the Knicks want to absorb Hayward’s contract or keep him long-term. The Knicks are also pursuing a trade for Russell Westbrook, so unless they’re looking to create their own big two with Westbrook and Hayward, I’m not sure this trade would even be entertained.
But regardless, if the Knicks were looking to acquire more picks and a player who brings a tad bit of relevancy to the franchise, this is a move for them to make. They move down six picks and acquire another first rounder later in the draft, while the Celtics dump Hayward’s contract and move up in the draft.
In this case, I’d love the Celtics to grab either Isaac Okoro, Tyrese Haliburton, or Tyrese Maxey. Okoro is a defensive monster, while both Haliburton and Maxey have the ability to shoot and score the ball, which is what the Celtics have been looking for.
Those are three possible trade scenarios for Gordon Hayward. I’ll hate to see him go considering how well he played for the Celtics last season, but all good things must come to an end at some point. And when one door closes, a few million open up, especially if you’re the Boston Celtics.
I’m excited to see what this team does on draft night and in the next coming days leading up to free agency. There’s that feeling of uncertainty because we have no idea what moves Danny Ainge will make, but there’s also that feeling of confidence knowing Ainge will get a deal done.
Whatever the trade is, I just hope it solves one of the problems that this team has. Whether it’s getting a big man, bench pieces, or shooters, I just want the move to make the Celtics better. I have a feeling that after this week, the Celtics will be in much better shape than they are today.
Photo: Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press