The Indiana Pacers are 14-23 on the year and sit 13th in the Eastern Conference. By any objective measure, this is a lost season.
Unsurprisingly, the front office has essentially made everyone on the roster available for trade. They have also made their desired asking price for the team’s biggest stars known.
One name to keep an eye on heading into the NBA Trade Deadline is Gordon Hayward.
The Pacers previously made a push to acquire Gordon at the end of 2020. After he declined his $34.2 million player option with the Boston Celtics, the expectation was that Indiana would swoop in and pick him up.
Instead, the Charlotte Hornets came along and landed him on a four-year, $120 million.
Now is the perfect opportunity to right that wrong.
As noted by Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Pacers are moving towards what has been described as a “substantial rebuild.” Who better to assist with that than Hayward, a player who has been at the center of the Hornets’ recent rebuild?
In a recent column, Brett Siegel of NBA Analysis Network suggested what could be a very reasonable swap for all parties involved. Essentially, the Hornets would send Hayward and two future second-round picks to Pacers in return for Myles Turner, Jeremy Lamb, and a 2023 first-round pick.
A clear win-win.
The photos speak for themselves. https://t.co/k0zuHbsZML
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 4, 2022
It remains to be seen if Indiana will ultimately be able to secure the Hayward trade that has eluded them for two years now. But if they do, it will help the team go in much stronger into 2022.