4 Charlotte Hornets who may not be back next season

Dennis Smith Jr., Charlotte Hornets Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Dennis Smith Jr., Charlotte Hornets Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /
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Gordon Hayward, Charlotte Hornets
Gordon Hayward, Charlotte Hornets Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports /

4. Gordon Hayward

And now, for the player everyone was waiting for. What better candidate is there to begin next season somewhere besides Charlotte than Gordon Hayward? The 13-year league veteran’s three years with the franchise have not really gone according to plan, with his numbers falling each season and a handful of nagging injuries beginning to add up.

In 2022-23, Gordon finally reached 50 games played in a season for the first time since the 2019-20 season when he suited up with the Boston Celtics. His injuries have unfortunately been one of the main storylines of his career in the last several years, with a shoulder injury causing him to miss a large chunk of this past season.

When he is on the floor, Hayward still brings solid production but he does appear to be gradually declining. His scoring prowess is not what it used to be, and his efficiency is suffering. There is growing frustration from the Hornets’ fanbase around him and many feel that the team should move on this summer.

Gordon is still under contract in Charlotte for the 2023-24 season and will become an unrestricted free agent next summer. If the Hornets can find a suitor, they may try to execute a sign-and-trade before the start of next season. Otherwise, they will likely try to flip his expiring contract to a contender at next year’s trade deadline.

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