Gordon Hayward’s tenure with the Charlotte Hornets is coming to an end. The veteran forward has one year remaining on his current contract and has been floated as a potential trade chip since the end of last season.
The Hornets’ front office has remained patient this summer, making minimal changes to the roster outside of the additions made on draft night.
Hayward’s value could increase in the coming months as contending teams around the NBA look to give themselves a little boost.
There’s also a chance the Hornets could look to get involved in a larger trade so that they can facilitate a deal and acquire some fresh talent for their troubles. Facilitating a deal is sometimes the easiest route to moving on from bloated contracts while still getting players with upside, as every team has something to gain from the trade going through.
In a recent article for All U Can Heat, Gabriel Coelho floated a mock trade that would see the Hornets help route Damian Lillard to the Miami Heat and, in return, land 2022 Sixth Man of the Year Tyler Herro.
What would the Charlotte Hornets be giving up in the trade?
The three-team trade proposal from Coelho looks like this:
Heat receives: Damian Lillard, Cody Martin
Trail Blazers receive: Gordon Hayward, Jaime Jaquez Jr., Nikola Jovic, 2026 (top-five protected) and 2028 (top-10 protected) first-round picks via CHA, 2028 and 2030 first-round picks via MIA
Hornets receive Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson
The Hornets would be moving on from Gordon Hayward, a 2026 first-round pick, and a 2028 first-round pick in the proposed deal. In return, Charlotte would improve their rotation with Herro and Robinson – two offensively gifted players that would elevate Charlotte’s overall offensive potency.
Does the three-team trade involving Charlotte make sense for Portland?
If the Portland Trail Blazers want to maximize their return for Damian Lillard, Coelho’s trade proposal could get the deal over the line.
Hayward is part of this deal for salary matching purposes and would leave the franchise in the summer. Jaime Jaquez Jr. and Nikola Jovic are two highly-rated young talents who could develop alongside Scoot Henderson and Anfernee Simons.
While the three first-round draft picks Portland would receive, and the trade quickly provides them with the assets necessary to have a strong rebuild in the coming years.
Portland would be getting a haul of young talent and valuable draft picks while ending the Lillard saga and starting their season on the right foot. This deal could make sense for Portland.
Does the three-team trade involving Charlotte make sense for Miami?
The Miami Heat want Damian Lillard. And Lillard wants to play for the Miami Heat. As such, any deal not involving Jimmy Butler or Bam Adebayo is something Miami would likely entertain. However, Coelho’s trade proposal does gut Miami’s depth and would force them to scour the G-League and free-agent market to rebuild their roster.
Herro is a key member of Miami’s rotation, yet he is also the player Miami would most likely have to part with in order to obtain Lillard. Giving up Jaquez Jr. and Jovic would put pressure on the Heat to find some legitimate impact makers for the upcoming season, as they would no longer have any developmental projects on their roster.
Miami is in win-now mode, so moving on from draft capital likely wouldn’t be a deal-breaker for them. The price is steep, but if you want a superstar player, that’s what you have to pay. As such, Miami would likely part with the assets being floated in this trade proposal.