Holy. Fucking. Shit.
We waited for days for this bomb and here it is. What an unbelievable curveball. I'm blogging this in real time so there are a lot of emotions but also a lot to digest here. Let's start with the Hornets dropping that type of money on Hayward. Remember, Hayward signed an offer sheet to join CHA while he was with the Jazz, only Utah matched. Even still, who could have seen a 4/120M deal coming? That is a ridiculous amount of money and way more than I think anyone expected Hayward to get coming off his last three seasons. When he was an All Star free agent? Yeah, $30M a year made sense. He'll now have a much bigger role and has the long term security that nobody else was going to throw at him. You cash that out.
But this blog isn't really about the Hornets. It's about Danny Ainge completely blowing this process. Has to be. If the reports are to be true that there was an offer of Turner/McDermott on the table and Ainge rejected that to ask for more which I think we can all assume they are, this is a colossal failure. You can't play hard ball like that if Hayward leaving for nothing is truly a risk. Once the Hawks and Knicks were out, it looked like it was a BOS/IND ordeal. That's why you would assume Ainge was holding off on accepting it. All the reports were that Hayward wanted to go to Indiana. So for him to then lose Hayward for nothing is not only the worst case scenario, it's one of the worst things Ainge has ever done as a GM of this team. I mean it's one thing if there was no deal for Hayward on the table in a S&T. Then your GMs hands are kind of tied. It was very much the opposite situation here. There WAS an offer to be made based on some pretty credible reporting.
To lose this type of asset for nothing is pretty inexcusable. I can understand not trading the asset at the deadline when you want to make a run. At the very least you would think a S&T would then be the next move. To then lose that S&T and end up empty handed is indefensable. What's the plan now? You don't get any cap space relief. It's not like you can find that replacement on the open market, and now you walk away without filling a need. Turner & McDermott is better than nothing. If losing Hayward for nothing is even a serious option, you have to make that move.
I'll need a minute to digest this. There I guess is one last hope for a S&T, but it's the hornets. They have mostly trash. I guess that trash would be better than nothing but it is NOT better than what the Pacers offered. Period.