Of all the players on the Charlotte Hornets' roster who could be traded this season, Gordon Hayward was at the top of that list. A 33-year-old veteran who is in the final year of his contract, the widely held expectation was that he could be moved should the Hornets struggle early on. With a record of 5-11, it is pretty safe to say that this qualifies as struggling, and that is why it is not a surprise to see Hayward's name be mentioned as someone who could be moved sooner rather than later.
A report from Hoops Hype's Michael Scotto states that multiple playoff-caliber teams have contacted the Hornets about Hayward. Charlotte does not appear to be motivated to trade him at this time due to still trying to find a way into the postseason, a relatively lofty aspiration at the beginning of the season that is pretty much out of the question as things stand currently.
The reason for doubting the Hornets' playoff chances is pretty simple. This was a team that struggled to win games to begin with, and now they are going to be without their best player for an extended period of time. LaMelo Ball reinjured his surgically repaired right ankle and has what has been described as a serious sprain. Not having Ball is going to make Charlotte's quest for the postseason pretty much impossible, considering they were slim-to-none with the former third overall pick in their lineup.
With Charlotte's winning frequency likely to decrease without Ball, it could alter their plans for how they want to handle their roster. This is a team that was going to need everything to go just right to even have a shot at the playoffs, but that was not in the cards this season. The Hornets continue to face an uphill battle to win games, much less go on a run that results in being in a position to continue playing once the regular season comes to an end.
Should a contending team come to the Hornets with an offer that has anything remotely valuable, it would be in their best interest to take it and not think twice. It is incredibly unlikely that Hayward will be a Hornet next season, and the organization can get as much as they can, while they can, for his services.