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Rumor: Celtics, Pacers offered over $100 million to Gordon Hayward before he chose Hornets

Gordon Hayward, Hornets, Celtics, Pacers

The Charlotte Hornets eventually won the Gordon Hayward sweepstakes, though the Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers both did their best to sign Hayward.

Zach Lowe of ESPN said on The Lowe Post the Celtics and Pacers each offered Hayward four-year deals north of $100 million:

“You want to clown the contract?” Lowe said, via RealGM. “That’s fine. Just know it’s not like the Pacers and the Celtics were offering $80 million. They weren’t offering $120 million. But my best intel is something like $105 million, $108 million, $102 million, $110 million. It’s not like the delta was so huge.”

Perhaps it makes more sense as to why the Hornets offered Gordon Hayward $30 million in terms of average annual value.

In fact, Lowe’s report might beg the question: what exactly was Hayward seeking?

Charlotte is hoping to be more competitive next year after drafting LaMelo Ball with the third overall pick and now signing Hayward in free agency. However, the Hornets are nowhere close to the same level of competitiveness as the Celtics, and they probably still lag behind the Pacers, as well. In that vein, it is possible Hayward valued the monetary value over future outlook.

It is also interesting to learn the Celtics and Pacers both offered separate contracts. The two teams were linked in sign-and-trade rumors, though nothing ever came to fruition. In the end, they both came up empty.

Hayward will need to return to All-Star form for the Hornets to maximize their potential. The 30-year-old gives Charlotte a wing presence capable of handling the ball and setting up teammates while also spacing the floor.

That said, Gordon Hayward has a litany of injuries in recent years. He must be on the floor for this young Hornets group to make significant progress and have a shot at the playoffs, which Michael Jordan clearly wants.