Since signing with the Charlotte Hornets, Gordon Hayward has been nothing but a blessing.
The Charlotte Hornets faced many obstacles this past offseason, but they made the right decision in free agency. As of now, the Hornets may have gotten one of the best options in the offseason.
While this was a big signing, many were not impressed with Gordon Hayward’s 4-year $120 million contract. This was easily one of Charlotte’s biggest signings since the team re-signed Nicolas Batum.
The Hornets did not have many options as free agents were signing with other teams quickly, so they went with the best available.
Many fans thought this was just another bad deal that the Hornets came up with. However, no one would’ve predicted that Hayward would start the season by having the best season of his career. Hayward has averaged 22.5 points, 4.0 assists, and 5.2 rebounds per game in his first eleven games.
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Hayward has been an efficient scorer as well, shooting 50.3% from the floor and 40.4% from three-point range. Alongside Terry Rozier, Hayward is one of the best shooters on the team.
So far this season, Hayward’s numbers are covering what he averaged last season. He’s playing better than he’s played better than any season before this one.
The Hornets may be only eleven games in, but it seems that he’s finally hitting stride for consistent 20+ point game nights. In his last four games, Hayward has averaged 29.3 points and 4.5 points per game.
For the Hornets, it seems like Hayward is an easy option to give the ball to score on offense. Last year, most of the offense came from Rozier and Devonte’ Graham, but not Hayward has taken a lot of the load off their shoulders.
Since joining the Hornets, Hayward has been a very reliable option at the small forward position. The Hornets have not had this kind of consistent scoring production from the three-spot since Gerald Wallace was on the team.
As of late, a majority of the scoring has been by the Hornets’ guards. With Haywards’ scoring so bar this season, he’s one of the first small forwards to lead the team in scoring since the late 2000s when Wallace was still in Charlotte.
At this point, we can’t put away the thought of saying we overpaid for Hayward. He’s doing exactly what he was paid to do, and that’s being a human bucket for Charlotte.
Hayward’s leadership ability also needs to be considered, as his coaches and teammates think a lot about him. Coach Borrego recently said, “He gives us calm and poise out there.”
Cody Zeller and Bismack Biyombo would’ve likely been the only veteran leaders on this team if it wasn’t for Hayward’s signing. Hayward has been to the playoffs multiple times, and he might be the key to helping the Hornets get back there.
From here on out, I expect Hayward to continue leading this team in scoring and helping the young guys on the team. The Charlotte Hornets have a lot to look forward to with Hayward at the helm.