The Pacers have shown great interest in trading for Gordon Hayward. Hayward is signed through 2021 but he has a player option so he could get traded to the Pacers or opt-out of his player option to become a free agent. If Hayward opted out of his contract, I would expect the Pacers to offer him less, however, Hayward will likely not opt-out because if he does, he would lose a considerable amount of money.
With Warren already in the lineup, how would Hayward fit in? With Warren being 6'8 and Myles Turner being on the trade block, Warren could play PF and Hayward would be able to play SF. This would make Indiana a dominant offensive team. Adding a solid three-point shooter in Hayward would give Malcolm Brogdon another option to pass to as well. Adding Hayward would also help confuse defenses because you could have Brogdon, Hayward, or Warren bringing it up the court, and all three can do something with the ball.
This trade can work out well for the Celtics as well. It's been talked about for a long time now, the Celtics need a better center. Daniel Theis could be a much better option coming off the bench, he's just not quite a starting-caliber player. Another subject that's been talked about is Wanamaker's fit with Boston. He's been solid enough but the Celtics might want to part ways with him as he hasn't been putting up the numbers they'd like to see. So who could they get from Indiana that could fill that void?
Probably not what you were expecting, but if you think about it, it works for both teams. For the Pacers, you're getting Gordon Hayward and a more favorable second round draft pick. Also, they would be waiving Jeremy Lamb, saving $21 million over two years, which is great because they can use that money to spend on better players. There are also several late round steals the Pacers could nab with the more favorable second-round pick as well. As for the two free agent signs, I believe that Burks would have a legitimate chance to sign with the Pacers because of his playing time in Philly and the amount of money he's being offered. The Sixers just won't be able to pay him that amount of money with the situation they're going through right now. Emmanuel Mudiay is an extremely cheap option that would provide excellent bench support with playmaking and an extra infusion of scoring with high efficiency. Burks will give you flat out scoring, whether it's right at the rim, mid-range, or three point land, which he shot 41.6% from last year in Philly (37.5% in GSW), he can do it all.
Let's look at it from the Celtics side. The Celtics had a problem with depth this past year, but this trade will help with that. Myles Turner would go right into the starting lineup, but McConnell and McDermott would be added to the bench. You might be wondering why the Celtics would decline Wanamaker and Ojeleye's player options, and that's simply because they don't fit. Throughout the season, Wanamaker only averaged 2.5 assists, and his shooting was just average. The only good part of his game was his free throw shooting but he only shot around two per game. Semi Ojeleye on the other hand isn't doing much at all. Only playing 14.7 MPG this past season and putting up 3.4 PPG, it's obvious that the Celtics don't need him. So what can McConnell and McDermott bring to the bench? McConnell is a floor general and would lead the team's bench on the court. In just 18.7 MPG, he averaged 5 APG and 6.5 PPG. This off of 52.5% shooting from inside the line. McDermott adds some much needed shooting and gives the Celtics options as he can play both the SF and PF at 6'7. This past season, he shot an incredible 43.5% from three and converted 54.9% of his shots inside the three point line.
That's all for now, until next time, remember, a center and a slightly better bench are the only two things the Celtics need to get over the hump, that's exactly what they're getting here, while the Pacers are also coming out of this trade a better team. Thanks for reading!