Is there a situation that could play out this season that could result in the Charlotte Hornets parting ways with one of the few veterans on their roster? That is a scenario that has been predicted to play out by Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley.
Buckley has the Hornets dealing Gordon Hayward to embrace the tank for Charlotte’s entry in his 10 Trade Predictions for 2023-24 NBA Season. Buckley believes that the Hornets do not necessarily need to trade players of notable value, but rather move a veteran who is in the last year of his contract.
"“An everything-must-go type of liquidation isn’t required, but dealing Gordon Hayward on the final season of his contract seems like a no-brainer. Depending on what the market offers, it could make sense to swap out Terry Rozier, too.”"
This seems to be the most likely path for the Hornets to take as the season progresses. Charlotte is more than likely a team that is going to miss out on any sort of postseason play. Taking that into consideration, it would not be entirely shocking to see someone such as Hayward being moved before the trade deadline.
It is about the long game for the Hornets. Charlotte must keep their focus on the future as they are at a point in their competitive cycle where they are still a few years away from being anything close to something resembling a winning team. To get there, they must operate in a manner that results in the younger players on their roster getting the lion’s share of minutes moving forward.
Charlotte must distribute the majority of playing time to the players on the roster who are 25 years old or younger. This excludes the likes of Hayward, Terry Rozier, and Ish Smith, who are more valuable to teams that are in a state of contention rather than the Hornets’ current position of trying to escape the basement of the Eastern Conference.