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Getty INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - MARCH 10: Gordon Hayward #20 of the Boston Celtics watches the action against the Indiana Pacers.

The Boston Celtics could see a familiar face when they face the Miami Heat this upcoming season. After efforts to acquire Donovan Mitchell and Kevin Durant have proven to be fruitless, the Heat may be looking toward their secondary plans.

Former Celtic Gordon Hayward is considered to be the Heat’s Plan B in case their other plans fall through.

“I think a guy they will keep an eye on is Gordon Hayward,” a league executive told Heavy’s Sean Deveney.

Charlotte’s offseason has been quite interesting between Miles Bridges getting arrested and charged with domestic violence and the re-hiring of Steve Clifford. The executive said the team may have to consider what direction they want to go in next after all that’s happened.

“Charlotte’s in a tough position with the (Miles) Bridges thing, they have (Steve) Clifford coming in, they’re in a position to rest things a little bit around LaMelo Ball. Hayward has two years left,” the exec explained.

If the Hornets decide to rebuild, there’d be very little use in keeping 32-year-old Hayward around if that were the case. This draft class has highly touted prospects like Victor Wembanyana and Scoot Henderson. Trading Hayward, among others, would help them get one of the higher prospects from the 2023 class.

The only question is, what deal could Miami construe to acquire Hayward’s services?

Exec Lays Out Possible Hayward Trade

Trading Jimmy Butler or Bam Adebayo is out of the question for Miami if their intent to trade for Hayward is to get better. The league executive explained what players and draft picks would be involved in a deal.

“If you want to give up [Tyler] Herro before you pay him and you want to move [Duncan] Robinson, you would have to add a pick, but those two guys and Omer [Yurtseven], that might be enough to get Hayward if the Hornets decide to reconfigure.”

Robinson has a very expensive contract. He will start the second year of what is a five-year, $90 million contract extension he signed with Miami in 2021. He also does not currently bring much value as a player since he was in and out of Miami’s playoff rotation during the 2022 NBA Playoffs. Does a package of Herro, Yurtseven, and a pick justify absorbing such a contract to get rid of Hayward on Charlotte’s end?

The executive later explained why Miami should do such a deal.

“It’s a short-term move for Miami, but they need to make their move now. You can play him at the 3 and go big or go small at the 4. He’s a guy they’ve had interest in before.”

Hayward had taken a free agency meeting with Miami during the summer of 2017. Although he chose Boston, Hayward was impressed with how they pitched him.

Hayward Praised Miami’s Pitch

Hayward went on Adrian Wojnarowski’s podcast following his decision to sign with Boston in free agency, which was later transcribed by Sun-Sentinel’s Ira Winderman. Hayward talked about how convincing Pat Riley and the others in Miami’s organization were when pitching him to join the team.

“I think the text that I sent to Mark was, ‘Wow, that’s going to be really tough to beat,’ or something like that,” Hayward told Wojnarowski.

Miami’s, or specifically Riley’s, pitch to Hayward gave him “chills.” Hayward was so impressed that he even wanted to put a Miami jersey on right then and there. “Everyone’s wearing their ring, too. Everybody on the staff was. And so that’s the moment where you’re like, ‘Wow, that’s really cool,’ an I-want-to-put-on-the-jersey-right-now type feeling.”

Hayward later went on to pick Boston to re-join his former college coach Brad Stevens anyway, although that union only lasted three years.

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ASK IRA: Could Heat, Riley see crimson with NBAs clover?

Q: It’s gross that we have to have the Celtics logo on our court. – Steven.

A: To those late to the program, among the ways the NBA plans to honor the life of the late Bill Russell this season, is, according to the league, “every NBA court will display a clover-shaped logo with the No. 6 on the sideline near the scorer’s table.” Note how the league did not say “Celtics” logo. So, basically, it is an homage to all the NBA’s teams that feature a “clover-shaped logo.” Yes, it will be interesting having an NBA team presided over by Pat Riley having a shamrock on its court at FTX Arena. But Bill Russell’s legacy is such that a bit of clover can be accepted. Still, with this type of tribute, it will be interesting to see what happens with the passing of the next NBA statesman, or whether Bill Russell simply will be viewed as one of a kind.

Q: At some point, there might be no numbers left to retire. – Gabe, Miami.

A: Well, as I wrote, the Heat already had taken No. 6 out of circulation ahead of the inevitable retiring of LeBron James’ jersey. So it’s not as if there will be a reduction of what is available (with Nos. 1, 3, 10, 32 and 33 already off the table and in the rafters). Beyond that, if a team can reach the point of the Yankees or Celtics where there are limited numbers remaining, it will mean that greatness has become transcendent for the franchise. And that is not a bad place to be.

Q: My question is very simple and to the point. I am outraged. First, how could you include the Sixth Man of the Year in every trade? And two, how could you not give him already the extension that he deserves? There is so much potential in Tyler Herro, but he is considered and included in every trade. That is outrageous. – Masoud, Tucson, Ariz.

A: Actually, he has been included in no trade yet during his career. He has been included in trade rumors, which actually is somewhat of a badge of honor. It means he has value and is valued. As for the extension, once that is completed (if completed), it makes him trade ineligible this season. So why in August should the Heat summarily dismiss that possibility? Tyler Herro will be just fine. And soon will be very rich, as well, regardless of what the logo says on the front of his jersey.


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