Hornets rumors: Gordon Hayward predicted to be traded

Gordon Hayward, Charlotte Hornets (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
Gordon Hayward, Charlotte Hornets (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /

When it comes to a player that the Charlotte Hornets could trade this season, there is one obvious answer. Gordon Hayward. Hayward was one of several players named by Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey in his recently published article, Predicting Top NBA Stars and Players Traded This Season. Bailey did not mince words when noting why Hayward ended up on this list.

"“The explanation here is pretty simple. Expiring contracts can still hold some value for teams looking to move unwanted long-term salary, and 2023-24 is the final season of Gordon Hayward’s deal. “"

Bailey notes a very possible scenario that could lead to Hayward being traded.

"“The other version of this involves Hayward checking two of the three boxes above by staying healthy and playing well for a Hornets team that is still somewhere between bad and mediocre.”"

This is something that seems almost destined to happen. The Hornets have a lot of issues and are a team where their best days are clearly in front of them. Charlotte is hoping that LaMelo Ball and Brandon Miller can lead the team back to relevance, but that is going to take some time. Ball needs to show he can stay healthy and take the next step from star to superstar. Miller, the second-overall pick, has a lot to prove, and it is going to take some time for him to get to the level that the Hornets believe he can reach.

It is about the Hornets organization understanding where they are in the competitive cycle. Their current position? Not competitive. This is the time in that cycle when it is wise to move veterans who will not be on the team when they finally return to being a competitive team. Hayward fits the criteria of a player that the Hornets could move, and it would not be surprising to see him finish the 2023-24 season elsewhere.