Indiana Pacers rumors: Gordon Hayward sign-and-trade could still happen

The Indiana Pacers could be in line for a hectic opening day of free agency.

Gordon Hayward opted out of his contract for the 2020-21 season with the Boston Celtics, leading many to believe he could be on his to the Indiana Pacers. He could still work out a sign-and-trade with Boston that sends Myles Turner to Boston in return or he could sign a deal with Indiana for much lower than his $34 million deal he turned down.

When free agency opens on Friday, Nov. 20 at 6:00 p.m., Hayward will be free to sign wherever he desires. Rumors have swirled that the Hawks and Knicks are interested in the Indianapolis high school star, but Indiana may hold the edge as he looks to return home.

Swapping Myles Turner, who has been rumored from the very beginning, would give the Celtics a stretch-big that they desperately need. Turner is one of the best pure rim protectors in the NBA and Boston would be saving some cap space in a potential swap for Hayward. Rebounding is still a big concern for Turner but Boston would have plenty of offensive weapons and a defensive anchor.

For Indiana, adding a veteran in Hayward gives them leadership that they simply do not have. With Justin Holiday potentially leaving in free agency, the Pacers have nobody with a ton of leadership experience on the roster. Hayward could take that in stride as he returns to his hometown.

Opening day of free agency could be a wild ride for the Indiana Pacers as they sort out what they want to do with the roster. Victor Oladipo is still a major question mark after recent events but teams have not come calling for the All-Star guard.