Three Charlotte Hornets that tanked their trade value this season

Gordon Hayward, Charlotte Hornets (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
Gordon Hayward, Charlotte Hornets (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /
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Some players really showed a lot of promise for the up-and-coming Charlotte Hornets. Sure, the  2022-23 season was lackluster overall. But there were players that distinguished themselves as potential contributors to a building franchise. There were other players, though, that had bad seasons. Seasons that were so disappointing, that they ruined their trade value for a team obviously looking to add future assets or cap flexibility.

These are their stories.

Gordon Hayward

Hayward’s season was a positive one in some respects. He finally broke the 50-game mark for games played in a season in a Charlotte Hornets uniform. He’ll head into the offseason healthy for the first time since joining the franchise.

Unfortunately, that is about all the good news Hayward got this last season. He shot poorly from deep. His 32.4% from beyond the arc was the lowest in his career since 2013-14 (2017-18 not included because of his injury in the first game of the season). His 14.5 points per game were his lowest since he signed with Charlotte. And in an odd way, his health and subsequent poor on-court production were what made him untradeable in a season the team understood they were in rebuilding mode.

Before this season, Hayward would have flashes of incredibly efficient, quality play.  He was as close to a metronome as one would find on a basketball court. His only, glaring, downfall was that he couldn’t stay healthy. Now, with a reasonably healthy year under his belt, he performs poorly. That made him as untradeable as the inability to stay on the court did previously. The one saving grace for his trade prospects is that he is entering the final year of his deal. If he balls out early next season, the Hornets will be motivated to find him a destination and a team attempting to win the title might be willing to gamble on him.