Possible trade suitor emerges for Celtics star Gordon Hayward: report

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By RADIO.COM

A key storyline in the NBA offseason will be the fate of Celtics forward Gordon Hayward.

The 30-year-old veteran holds a $34M player option for next season, which many expect him to exercise, for obvious reasons.

Option aside, it's not exactly clear whether the Celtics intend to keep Hayward long-term, or whether he wants to stay -- and at least one team is reportedly keeping tabs on Hayward should the Hayward and Celtics decide to part ways.

The Indiana Pacers remain interested in acquiring Hayward, according to Ian Begley of SNY.

A separate report over the summer also suggested Hayward is the type of player the Pacers typically covet, given his style of play and ties to the Indiana area after starring as an amateur at Butler.

The Pacers have something of a logjam in the paint, with two centers in Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis, plus an intriguing young prospect in Goga Bitadze, whom they drafted 18th overall in 2019.

The report didn't say who or what the Pacers would be interested in surrendering to pull off a Hayward trade, but his hefty option could make it difficult to make the financials work.

One player the Pacers are rumored to be considering moving is guard Victor Oladipo.

The 28-year-old broke out in recent years after a sluggish start to his career, but he looked uneven at times in the NBA bubble after returning from a devastating knee injury suffered in 2019.

Oladipo is owed $21M next season, while Turner is due to earn $17.5M.

Hayward, who played under Celtics coach Brad Stevens at Butler, has had an injury-marred stint in Boston after signing as a free agent prior to the 2017-18 season.

He went down with a devastating leg fracture in his first game as a Celtic, returning the following year as a reserve with a slight reduction in his limits. He missed about 20 games last season while dealing with minor ailments and for rest purposes.

Hayward has played well in his three years in Boston while healthy, though, contributing 14 PPG on 48% shooting from the field, including 36% from deep and 84% from the line, in 29 minutes. He also chipped in better than 5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game.