Hornets will have more difficulty winning without Gordon Hayward

Charlotte Hornets v Los Angeles Clippers
Charlotte Hornets v Los Angeles Clippers / Allen Berezovsky/GettyImages

It appears that the Charlotte Hornets are going to be without the services of another member of their starting lineup. Gordon Hayward suffered a calf injury in Charlotte's loss to the Los Angeles Clippers earlier this week and is going to be sidelined for at least the next two weeks. At that time, Hayward will be reevaluated to determine what his return timeline will be.

Hayward has appeared in 25 games for Charlotte this season, averaging 14.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 4.6 assists in 31.9 minutes. Even though this is on the lower end of his production output over the course of his career, these contributions will still be missed.

It is not entirely about losing Hayward, but rather the Hornets not being a team that can really afford to see more players removed from the equation. Charlotte has been without LaMelo Ball for quite some time, which already put the team behind the eight ball when it came to being competitive. Ball is Charlotte's best player and what gives the Hornets their best chance of winning, although it did not happen all that often when he was in the lineup this season. But seeing another one of their better players go down with an injury will make any possibility of winning consistently near impossible.

The 2023-24 season continues to head in the wrong direction for the Charlotte Hornets. This was not a roster that was actually capable of contending as those in charge wrongfully believed. The flawed nature of the roster's construction is only being exposed more, as it is clear they cannot withstand seeing any of their best players miss time.

With the issues of this roster and the chances of winning continuing to decrease by the day, it is only a matter of time before the plug is actually pulled and the few movable players who would be of interest to contending teams are moved. Hayward would be one of those players, but his recent injury could put plans of trading him to a contender on hold for the time being. Once he returns and shows that he can still play productive basketball, it would not be surprising to see the Hornets trade him ahead of the deadline.