On the morning of the NBA commerce deadline, the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder made an enormous splash for veteran guard Gordon Hayward. Within the deal, OKC retain core gamers.
The Oklahoma City Thunder are killing it this season, they usually simply made one of many largest strikes earlier than the three p.m. ET commerce deadline.
Thursday morning, OKC acquired veteran swingman Gordon Hayward from the Charlotte Hornets, in change for guard Tre Mann, and ahead David Bertans. The No. 1 seed within the west, the Thunder proceed to make strikes for this yr’s playoff push.
Hayward, who can be an unrestricted free agent this summer time, is within the final yr of his 4-year, $120 Million contract signed with Charlotte in 2020. As soon as traded to Boston through the 2017-2018 season, Hayward struggling a season ending harm in his Celtics debut. He in the end left for Charlotte in free company three years later.
14 months after signing with Charlotte, the wingman alluded to that reality he wished to “maximize” his full basketball potential. In one other phrases, he wished to be “the man” in Charlotte. Discuss coming round full circle. On the time, Hayward shared the courtroom with a number of high-profile athletes, together with Kyrie Irving, Al Horford, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Marcus Good. Now, he’ll be a part of an inspiring, loaded OKC crew.
There are harm issues
Celebrating Gordon Hayward’s bday with some highlights from his All-Star days in Utah!
👀 Dunk on Giannis
👀 Chasedown Block on LeBron pic.twitter.com/oDr9O3rvYF
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) March 23, 2020
A frequent starter in each season since his rookie yr, and second season in Boston, can Hayward settle for his function off the bench? He is began a complete of 646 instances in 809 profession video games, together with all 25 this season. Maybe he is matured over time and can embrace his new function with such vibrant, proficient crew. Who is aware of, possibly he’ll slot in as a starter at instances.
By way of 25 video games this season, the 33-year-old is averaging 14.5 factors, 4.7 rebounds, 4.6 assists, and 1.1 steals. The previous Butler star is capturing 36.1 % from deep, and 46.8 % from the ground. Lacking 25 video games this season, Hayward has been coping with a left calf pressure. He hasn’t suited as much as play since Dec. 26 vs. the Los Angeles Clippers.
There’re definitely some issues that include the deal. Hayward’s expertise is plain; nonetheless, he hasn’t performed over 52 video games because the 2018-2019 season. Within the 2022-2023 marketing campaign, he was held to simply 50 video games, and had a mixture of 93 video games performed from 2020-2022.
Why Hayward matches in with OKC
— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) December 16, 2023
Not the identical participant since his ankle and knee accidents, Hayward is not as explosive as he as soon as was. Nevertheless, he is nonetheless a prolific shooter, who will present some protection behind Luguentz Dort and Jalen Williams. thirteenth in three-point capturing, Hayward can even deliver passing and motion alongside the perimeter. A participant that may create his personal shot, the wing ought to present depth behind Giddey, who could be inconsistent at instances.
If wholesome, Hayward could possibly be the lacking piece the Thunder want, along with dimension subsequent to Chet Holmgren. At 6’7, the wingman would be the veteran presence for a Thunder crew who’s exceptionally younger. For a roster that is the third youngest within the NBA (24.1 years outdated), they’ve definitely impressed and made headlines this season. It is not the primary time Hayward has performed with a younger core of gamers. The Hornets have a number of gamers which might be 21 years and youthful and sit at 10-40 on the season.
I really like the match for a number of causes, one being Hayward has postseason expertise. He led the Utah Jazz to the Western Convention Semifinals in 2017. As a member of the Celtics, Hayward was a key a part of their run to the Japanese Convention Semifinals in opposition to the Miami Warmth in 2020. In 29 profession playoff video games, Hayward put up a stat line of 15 factors, 4.6 rebounds, and a pair of.9 assists. He would not have a ton of expertise, but it surely’s greater than most gamers on OKC’s present roster.
The previous ninth choose within the 2010 NBA Draft, Hayward will be a part of the Thunder, who don’t have anything to lose. The franchise hasn’t sniffed one little bit of the playoffs because the 2019-2020 season, and now discover themselves probably the most interesting crew within the western convention.
Led by All-Star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Hayward will be a part of a rotation that features rookie Chet Holmgren, Josh Giddey, Dort, and Jalen Williams. If wholesome, they simply have probably the greatest high 6 in west. Actually, their present beginning unit averages the fourth most whole minutes (539) and stay a high 5 offensive crew.
OKC did not have to surrender core gamers
Mann is a former first rounder within the 2021 NBA Draft. Though he is proven flashes of expertise, he misplaced his manner within the depth chart, behind Giddey and Cason Wallace. Simply 23 years outdated, Mann is averaging 3.8 factors, 1.8 rebounds, and 1.5 assists in 13 video games performed this season. Having handled accidents; he is one yr faraway from a 67-game season with OKC. With Lu Dort injured final season, Mann showcased his shot creation and perimeter scoring talents. At one level, he was the second scoring possibility behind Gilgeous-Alexander. He’ll turn into a restricted free agent in 2025.
Bertans, 31, is a nine-year NBA vet featured as a member of the San Antonio Spurs, Washington Wizards, Dallas Mavericks, Thunder, and now the Hornets. In 15 video games performed, he is averaging 2.9 factors. Not a totally assured contract, Bertans has the choice for early termination for subsequent season.
Charlotte is in full rebuild mode, after buying and selling Terry Rozier to the Miami Warmth earlier this yr, and now P.J. Washington to the Dallas Mavericks. An achieved NBA participant, Hayward once more joins a contender and an opportunity to compete for an NBA Championship.
The very best half about this deal? The Thunder did not should half methods with any of their core gamers, they usually do not tackle a participant with a hefty wage. With an identical play type to Josh Giddey, Hayward may have impacts on function gamers comparable to Kenrich Williams, Cason Wallace, and Aaron Wiggins. A brief-term wing with dimension is a good participant for Mark Daigneault, who will now have number of bench choices.
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Sara Jane Gamelli is a full-time Sportswriter, Content material Creator and Social Media Supervisor for Ballislife Bets. She has a concentrate on the NBA, WNBA, NCAA Basketball, and the NFL. Sara Jane at the moment resides in Connecticut/NYC space together with her Cat and Canine. SJ has her undergraduate diploma from the College of Connecticut in Economics, with a minor in enterprise administration.