Does “Trader Danny” have something up his sleeve?
Boston Celtics fans certainly hope so as the rumor mill surrounding the city has picked up significant steam in recent weeks and if the Celtics and Gordon Hayward are, in fact, working together amicably to iron out a sign-and-trade deal with a potential suitor, president of basketball operations Danny Ainge will seek every avenue possible to maximize Hayward’s value. Normally, Ainge is as patient as they come with these sorts of things, however, time isn’t on his side as the hurdle of moving up in next Wednesday’s NBA Draft and Hayward’s decision looms over the official start of the Celtics’ offseason.
As Masslive.com’s John Karalis explained during his appearance on the Causeway Street Podcast, moving up in the draft could be a crucial asset, for Ainge, however, if the Celtics can reel in a two-for-one deal, in a proposed three-team blockbuster, including Gordon Hayward; it could end up being the best plan for Boston, and Hayward, in the long-run.
Karalis On Gordon Hayward Swap: ‘Flip For A Couple Of Role Players To Fill Out The Bench’
“When I’m looking for a trade for Gordon Hayward, I’m not looking for a one-for-one, Hayward for another guy type of deal,” Karalis said. “If the Celtics have to move Gordon Hayward, I’m looking at it as, whelp, he doesn’t want to stay long-term, they get the sense that he wants out, you got to get something for him, and he’s, to me, is the exact type of player that you can flip for a couple of role players to fill out the bench. That’s where I thought the Celtics can get into this because if that sixth pick is involved then maybe that sixth pick goes to New Orleans.
“I don’t know what they do, but I was thinking that if Holiday goes to Atlanta and Hayward goes to New Orleans then what the Celtics get back is a pick and a couple of role players – a (JJ) Redick and somebody from Atlanta that’s serviceable, that you can count on for 20 minutes a game. I think that’s the type of deal that I’m looking for. I don’t know if a straight Holiday-for-Hayward thing works.”
Hawks’ Clint Capela makes the most sense in this proposed three-team deal. As the highest-paid player for Atlanta, throwing Capela’s $16 million to match salaries, fits in a deal, involving Hayward, Redick, Holiday, and (Atlanta would have to receive a big man in return) Daniel Theis.
Is Gordon Hayward Done In Boston?
“If you had to take an estimated guess here; what do you think happens to Gordon?” Causeway Street host Joel Pavón asked Karalis. “Will, he opt-in, or does he opt-out and sign a long-term deal with the Celtics? What are you feeling?”
“I’m just trying to read the room, a little bit, and there’s been enough smoke where I feel like he may not belong for Boston,” Karalis said. “For whatever reason, I’m not sure that he’s looking to stay here long-term. I think if that’s the case, he’ll probably opt-in and then get traded – that’s probably the best-case scenario for him. You go to Danny Ainge and you say ‘look, if you can move me preferably to these three cities, or wherever, that would be my preference. I’m going to opt-in and then I’m going to explore my options next year and that’s going to be the course of action that I take.”
Karalis believes both sides may have already reached that point. It’s a difficult talk that happens often throughout the NBA between a player and a team president.
“And then Danny Ainge has to – this is an adult conversation you have to have between two professionals in this league,” Karalis added. “At this level, that’s something that you candidly have to talk to each other and say ‘hey, these are my plans,” and I think you trust Gordon Hayward to not be like Anthony Davis and poison the waters. And I think you trust him to go out there and play his ass off whenever he’s out there but if he makes it clear ‘you know, I’m not 100% sure if I’m going to be back next year,’ you have to do what you do.”