BOSTON (CBS) — Before Gordon Hayward agreed to a massive contract with the Charlotte Hornets, and the Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers were reportedly engaged in sign-and-trade talks for the Indiana native. Those talks led nowhere, and the Celtics will now potentially lose Hayward for nothing.
The Celtics could still work out a sign-and-trade with Charlotte, but the sign-and-trade with Indiana had a lot more to offer for Boston, with big man Myles Turner reportedly the centerpiece heading back to Boston. Those talks reportedly fell apart when C’s president of basketball ops. Danny Ainge wanted either T.J. Warren or Victor Oladipo added to the trade, in place of sharpshooter Doug McDermott.
Indiana didn’t want to ante up, and while those talks were in limbo, Hayward agreed to sign with Charlotte. Ainge has received his share of criticism for dragging his feet on the Indy deal, though the failed trade is nothing more than reports with nothing confirmed.
And as is usually the case when the Celtics don’t turn a highly publicized rumor into a reality, we’re getting a reason why that deal never went through.
According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, the Celtics were never really that high on Turner. Boston apparently didn’t see him as a very big upgrade to their frontcourt, and was even exploring other deals to trade Turner had the deal with Indiana come to fruition.
“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 on The Lowe Post Podcast. “I did hear from some teams around the league that the Celtics have done some preliminary research on what Myles Turner’s trade value would have been to them had they acquired him either in this deal or in a separate deal, and obviously didn’t like what they saw.”
Turner would have been a nice upgrade in the shot-blocking and paint protection departments, but the Celtics quickly moved on and signed Tristan Thompson after Hayward agreed with Charlotte. They did so for half the price they would have paid for Turner, who is signed for three more years at $18 million annually.
Perhaps this is the Celtics turning on the spin machine, but if the team never wanted Turner and viewed either Warren or Oladipo as the prize of any Hayward sign-and-trade, then it sounds like the a Hayward sign-and-trade with Indiana had no real chance of ever going down.