With the Boston Celtics right up against the salary cap, and pretty set at the wing position with Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, many speculated if a Gordon Hayward trade would be possible.
Hayward, who returned from his gruesome leg injury last season, but never regained his full form in 2018-19, is on a max deal with the C’s, leading many to believe Boston would consider dumping the salary if it could. And there were plenty of people working the trade machine to scope out a potential deal.
But apparently, the Celtics are not prepared to move on from the 29-year-old.
According to an opposing executive, the Celtics were unwilling to give away the small forward for pennies on the dollar.
“After it was clear Kyrie (Irving) was leaving, I told our owner that we could maybe grab Hayward for nothing if Boston tore it down,” the executive told Keith P. Smith of the SB Nation’s Celtics Blog. “He?s owed a lot of money, but only a couple of years left. We made a call, but it got shut down quickly. I think Danny (Ainge) and Brad (Stevens) know what they have in Hayward for this year and going forward. He?s going to be really good again.”
You can’t blame the C’s for wanting to get another look at Hayward, who is even further removed from his injury and was able to get a regular offseason in before gearing back up for next season. If he can regain some of his old form, Boston would be looking at a packed core of small forwards and would be able shop any of the three for a much higher price, though it seems the asking price for Tatum already is insane.
Whatever the case, it seems the Celtics like Hayward and are not ready to cut bait just yet.