The Indiana Pacers have long been rumored to covet Gordon Hayward, even as far back as trying to pair him with Paul George. Now, it appears that the Pacers are getting closer to making their intrigue become reality.
According to a report from Marc Stein of the New York Times, the Pacers are continuing to explore pathways to acquire Hayward via a sign-and-trade with the Boston Celtics.
In addition to the reports about the Pacers’ interest in Hayward, there have been reports coming out that Hayward would like to return home to Indiana.
With the amount of mutual interest from both parties involved, it seems very unlikely that the two sides will be unable to figure something out. While the Pacers are a serious contender to acquire Hayward, the New York Knicks are another team to keep an eye on with a lot of cap space.
However, if Hayward wants to win and compete for an NBA Finals appearance, the Pacers offer him a much better opportunity than the Knicks.
Depending on what the Pacers have to give up, acquiring Hayward could put them on the map from a title contention standpoint. Myles Turner has been the most likely rumored trade chip heading to Boston for Hayward. If that is the case, the Pacers would field a very competitive starting lineup.
A starting five of Malcolm Brogdon, Victor Oladipo, Hayward, TJ Warren, and Domantas Sabonis would be a major threat.
Granted, there are still a lot of logistics to figure out surrounding this situation. Hayward and the Pacers still have to figure out a potential long-term contract. The Celtics also have to be happy with the return they would get for facilitating the trade.
Expect to hear more rumors and news come out about Gordon Hayward and the Pacers as the day continues. With free agency opening up at 6:00 pm EST, this deal could come to fruition in the near future. Or, another team could swoop in and steal Hayward away.