You know what I don't appreciate? Gordon Hayward speculation. That shit got old real quick. It starts with some bullshit rumor on Twitter, that gets aggregated, and the next thing you know you have Zach Lowe going on his podcast talking about how it's not a lock that Hayward opts in or opts out and restructures to stay in Boston. Lowe basically said he had no idea what's going to happen but of course that gets spun as a negative and that Hayward is on his way out.
Let's start with the most important thing first. I've blogged it no fewer than a billion times, but the Celtics are a better team with Gordon Hayward than without. If he leaves, their cap situation is still fucked and they will not be able to replace his production on the open market. Guys putting up 17/6/4 on 50% shooting do not grow on trees and that guy does not exist on the current free agent market for what the Celts can afford. Coming off one of the best seasons of his career, fully accepting his role while also being a part in why the two Jays flourished, it's a no brainer that the Celts are better with Hayward
To me, the Celts only trade Hayward under two circumstances.
1. He tells them that he is opting out and not interested in re-signing
If this happens, you have to move him. You can't allow him to leave for nothing. That's where all these new dates of free agency/etc are so important. If training camps really do start December 1st, you're going to have like 1 week to pull everything off. My guess is Ainge already knows what Hayward is going to do and has been tampering his dick off working out a potential deal. Basically something similar to what happened with Terry Rozier.
2. He opts in, but then will not re-sign at the end of the year.
If this were the case, you either look to move Hayward offseason once he opts in, or you wait until the deadline to move him. It's not all that different from the first situation, and the point is the same. You can't lose that asset for nothing. Even if you have to take 75 cents on the dollar.
It's impossible to know what Hayward is going to do, and anyone that suggests they do know is a flat out liar. We all thought Horford would opt out and re-sign on a team friendly deal and look what happened. The Sixers blew their load on him and he was gone. That's all it takes, you just need one team to be in on Hayward. At the same time, he probably isn't finding that $30M+ price on the open market given his injury history. In my opinion it makes sense for both sides to opt out and come to a new team friendly deal, but even I say that while knowing I have no idea what he's going to do.
All I do know is this. If he is not on this roster next season, the Celts will miss his skillset big time. No, Victor Oladipo does not give you what a healthy Hayward does. Stop suggesting it.