At this point, it isn't looking all too likely we'll see Gordon Hayward in a Boston Celtics uniform next season.
Hayward's deadline to decide on his $34.2 million player option was extended from Tuesday to Thursday, which seems to hint toward a possible trade in the coming days. Another possibility is Hayward opts out and signs with a team like the Atlanta Hawks -- who reportedly are interested -- in free agency.
Are the Celtics delaying Hayward's inevitable departure by extending his player option deadline? Chris Forsberg and Kyle Draper discussed Hayward's future on a brand new episode of the Celtics Talk Podcast.
"All I keep coming back to is that they're trying to facilitate a deal that sends Gordon Hayward to a desired location and allows the Celtics to try to recoup assets," Forsberg said. "There's a sliver of my that can talk myself into maybe they're still negotiating an extension, maybe Gordon's camp wants to see what happens after the draft, but it certainly feels like all that smoke we've heard for a couple of weeks now is coming to fruition and there's a fire here. It's a desire likely for Gordon Hayward to play elsewhere."
So if Hayward does get moved, are there any real notable names the Celtics could get in return?
"If you are to move him, Indiana's the team you default to because he's from there, they have moveable assets, it sounds like [Victor] Oladipo's going to be there but maybe Myles Turner, maybe a Doug McDermott," Forsberg said. "If you can turn Gordon Hayward into a starter and another rotation piece then I think you've done OK. So look, I'm not high on Myles Turner. I don't think he's the solution at the center spot. I don't think he's better necessarily than Daniel Theis at least the way Daniel Theis played this season.
"All that being said, if you're able to get a bench shooter that fills a need, a backup point guard -- there's ways to recoup value. But then when I look around the league, like, what else is out there? Dallas? Tim Hardaway Jr.? Just nothing that's going to excite me the way Gordon Hayward could have if he had been healthy."
Also discussed in the new episode: Would Jrue Holiday have been a good fit for the Celtics? And do the Celtics need to make a big move to catch up to the Bucks?