The Charlotte Hornets could use a small forward like Gordon Hayward but that would take a big deal to get the rising 26-year-old star to Steve Clifford’s fold.
Though Hayward is currently sitting out due to a broken finger, the bigger picture is NBA Free Agency 2017 where he is expected to opt out of his contract with the Utah Jazz and test the waters. Multiple teams are interested in acquiring his services such as the Boston Celtics.
Can Hornets Beat Celtics To The Punch?
There is no question that the Hornets have had their eyes on Hayward and the interest seems to be mutual. Had that max $63 million deal gone down back in 2014, the talented forward would have been donning the Hornets jersey, ESPN reported.
The Jazz, of course, matched that offer sheet though the scenario changes in 2017. Hayward can opt out and Charlotte could have another chance at (finally) signing him to their fold. Hence, it may all depend on the pitches coming the way of Hayward with the Jazz unlikely to let him go easily.
Other than the Hornets, the Boston Celtics could be another potential destination. Danny Ainge has been perfectly rebuilding the Celtics as seen this year when they got Al Horford on their end.
A driving factor could be Brad Stevens as well. He and Hayward go back to their Butler University days so if there is anyone who knows how to utilize Hayward well, Stevens is the guy, CBS reported.
If not, the Hornets could rise among the ranks with the addition of the high-scoring forward. But to do that, Charlotte needs to do a good job pitching next Summer and pray that their efforts would be enough to add a promising player who may even become the team’s new franchise player.