We know that the Boston Celtics are losing Gordon Hayward in free agency to the Charlotte Hornets, but what will the eventual deal look like?
The Houdini is really struggling to process that Gordon Hayward is really gone. Since May of 2019, I have penned thousands upon thousands of words on why the Boston Celtics could have a higher ceiling if they were just able to find a better way to spend the $34 million Hayward makes.
Now, he is headed to the Queen City, where he will presumably serve as the #1 option in the Charlotte Hornets offense unless LaMelo Ball or one of the team’s other ball-handlers (Devonte Graham, Terry Rozier) seizes that role by way of controlling the ball in a Kyrie Irving-esque way.
We know where Hayward is headed, but we don’t know how he is getting there. There are a lot of moving parts when you agree to a $120 million deal over four years, and there appears to be a roadblock to a deal getting done just yet–in the form of Nicolas Batum’s expiring contract:
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the deal would land Boston a trade exception, but the Hornets are attempting to involve a third team to take Nicolas Batum and his $27 million salary so they can avoid waiving him.
Wojnarowski added that regardless of how the trade discussions play out, Hayward is signing a four-year, $120 million contract to play for the Hornets as was originally reported.
So just how is this deal going to look when it is all said and done?
Here are two possible iterations of what a Hayward-Hornets deal will look like: