Posts Tagged ‘Gordon Hayward’

Gordon Hayward is among the names the Charlotte Hornets are shopping with one of their two first-round picks in this year’s draft, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reports.

The one-time All-Star is set to make a team-high $30.1 million next season, and the Hornets offloading the remaining two years on his contract would clear cap space to re-sign Miles Bridges, adds Windhorst.

Charlotte acquired Hayward two years ago in a sign-and-trade deal with the Boston Celtics. The Butler product has averaged 17.6 points, 5.2 boards, 3.8 assists, and 1.1 steals while shooting 40.2% from beyond the arc during his Hornets tenure. However, various injuries have limited him to just 93 appearances for the club.

Meanwhile, Bridges is coming off a breakout 2021-22 campaign. He registered career bests in points (20.2 per game), rebounds (7.0), and assists (3.8) en route to a seventh-place finish in last season’s Most Improved Player award voting.

Charlotte owns the 13th and 15th selections in Thursday’s draft.

Charlotte Hornets forward Gordon Hayward has been diagnosed with a right foot sprain, the team announced Saturday.

He’ll be re-evaluated in approximately four weeks.

Hayward suffered the injury during Friday’s win over the Indiana Pacers.

After arriving in Charlotte as part of a sign-and-trade with the Boston Celtics this past offseason, the 31-year-old has helped the fourth-seeded Hornets compile a 25-23 record.

Hayward’s injury is the latest blow to a Charlotte team that is without star rookie LaMelo Ball. The third overall pick in the 2020 draft is expected to miss the remainder of the campaign with a fractured wrist.

Hayward is averaging 19.6 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 4.1 assists while shooting 41.4% from distance in 44 starts. He’s in the first season of a four-year, $120-million contract.

Michael Jordan - Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hornets owner Michael Jordan and general manager Mitch Kupchak had no intentions of spending money on a big-name free agent this offseason.

But things changed quickly when Gordon Hayward opted out of his contract with the Boston Celtics.

The prospect of getting a playmaking wing — something Jordan has coveted for years — proved too intriguing to ignore, prompting the Hornets to veer slightly away from their well established plan of developing young players and pursue the 2017 All-Star.

“I did not think that we would be in a position to pursue a free agent of Gordon’s caliber,” Kupchak said Tuesday on a videoconference call. “… It looked like Gordon would be a free agent next year, which based on how we felt our team was positioned we might have chosen to pursue him next year. But he opted out. When he opted out and we quickly found out we were in the picture, we quickly started the recruiting process.”

Kupchak said Jordan was “very involved” in that process.

The six-time NBA champion sent text messages to Hayward and called him twice, hoping to lure him to Charlotte six years after giving him a four-year $64 million offer sheet as a restricted free agent that the Utah Jazz ultimately matched. The offer sheet, Hayward said, meant a lot to him.

“He texted me that he has wanted me for years,” Hayward said. “… He was just saying how he would be really excited to have me here in Charlotte and thinks I can make a huge difference and have a big impact on helping this team and being a difference maker. So that was the main message: helping us get to that next level.”

Despite Jordan’s phone calls and the Hornets’ big push, Kupchak said he still didn’t have a good feeling about landing Hayward when free agency began. But as the first day of the signing period began, talks quickly heated up with Hayward’s agent and the result was a four-year, $120 million contract agreement drawing a congratulatory phone call from Jordan.

Hayward, who averaged 17.5 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game last season, said the decision to opt out of his deal wasn’t so much about his role with the Celtics as it was the intrigue of helping build Charlotte into a winning franchise.

The Hornets have failed to reach the playoffs in each of the last four seasons.

“The more and more conversations that I had with the coaching staff and with some of the front office guys, the vision that they had, the impact they believe I can have, helping us get to the next level — that was very powerful for me,” said Hayward.

Hornets coach James Borrego is brimming with excitement over the addition of Hayward and No. 3 overall draft pick LaMelo Ball, players he considers outstanding playmakers with great size.

He can’t wait to get the 6-foot-7 tandem on the floor Friday when the Hornets have their first team practice of training camp.

“For him to leave a storied franchise like that, I just didn’t expect it,” Borrego said.

Hayward suffered a significant injury in 2017 when he fractured his tibia and dislocated ankle in his first game with the Celtics. Last year he injured his ankle while Boston was playing in the NBA bubble in Orlando, Florida and was relegated to spot playing time for most of the postseason.

But Kupchak said Gordon passed the team’s physical examination “with flying colors.”

The GM also has no problem that Hayward is 30 years old, saying the former Butler star is “in the prime of his career.”

The Hornets acquired unprotected second round draft picks in 2023 and 2024 from the Celtics as part of the sign-and-trade deal for Hayward. They surrendered a protected second-round pick next year that will only wind up going to Boston if Charlotte shocks the NBA world and finishes in the top five in the league.

“He’s a bona fide starter in this league and we are happy to add him not only at a position of great need, which is a true wing, but we are also excited to have his leadership and stability in the locker room,” Kupchak said.

Kupchak said the addition of Hayward and their draft picks leaves the Hornets about $4 million under the NBA salary cap this year and a projected $27 million under for next year, despite the decision to stretch the contract of Nicolas Batum, who was waived on Sunday.

“We’re in a good place,” Kupchak said. “We are trying to add to our talent base, and I think we have done that.”

Charlotte Hornets: Will Gordon Hayward prove to be worth it?

Gordon Hayward‘s time with the Boston Celtics didn’t go exactly as planned.

The 6-foot-7 forward suffered a gruesome leg injury in his Celtics debut, and other injuries also sidelined him throughout the remainder of his tenure in Boston.

Despite the hardships, Hayward still looks back fondly on his three seasons in Beantown.

“There’s no ill will on my end from anybody within the Boston organization, the players,” Hayward told reporters Tuesday, according to ESPN’s Nick Friedell. “I had an unbelievable time in Boston and I think that it’s unfortunate what happened; I obviously had a freak injury right when I got there. And there’s a lot of things that were kind of out of my control when I was in Boston.

“But I had a great time there and still have great relationships with the people there and some of the players there.”

Hayward, who added that he also holds no “ill will” toward Boston, didn’t live up to the four-year, $128-million contract he signed with the Celtics in 2017, though he showed signs of his previous All-Star form last season.

The Butler product averaged 17.5 points, a career-high 6.7 boards, and 4.1 assists across 52 appearances during the 2019-20 campaign.

Hayward inked a four-year, $120-million contract with the Charlotte Hornets after declining his $34.2-million player option with the Celtics for the upcoming season.

Boston Celtics: Initial reactions to Gordon Hayward signing with Charlotte

The Charlotte Hornets finalized their acquisition of Gordon Hayward as part of a sign-and-trade agreement with the Boston Celtics.

Charlotte will receive two future second-round picks and send a conditional future second-rounder to the Celtics. Boston will receive a trade exception in the deal.

Hayward had reportedly agreed to a four-year, $120-million contract with Charlotte earlier in November. However, rather than simply absorbing Hayward’s salary into their open cap space, the Hornets and Celtics opened discussions on a potential sign-and-trade that would benefit both teams.

In Boston’s case, the expected $27.9-million trade exception created – Hayward’s assumed first-year salary in his new deal – would be the largest in the NBA’s history, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks.

A trade exception lasts one year from the day it’s created. It allows a team over the cap to acquire a player in a trade without having to send offsetting salaries in exchange.

The move officially brings an end to Hayward’s stint in Boston following three injury-marred seasons. He missed nearly his entire first year with the Celtics after suffering an ankle fracture five minutes into his team debut and struggled to return to the form he displayed with the Utah Jazz.

Hayward averaged 13.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 3.6 assists in three seasons with Boston and appeared in just 125 games.

To open up room for Hayward, the Hornets waived forward Nicolas Batum earlier Sunday. He’s reportedly expected to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers once he clears waivers.

Celtics' Gordon Hayward turns down $34M player option for 2020-21 season,  becomes free agent, per report -

If Charlotte Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak can work a little trade magic, Gordon Hayward‘s departure from the Boston Celtics won’t leave his former employer empty-handed.

Rather than simply signing Hayward’s reported four-year, $120-million deal into cap space, the Hornets are exploring acquiring the 30-year-old former All-Star via sign-and-trade, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

However, the deal is contingent on Charlotte making a second move: Kupchak must now find a third team willing to take on Nicolas Batum‘s expiring $27.1-million salary for 2020-21. Otherwise, the Hornets would need to stretch-and-waive the Frenchman, keeping him on the team’s books as a $9-million cap hit for the next three seasons.

Batum’s services likely won’t be in high demand. The 31-year-old made just 22 appearances in 2019-20 – the fourth season of his monster five-year, $120-million deal – and averaged 3.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, and three assists per game. Charlotte will undoubtedly have to attach future draft assets to incentivize a team to take on Batum’s deal, regardless of whether the next team chooses to keep him, stretch his contract, or waive him outright.

The Celtics would create a substantial trade exception by moving Hayward via a sign-and-trade. General manager Danny Ainge would have increased flexibility on the market for the next calendar year, helping Boston avoid effectively losing the 2017 All-Star for nothing.


Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward is expected to miss four weeks after suffering a Grade 3 right ankle sprain in Game 1 against the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday, the team announced.

Hayward attempted to secure a defensive rebound with 3:25 remaining in the fourth quarter but rolled his ankle upon landing underneath the Celtics’ basket. He was removed from the game during the next break in play and didn’t return.

The early timeline will likely sideline Hayward until at least the Eastern Conference finals, if Boston progresses that far. The conference finals are currently scheduled to begin Sept. 15.

The 30-year-old finished with 12 points, four rebounds, four steals, and three assists in 34 minutes Monday. The Celtics held on to defeat the 76ers 109-101 to take a 1-0 lead in the series.


Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward revealed Tuesday a nerve issue is behind the left foot soreness that’s ruled him out of the team’s last three games, according to Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports.

Hayward believes it stems from the gruesome ankle and leg fracture he suffered in 2017 during his Celtics debut.

“I think it has everything to do with my prior injury,” he said, courtesy of Brian Robb of the Boston Sports Journal. “I didn’t get hurt on my right foot, so when you have a traumatic event like that to your foot and ankle, things are going to change inside of there that you don’t know necessarily.

“I think they start to poke their head a little bit if it gets tweaked in some way or another. I don’t think it’s a coincidence it’s on my left foot.”

After he received a cortisone injection in his foot, the Celtics listed Hayward as probable for Wednesday’s Christmas Day contest against the Toronto Raptors. The 29-year-old forward says neither he or the team understand why the pain in his foot is flaring up now.

“That’s kind of been the frustrating piece is that we haven’t figured out exactly what the issue is,” he said, according to Jay King of The Athletic. “Structurally my foot is fine.

“We did all the imaging we needed to do and did it a second time as well. So I hope this cortisone injection works.”

Hayward has been plagued by injury since joining the Celtics prior to 2017-18. After missing all but the first game of that season, he returned for 2018-19 and had the worst scoring campaign since his rookie year.

The former Utah Jazz star was back to his old self to start this season but fractured his hand in a freak play against the San Antonio Spurs, causing him to miss the next 13 games. Upon returning, he played in three games before his current foot ailment sent him back to the sidelines.

The Utah Jazz suffered a debilitating loss in free agency when Gordon Haywarddeparted Salt Lake City to reunite with Brad Stevens in Boston. That could have been enough to send the organization on a downward spiral toward tanking in 2017-18 to secure a higher pick.

Bolstering the roster with more talent like Ricky Rubio and striking gold with the No. 13 pick in Donovan Mitchell has more than compensated for losing Hayward. Utah owns the fifth seed in the competitive Western Conference with a 40-30 record, and considering what the alternative could have been, new franchise cornerstone Rudy Gobert is thrilled the Jazz never waved the white flag.

“Just try to teach players how to make winning plays, not only good basketball plays but winning plays,” Gobert told USA Today’s Sam Amick when describing head coach Quin Snyder’s system. “Teach every single one to help the team win games.

“A lot of teams are very good doing skill work, strength work. But if you want to win, you have to teach a player how to win. That’s why I don’t believe in tanking, all that stuff. I believe you learn how to win by winning. You don’t learn how to win by losing on purpose to get a 19-year-old who you’ve never seen.”

The Jazz have tasted defeat only twice since Jan. 24, and are currently in the midst of a nine-game winning streak, which is the third-longest in the Association behind Portlandand Toronto. They’re also one of three teams (Toronto and Boston) ranking in the top five in both defense and net rating.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver sent out a memo on Feb. 21 to all 30 teams stressing that intentionally throwing games wouldn’t be tolerated, and that any team caught doing so would be punished.

This came as a result of Mavericks owner Mark Cuban saying during a podcast appearance that “losing is our best option” with Dallas far out of the playoff picture. Those comments wound up costing him $500,000.

The road to recovery for Gordon Hayward is far from just physical.

The Boston Celtics small forward revealed he’s been experiencing depression during rehab from his horrific leg injury. Moreover, he said the mental toll has “definitely” been more difficult to cope with than the pain from his dislocated left ankle and fractured tibia.

“It’s been painful, but it’s nothing like sitting around watching the team you were supposed to be playing with this year,” said Wednesday on “The Dan Patrick Show.”

“I signed to play for the Boston Celtics this year now to only sit and watch the Boston Celtics this year. That part has been difficult and much more difficult to deal with than the pain.”

The 27-year-old All-Star said he won’t be able to play again until he can run that backdoor alley-oop set play – which he’s connected on so many times before with the Utah Jazz – without thinking about it twice.

“That’s another hurdle at the end there where I may be physically 100 percent, but I have to be mentally there as well.”

Hayward meets with a sports psychologist once a week to help him stay positive. He wouldn’t provide a timeline on when he’ll be back, only saying he’s focused on getting better every day so he can return as soon as possible – whether that’s later this season or sometime the next.

“I work out every day to try to increase my range of motion and increase my strength in my legs so that I can be back as fast as I can,” he said. “Whether that’s this year or this summer or next year, I will just let that happen. But for sure, as a competitor, I’m just trying to come back faster than anyone has ever done it.”

The 6-foot-8 forward signed with Boston over the offseason and suffered his gruesome injury just five minutes into his debut. He averaged 21.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and a steal last season.