Boston Celtics fans want to fire Danny Ainge after Gordon Hayward signed with the Charlotte Hornets. Let’s look at how ridiculous that is.
In the wake of Gordon Hayward‘s 4-year, $120 million contract with the Charlotte Hornets, Boston Celtics fans have been quick to criticize GM Danny Ainge for his failure to produce a sign and trade with the Indiana Pacers.
With the potential swap of Myles Turner and Doug McDermott for Hayward leaking Friday night, Celtics fans were eager to jump on the opportunity, as Hayward had already opted out of his $34.2 million the previous day.
However, reports state that Ainge wanted either Victor Oladipo or T.J. Warren along with Turner, whereas Indiana would rather give up McDermott instead.
In this potential deal, the Boston Celtics would sign Hayward to a deal around 4 years, $100 million which was the reported number that the Pacers were willing to get to. Then, he would promptly get traded back to his home town in a sign and trade.
Unfortunately, the Hornets came in late Friday night, when the Pacers and Celtics were still negotiating a deal, and gave Hayward an offer he couldn’t refuse.
Sitting at $20 million more than the Pacers were willing to shell out, it was a no brainer for the Butler-product, as he would earn approximately $30 million per year in North Carolina.
The important factor to remember is this — Hayward was still a free agent during this process.
Even though the Cs were trying to pull off a sign-and-trade, Gordon ultimately had the ability to choose wherever he wanted to go. Sure, his reported number one option was to go back home to Indiana, but that was before Michael Jordan got on the phone and offered him a ridiculous amount of money, a number that no other team could beat or even match.
So how is this Danny Ainge’s fault?
Well, fans are claiming he should have just accepted the deal with the Pacers and gotten Turner and McDermott for a player who wanted out.
If they came to terms eventually, wouldn’t Hayward and his agent look at every other offer and see if he could make more? He opted out of the last year of his deal believing he could get substantial money over more years in this shy 2020 free-agent market.
Why would he sign off to go to Indiana immediately without looking at Charlotte’s offers?
Another point of view is this: even if Ainge could have gotten Turner, is that better than getting Tristan Thompson at a lower price? Turner is making $17.5 million for the next three years, while Thompson is slated to make $19 million total over two years in his new contract with the Boston Celtics.
There is a reasonable argument to forgo an opportunity at the younger Turner and opt for the more reliable Thompson, who is a former champion.
Along with this, if Hayward’s deal to Charlotte becomes a sign-and-trade with the Celtics to help the Hornets maintain cap flexibility, Boston can create a large trade exception, big enough to conduct another sign and trade for someone like Bogdan Bogdanovic.
So don’t count out Danny Ainge just yet
The bottom line is, Gordon Hayward wanted to go to Charlotte because they offered him the most money and stability. There was nothing Danny Ainge could do to change that.
So, let’s not fire Danny Ainge, please.