Gordon Hayward may not have had to take much of a "hometown discount" to return to Indiana.
The Charlotte Hornets are backing up the Brinks truck for Hayward after agreeing to a four-year, $120 million contract with the ex-Boston Celtics forward.
That $120 million figure seems like an overpay, and one the Pacers wouldn't have come close to in executing a sign-and-trade for Hayward after he declined his Celtics player option.
But ESPN's Zach Lowe suggested Boston and Indiana's offers to Hayward weren't too far off Charlotte's.
"If you want the clown the contract, that’s fine. Just know that’s it’s not like the Pacers and the Celtics were offering $80 million," Lowe said on his latest episode of The Lowe Post podcast.
"They weren’t offering $120 (million), but my best intel is something like 105, 108, 102, 110. It’s not like the delta was so huge."
If Hayward was willing to accept less than $120 million over four years to play in his home state, why isn't he with the Pacers right now?
Reports suggest the Celtics and Pacers couldn't agree to the terms of a sign-and-trade: Boston apparently wanted Myles Turner and either T.J. Warren or Victor Oladipo, while Indiana was only willing to offer Turner and Doug McDermott.
Lowe offered another theory for why the deal didn't happen: The C's weren't too keen on Turner.
"I think, really, talking to people and reading the tea leaves as best I could, it really comes down to the Celtics didn’t want Myles Turner," Lowe said, adding that Boston seemed to make a "conscious choice" to sign big man Tristan Thompson for $9.5 million per year rather than take on Turner for $18 million per year.
"I think that’s really interesting and it’s not the choice I expected Boston to make," Lowe said.
The 29-year-old Thompson is a more proven commodity and averaged a double-double in Cleveland last season, while the 24-year-old Turner boasts more upside but has struggled with injuries and inconsistency in Indiana.
Of course, Hayward may have taken Charlotte's exorbitant offer anyway, in which case the Thompson-Turner debate would be moot.