Friday, May 24, 2024

Thunder up: OKC trades for veteran Gordon Hayward

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.

(Photograph by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Photos)

The Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder are killing it this season, and so they simply made one of many greatest 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 shall 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 throughout the 2017-2018 season, Hayward struggling a season ending damage in his Celtics debut. He finally 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 workforce.

There are damage issues

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 through the years and can embrace his new function with such vibrant, gifted workforce. Who is aware of, possibly he’ll slot in as a starter at instances.

By means 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 p.c from deep, and 46.8 p.c 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; nevertheless, he hasn’t performed over 52 video games for the reason that 2018-2019 season. Within the 2022-2023 marketing campaign, he was held to simply 50 video games, and had a mix of 93 video games performed from 2020-2022.

Why Hayward suits in with OKC

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 carry passing and motion alongside the perimeter. A participant that may create his personal shot, the wing ought to present depth behind Giddey, who might 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 workforce who’s exceptionally younger. For a roster that is the third youngest within the NBA (24.1 years previous), they’ve definitely impressed and made headlines this season. It isn’t 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, nevertheless it’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 for the reason that 2019-2020 season, and now discover themselves essentially the most interesting workforce 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 among the finest high 6 in west. Actually, their present beginning unit averages the fourth most whole minutes (539) and stay a high 5 offensive workforce.

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 method within the depth chart, behind Giddey and Cason Wallace. Simply 23 years previous, 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 skills. At one level, he was the second scoring possibility behind Gilgeous-Alexander. He’ll change 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 completely 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 completed NBA participant, Hayward once more joins a contender and an opportunity to compete for an NBA Championship.

The perfect half about this deal? The Thunder did not need to half methods with any of their core gamers, and so they do not tackle a participant with a hefty wage. With an analogous play type to Josh Giddey, Hayward can have impacts on function gamers resembling 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 give attention to the NBA, WNBA, NCAA Basketball, and the NFL. Sara Jane at present 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.

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