There is not a single person on this entire planet who can say with 100% certainty how this season will play out for the Charlotte Hornets. This team could make a run toward postseason play in the form of the Play-In Tournament, or they could struggle again, finishing with one of the worst records in the league. Should the latter happen, the Hornets could end up parting ways with a veteran player on an expiring contract.
That player would be Gordon Hayward. Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey specifically named Hayward as the Hornets’ entry in the recently published Trade Predictions for Every NBA Team This Season, and it is easy to see why. Charlotte could struggle this season, and that may lead to exploring possible trades with the few veterans that are on their roster.
"“If the Hornets are near the bottom of the East in February, which feels like a real possibility, the front office will likely explore moving veterans like Terry Rozier and Gordon Hayward. If Hayward is still healthy by that point, some contender may be interested in a half-season rental of the versatile forward, who’s on an expiring contract.”"
It is hard to argue with the logic used here. While the possibility does exist that the Hornets could play better than everyone expects them to, there is a reason why the team is projected to have such a win total. Should the season go the way most expect, it would be wise to shop and trade anyone on the roster over the age of 25. A group that consists of Hayward, Terry Rozier, Cody Martin, and the recently signed Ish Smith.
The important thing to remember about any potential trades of these players is that it is not about the return they get but rather the secondary benefit of clearing minutes to distribute to players who will make up the foundation of their roster moving forward. This is an organization that should always have its eyes on the future until they take the several steps forward required to be a more competitive team.