The Charlotte Hornets will be faced with many decisions during the upcoming season. One of which would be who they may look to trade to a contending team before the NBA trade deadline. But which veteran player has recently been named as the most likely player to be traded by Charlotte during the season? According to Sir Charles in Charge’s Brandon Vella, that player is Gordon Hayward.
It is noted that Hayward’s time in Charlotte has always seemed to have a definitive end date. The 33-year-old veteran’s time could come to an end as soon as the upcoming deadline due to it being very unlikely his time in a Hornets’ uniform is extended beyond this season.
"“Gordon Hayward has seemingly been on the trade block for his entire tenure with the Charlotte Hornets, but this year might be the year he is moved. It can be assumed the Hornets do not plan on bringing him back this upcoming offseason.His expiring contract can be valuable to a team trying to cut costs as well as freeing up more minutes for second-overall pick Brandon Miller among many other young prospects. Plus, Hayward is a player who could help a playoff-contending team.”"
This is incredibly sound logic. Hayward is in the final year of the four-year contract he signed with Charlotte before the 2020-21 season and could be of interest to a contending team that could use some veteran experience for a playoff run. While this seems like a match for an up-and-coming Hornets team, they are still at least one year away from making a genuine postseason appearance.
There is also the presence of rookie Brandon Miller. Charlotte selected Miller with the second overall pick in the most recent NBA Draft, making it increasingly likely that the Hornets will fully embrace the youth movement by moving Hayward.
It truly feels that is a question of when, not if, the Hornets move Hayward this season. This is a team that has their best years ahead of them, and would be better off moving Hayward to a contending team. This would free up minutes that can be allocated to the younger players on their roster who need them to develop properly.