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Report: Gordon Hayward focused on joining Pacers via sign-and-trade

The former Celtics SF declined his player option to become a free agent. He can still sign a deal and then be traded to Indiana, where he wants to go.

Kemba Walker of the Boston Celtics and Gordon Hayward of the Boston Celtics high-five during Game Four of the Eastern Conference Finals of the NBA Playoffs on September 23, 2020 at the AdventHealth Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida. Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Boston Celtics SF Gordon Hayward is “focused” on a sign-and-trade that would send him to the Indiana Pacers, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Friday before the NBA free agency window is set to open at 6:00 p.m. ET. Hayward declined his $34.2 million player option for the 2020-21 season with the Celtics. Because he can sign a bigger deal with Boston, Hayward is seeking a sign-and-trade. This works out best for both sides as the Pacers would need to shed some contracts to get Hayward on the roster.

Hayward is also drawing interest from other teams, as well as the Celtics. Shams mentions the Hornets as a potential destination. But Hayward’s main focus is on returning home to Indiana, where he played college basketball at Butler University.

Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe has some specific details on the negotiations. Apparently the Pacers are willing to give up Myles Turner and Doug McDermott. Turner would give the Celtics a legit starting center, which has been a position of need for Boston. The Celtics are holding out for what appears to be a ludicrous deal of TJ Warren or Victor Oladipo and Turner, which is a big overpayment in my opinion.