The departure of Kyrie Irving has greatly affected the Boston Celtics' offseason plans. After failing to convince Irving to re-sign, the Celtics backed out of their plan to trade for All-Star center Anthony Davis, who ended up being moved to the Los Angeles Lakers. However, instead of undergoing another rebuild, the Celtics decided to focus on surrounding Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown with quality players who can help them remain competitive in the Eastern Conference next season.
In the 2019 NBA free agency, the Celtics immediately found replacements for Kyrie Irving and Al Horford by signing Kemba Walker and Enes Kanter. The Celtics may not be the top favorite to bring home the Larry O'Brien Trophy in the 2019-20 NBA season, but the core of Walker, Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum, and Enes Kanter will undeniably be a huge headache to every team in the NBA. However, the Celtics may not be done in making moves as according to Brad Botkin of CBS Sports, Boston could explore the possibility of unloading Hayward as well as the two years and $66.8 million left on his contract.
Gordon Hayward has failed to live up to expectations since joining the Celtics in the summer of 2017. Though he's expected to receive a much bigger role on the offensive end of the floor now that Kyrie Irving is gone, Hayward's performance in the 2018-19 NBA season proved that he's an odd fit on the Celtics' team that has Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum as their cornerstones. As of now, it might be best for Hayward and the Celtics to go separate ways.Once Gordon Hayward officially becomes available on the trading block, several NBA teams who are in dire need of additional star power are expected to have a strong interest in adding him to their roster. According to Botkin, one of the potential landing spots for Hayward is the Orlando Magic.
"Would Orlando move off Mo Bamba and Evan Fournier to make the money work for a rejuvenated Hayward? That would make for a good team in Orlando, and the Celtics would get an immediate need and future building block in Bamba, with Fournier to replicate Hayward's production. "In the proposed trade deal, the Celtics will be sending Gordon Hayward to the Magic in exchange for Mo Bamba and Evan Fournier. To make the deal work financially, the Magic must add more players to match the Celtics' outgoing salary. Also, Boston may be needing to add future draft picks in the package to sweeten the deal. If the trade becomes a reality, it will help both the Celtics and the Magic in filling up the need to improve on their roster.
The deal would allow the Magic to pair Nikola Vucevic with a former NBA All-Star. Gordon Hayward may have been a huge disappointment in Boston but having a fresh start on a new team could help bring back his old form. Meanwhile, in exchange for Hayward, the Celtics would receive a young and promising center, Mo Bamba, who fits the timeline of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Evan Fournier may just be salary-cap filler, but he could still fill the hole Hayward would leave in the Celtics' wing.