Gordon Hayward is currently in the middle of a four-year, $120 million contract with the Charlotte Hornets.
It is unclear what the expectation was when the front office originally made this move for the oft-injured sharpshooter, but to say that Hayward has struggled to remain healthy would be an understatement.
Over the past two seasons he has played 44 games in 2020 and 49 games in 2021. This year, Hayward has already missed time with a shoulder injury.
Nevertheless, when he is healthy – Hayward is a strong player. So far in 2022-23 he is averaging 17.4 points per game on 47.2 percent shooting from the field and 35.7 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
On the right team, one willing to accept the albatross that is his contract, Hayward can still be an asset.
During a recent conversation with NBA insider Sean Deveney, one Eastern Conference executive posited that there are two legitimate potential destinations for Hayward.
“Hayward (currently out with a shoulder injury) is a gamble because it’s been five years since he was actually healthy,” the exec said.
“But he’s only got one year after this one (at $31.5 million) and there are teams that probably need to take a gamble if they’re going to win a title—[the Dallas Mavericks are] one, and [the] Miami [Heat]… He has some versatility to his game. But again, can he stay on the floor? Is he worth the risk?”
It will be interesting to see where all parties involved go from here.
So far this year Hayward’s wife has made far more headlines for her off-the-court exploits than he has for his on-the-court accomplishments. Between her memorable beach day photos and her provocative bath tub video – it has been one thing after another with her.
Chargers fans are coping with the loss in their own special way. https://t.co/68BhkruIru
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 17, 2022
Will he be able to steal the attention back from his wife and actually return to some semblance of the player he was in 2016 for the Utah Jazz?
Time will tell.