NBA Teams Eyeing Gordon Hayward for Potential Buyout

‣ NBA teams are reportedly considering Charlotte Hornets forward Gordon Hayward as a buyout possibility and he is also available for trade.
‣ Hayward, who is in the final season of his four-year, $120 million contract, is averaging 14.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.1 steals, and 31.9 minutes per game this season.
‣ Despite his contributions, injuries have greatly affected Hayward’s NBA career, with the player missing several games due to various health issues.

Details

So, here’s the scoop. NBA teams have their eyes on Charlotte Hornets forward Gordon Hayward. According to Jake Fischer from Yahoo Sports, they’re considering him as a buyout option. And guess what? Charlotte’s also put the 14-year veteran up for trade.

Fischer said on “The Trade Deadline,” “Gordon Hayward is absolutely for the taking. With his contract expiring, the likelihood of him getting moved is higher than ever.” He added, “A lot of teams are also looking at Hayward as a buyout possibility.”

Hayward, the 33-year-old, is in his final season of a four-year, $120 million contract. He signed this hefty deal with the Boston Celtics as part of a sign-and-trade agreement with Charlotte back in November 2020. His salary this season? A cool $31.5 million. The four-year deal also includes a 15% trade kicker, by the way.

This season, Hayward’s been on the court for 25 games. He’s averaging 14.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.1 steals, and 31.9 minutes per game. But here’s the thing. In his fourth season with the Hornets, his scoring has declined from his first few years in Charlotte.

Remember the 2020-21 season? Hayward averaged 19.6 points per game in 44 starts. But times have changed. This season, the Hornets are down in the dumps, currently 8-28 and ranking 13th overall in the Eastern Conference standings.

Hayward’s had his moments, though. He’s notched eight 20-point games this season. And in Charlotte’s 111-100 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Dec. 6, the forward posted a season-high 27 points. Not to mention four rebounds, four assists, three steals, and one block in 36 minutes of action.

Here’s a juicy bit. Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak was all for Hayward’s addition in 2020. He said, “We are thrilled to welcome Gordon and his family to the Hornets organization and Charlotte. Gordon is an NBA All-Star, a proven scorer and playmaker and a tough competitor.”

But let’s face it. Shifting from one injury-prone player to another was a questionable move. Looking back, this could have worked out for Charlotte’s frontcourt. But Hayward’s massive contract ended up hurting the Hornets. It was a high-risk, low-reward trade. Simply put, based on the number of games he’s missed, the Butler product isn’t worth over $30 million per season.

Injuries have been a bane in Hayward’s NBA career. He suffered sprained ligaments in his left ankle in February 2022, missed games last season because of a left shoulder fracture and left hamstring soreness. The Hornets are 7-18 with Hayward and 1-10 without him this season. So that’s one argument in his favor.

But here’s another twist. Perhaps the bigger contributing factor for Charlotte losing most of its games in the first quarter of the season was the loss of one other key player. Without All-Star point guard LaMelo Ball, who missed over six weeks due to a sprained ankle, Charlotte’s offense struggled to generate enough points. Now, Ball is back on the court.

Ball, 22, scored 28 points in his first game back against the Sacramento Kings on Friday night. And just a heads up, the 2024 NBA trade deadline is Thursday, Feb. 8 at 3 p.m. ET. So, let’s see how this plays out.

James Shotwell
James Shotwell
James, a dedicated writer for BasketballHour, holds a degree in English and Creative Writing. A genuine sports enthusiast and skilled betting advice provider, he writes engaging articles and valuable winning strategies for sports.

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