Today, Charlotte officially signed Gordon Hayward to an offer sheet. Now the waiting begins.
Gordon Hayward has agreed to be a Hornet but Utah has 72 hours from the signing to match the contract. Will they? Most pundits seem to think they will. There is however a chance Utah decides the money is too high and lets him walk. The consensus is regardless of what Utah will eventually do, they will not do anything until the 72 hours are up. This means Charlotte has all that money tied up until the situation is resolved and can not spend that money on free agents. While some might worry that Charlotte is losing valuable time in signing players, the reality of it is that outside the top prospects (players like LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony who are signing elsewhere) most players will be available in 3 days if Gordon Hayward stays in Utah.
Even if Hayward stays in Utah the move sends a strong message that Charlotte plans to be an active player in future free agent pursuits. Charlotte made a splash signing last year with Al Jefferson, a move that payed off with a playoff berth. This offer sheet shows that Charlotte plans to be aggressive and set it itself up as a free agent destination for years to come. Pardon the pun, but the move, even if it does not bring in a top free agent this season, will go a long way to creating a strong “buzz” around Charlotte. The Hornets are taking a shot and good for them. I would much rather strike out swinging than watching.
We will know if Gordon Hayward will be a Hornet in 72 hours. Until then, we wait.
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