So much for the Celtics recouping assets for Gordon Hayward. Michael Jordan and the Charlotte Hornets interrupted Hayward’s homecoming in Indiana by dumping an absurd 4-year, $120 million contract in the man’s lap. It was an offer Gordo couldn’t refuse and one Jordan will eventually regret.
As for the Celtics, they got nothing, Nada. Zero. Zilch. There won’t be any sign-and-trade because the Hornets are waiving Nic Batum to clear the required cap space. Dreams of Cody Zeller dashed in an instant.
Remember the alleged Indiana offer? Myles Turner and Doug McDermott for Hayward? And the Celtics counter offer – TJ Warren and Victor Oladipo? Both are distant memories now as Gordon delayed his school drop-off carpool trips for Jordan’s money.
Everyone on social media is ready to hang Danny Ainge. How could he let another max free-agent slip away for nothing?
I’m not sure he had much control in this scenario. It’s possible he was too aggressive and waited too long to pull the trigger on the Indiana offer, allowing MJ to swoop in.
But do we know if Ainge and the Celtics really wanted Pacers center Myles Turner and the 3-years and $51 million remaining on his contract? It would appear they had very little interest. And while you’re bitching, imagine how angry you’d be in 2022 if the cash-strapped Celtics said they could not afford to resign Marcus Smart?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m pissed. The Celtics continue to take one giant step back for every two steps forward. Danny Ainge is paid a ton of money to forecast scenarios and react accordingly. He needs to be prepared for dumb offers in the NBA because THEY HAPPEN ALL THE TIME!
So what’s next?
The Celtics are showing strong interest in former Nuggets big man Paul Millsap, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA. Millsap provides a veteran presence who fills an important need for the Celtics as they look to strengthen roster in the wake of Gordon Hayward’s departure.
— Jared Weiss (@JaredWeissNBA) November 21, 2020
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 21, 2020
The Celtics have the MLE ($9.3 million) and BAE ($3.6 million) to acquire players. The problem is… while they’ve been playing poker with the Pacers and Hornets, the really good options are signing elsewhere.
The Celtics finished last season two wins shy of the NBA Finals. Even with Hayward leaving, Danny Ainge was supposed to add the right pieces to improve this team. He has not. And for that, he needs to be held accountable.