The Indiana Pacers were one of the teams that heavily pursued veteran small forward Gordon Hayward in the 2020 free agency. After he publicly stated his desire to play for his hometown team, the Pacers thought that they would be Hayward’s next landing spot after he parted ways with the Boston Celtics last summer. Unfortunately, Hayward ended up signing a four-year, $ 120 million contract with the Charlotte Hornets as a free agent.
However, if they are still interested in adding Hayward to their roster, the Pacers could chase him once again on the trade market this summer.
Gordon Hayward Finally Goes To Indiana
In a recent article, Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report created a list of 2021 offseason trades for the league’s most disappointing teams. For the Pacers, it’s the deal that would send enable them to acquire Hayward from the Hornets this summer. In the proposed trade scenario, the Pacers would be sending a package that includes Myles Turner and Jeremy Lamb to the Hornets in exchange for Hayward and Vernon Carey Jr.
If the trade becomes reality, Swartz believes that it would both the Hornets and the Pacers in filling up the needs to improve on their roster.
Why The Hornets Would Make The Trade
It wouldn’t be surprising if the Hornets push through with the trade. In March, Zach Lowe of ESPN revealed that the Hornets had a strong interest in adding Turner to their roster. Though they currently have Cody Zeller and Bismack Biyombo on their team, both big men are set to become free agents this summer.
With the emergence of Miles Bridges this season, Swartz believes that trading Hayward for Turner should be a no-brainer for the Hornets.
“Turner can solidify a Hornets defense on a team that already has plenty of offensive fireworks, and the trade gives Miles Bridges a full-time starting role that he’s earned this season.”
Pacers Hit Two Birds With One Stone
The proposed trade deal would make a lot of sense for the Pacers as it would enable them to hit two birds with one stone. Aside from successfully acquiring Hayward, it would also allow them to address the logjam in their frontcourt.
With Turner gone, the Pacers could focus on utilizing Hayward at the starting center spot and give more playing time to young big man Goga Bitadze, whom they selected as the No. 18 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
Pacers & Hornets Form Better Starting Lineup
Swapping Hayward for Turner would be extremely beneficial for the Pacers and the Hornets as it would enable them to form a starting lineup that could give them a better chance of competing for the top spots in the Eastern Conference in the 2021-22 NBA season.
“The Pacers can roll out a starting five of Malcolm Brogdon, Caris LeVert, Hayward, T.J. Warren and Domantas Sabonis, while Charlotte can counter with LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier, Miles Bridges, P.J. Washington and Turner,” Swartz wrote.