Hornets trade Gordon Hayward to Thunder

The Oklahoma City Thunder fortified their roster for a playoff push by acquiring Gordon Hayward from the Charlotte Hornets for guards Tre Mann and Vasilije Micic and forward Davis Bertans on Thursday.

The Hornets also received a 2024 second-round pick and a 2025 second-rounder in the deal.

“I’ve never been part of a trade deadline deal — the last few days have been quite an adventure,” Hayward wrote on social media. “Charlotte has been an amazing home for our family & we are so grateful to the fans & Hornets for the past 4 years. While change is never easy, I’m excited to get to OKC and work!”

Hayward is averaging 14.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game this season for the Hornets, although he hasn’t played since Dec. 26 because of a left calf issue. Injuries have been a constant issue for Hayward for years, as he has played 52 or fewer games in each of the past five seasons, including 25 games this season.

The 6-foot-7 forward does, however, provide the kind of versatile size on the wing that the Thunder have prioritized and gives a young Oklahoma City team pushing toward its first playoff appearance since 2020 — and doing so as a top seed in the Western Conference — an additional shooter and passer on the perimeter.

Hayward, who turns 34 next month, is making $31.5 million this season, the last year of his deal, and is set to hit free agency this summer.

Mann, 23, was the 18th overall pick in the 2021 draft. He has played in only 13 games this season after playing in over 60 each of the past two seasons. Mann should get a chance at more minutes on a Charlotte team entering a full rebuild under new owners Rick Schnall and Gabe Plotkin.

The Hornets have traded away Terry Rozier and now Hayward in recent weeks.

Bertans, 31, played in 15 games this season for Oklahoma City after being acquired as part of a deal that saw the Thunder jump from 12th to 10th in the 2023 draft to select guard Cason Wallace.

The move also created a trade exception as part of the deal.

 

Reference

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