Boston Celtics deemed long-term winner of 2020 Gordon Hayward trade

The Boston Celtics ended up winning the 2020 Gordon Hayward sign-and-trade with the Charlotte Hornets
The Boston Celtics ended up winning the 2020 Gordon Hayward sign-and-trade with the Charlotte Hornets / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

Swarm and Sting's Jack Simone declared the Boston Celtics the long-term winners of the Gordon Hayward sign-and-trade with the Charlotte Hornets during the truncated 2020 offseason during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mainly because the Hayward trade brought back an asset that helped land one of the trade pieces that'd land Derrick White on the Celtics.

"All in all, it was a solid deal for both sides, but the Celtics benefitted more," Simone prefaced before saying, "Hayward played well in Charlotte, but he couldn’t stay on the floor.

"Meanwhile, Boston’s trade exception helped them land Josh Richardson, who they traded for Derrick White, and he was a huge part of their 2024 NBA Championship run. Also, Charlotte didn’t even end up making either of the draft picks they got in the deal."

Derrick White the most successful replacement for Gordon Hayward on Boston Celtics

Kristaps Porzingis was Robert Williams III's replacement and Jrue Holiday was Marcus Smart's. But White was Hayward's replacement a season and a half after Hayward's departure. During the 2020-21 season, the Cs tried to shoehorn Romeo Langford into that role, and eventually, Evan Fournier.

Neither worked, and neither did Josh Richardson. Luckily, Brad Stevens rectified the situation with the franchise-changing White deal at the 2022 trade deadline.

It cannot be overstated just how important White is to what the Celtics do. At this point, he is their true point guard, and though he took a bit of a backseat to Holiday, Jayon Tatum, and Jaylen Brown during Boston's Banner 18 run, his two-way contributions are irreplaceable in Joe Mazzulla's rotation.

It all started with dealing away Hayward, someone who was an obvious trade candidate for most of his time in Boston due to the positional redundancy with Tatum and Brown. Doing that, and then winning a championship within four seasons as the Hornets failed to make the playoffs, makes them definitive winners of the Hayward sign-and-trade.