The Boston Celtics had far and away the best chance of landing Paul George in a trade from Indiana.

Until they didn’t.

Now they will turn their attention to Gordon Hayward, who was meeting Saturday with the Heat in Miami.

The Pacers are trading the All-Star George to Oklahoma City for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. Indiana was under the gun to move George, who had informed the team he was going to opt out of his contract after the coming season and leave as a free agent.

The news hit the Celtics on Friday night as they were preparing to make their midnight free-agent phone calls, and according to sources among those who have dealings with the club, the team was stunned.

The Celtics had gone hard after George at the February trade deadline, offering this year’s Brooklyn pick (through a swap of first-round positions) that became No. 1 overall. The thinking for the Celtics is they would have a year-plus to convince George to stay in Boston.

In their latest attempts to get George over the last several days, they were unwilling to include next year’s first-round pick from Brooklyn or the Lakers’ 2018/Sacramento 2019 pick they received from Philadelphia for moving down from No. 1 to 3 this year.

The Celtics also didn’t want to part with their top picks from the last two years, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum.

But sources confirmed Boston was more than ready to give up players with better contracts and multiple draft picks. The best offer was two starters – almost certainly Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley – and three first-round draft picks.

A Western Conference source agreed with the Celtics’ decision to hold back the Nets and Lakers/Sacramento picks, as well as Brown and Tatum.

“I can understand what Boston’s thinking on that,” he said. “If you’re only guaranteed to have George for one year, you have to ask yourself whether he’s going to be able to win it all for you with whatever else you’re able to put together. And with Golden State sitting there, how realistic is that? Not very.”

The Thunder clearly aren’t as concerned with losing George next summer. The club is trying to show a commitment to Russell Westbrook, who can also opt out next year and who they’re trying to woo with a longer-term deal. Even if George walks, they’ll be able to start off a rebuild with a lot of money to spend in a free-agent market where a number of teams have been eliminated from the party because of what they’re spending last year and this, when the new television contracts kicked in and raised the salary cap dramatically.

With the George trade shaking the league, the Celtics were said to be getting quickly back to business, which was making a midnight phone call to profess their affection for Jazz forward Hayward at the start of the free-agent negotiating period.

Hayward is expected to be in Boston on Sunday.

The Celtics have been aware for some time now that Hayward would be open to at least hearing their presentation, but, with others in the running they can have no strong confidence that he will choose them.

The All-Star will also be meeting with Utah.

There isn’t much of a Plan B for the Celtics in free agency. They did have some interest in Blake Griffin, but he’s going to remain with the Clippers.

They may look elsewhere in the market, with long-time Celt target Danilo Gallinari worth a look if the price is right. But if the Celtics cannot attract Hayward, it may be of little sense to try to sign a player of lesser value.

The best course of action then would seem to be to give those wing minutes to Brown and Tatum with the hope/expectation they could develop into the kind of players you’re throwing max millions at today.