A mock trade from PhillyVoice's Adam Aaronson would send former Boston Celtics max contract signee Gordon Hayward to the Philadelphia 76ers in a four-for-one proposal sending Marcus Morris Sr., Furkan Korkmaz, Danuel House Jr., Jaden Springer, 2024 second-round pick via New York, 2029 76ers second-round pick to the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for the 33-year-old. As Aaronson explains, Hayward's play-making can make him a potential backup point guard in the City of Brotherly Love.
"Hayward makes a whopping $31.5 million this season, but on an expiring deal he fits the Sixers' expected desire of a win-now role player who doesn't inhibit their summer of 2024 cap space plans," Aaronson prefaced before saying, "Hayward is far from the All-Star he once was, but is still a guy who can pass, shoot and dribble at a high level. His three-point volume has declined a bit in recent seasons, but that may be a product of Charlotte's offense more than anything Hayward is responsible for individually.
"Hayward is a wing by trade, but is an excellent ball-handler for his size. He could join the Sixers and, in essence, be their backup point guard -- likely their biggest hole on offense. Even if Patrick Beverley continues his recent hot stretch of play, adding Hayward would give the Sixers a much-needed extra layer of versatility."
Gordon Hayward would be nightmare Sixers addition for Boston Celtics
As the seven-game Eastern Conference Semifinals round this past May proved, the Celtics aren't that far ahead of the Joel Embiid-led Sixers. In fact, Philly has looked even more formidable since trading away James Harden, and could be a piece or two away from being a true threat to the Boston's, Milwaukee's, and Miami's of the conference.
Hayward could be just that as the forward continues to enjoy a solid 45/37/76 shooting slash and numbers akin to the years in Utah right before he became a Jazz All-Star and his early years with the Hornets.
Given how rocky his relationship with the Celtics was, beating Boston with Philadelphia would be the ultimate form of unaggressive revenge to his former coach at Butler, Brad Stevens.
Let's hope Hayward ends up on the buyout market and still has a place for the Cs in his heart so we don't have to see him thriving on a rival.
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