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Report: Gordon Hayward to visit Hornets

Jul 4, 2014, 7:30 PM EST

Gordon Hayward, Al Jefferson Gordon Hayward, Al Jefferson

Al Jefferson, a veteran signed from Utah last summer on a deal many considered an overpay, unexpectedly lifted Charlotte into the playoffs.

His transformative effect on the team could be felt for years to come, but it also alters the present.

With higher expectations entering this season, the Hornets need more playmaking on the wing. Their long-term aspirations remain in tact, though.

It’s a tough line to balance.

Maybe another Jazz player – 24-year-old Gordon Hayward, who averaged 16.7 points, 6.3 assists and 6.2 rebounds per game last season – fits the bill.

Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer:

Forward-guard Gordon Hayward, one of the top free agents in this class, has scheduled a visit with the Charlotte Hornets for early next week, the Observer has learned.

Jefferson and Hayward are friends from their time together in Salt Lake City. A source familiar with the situation said Jefferson has been recruiting Hayward and will be part of the Hornets’ presentation next week.

The Hornets have enough cap room to offer Hayward a max offer sheet, and that’s probably what it would take to get him to sign. Enough other teams – the Cavaliers, Celtics, Suns – are hovering that I can’t imagine Hayward would guarantee himself a lower salary.

The Jazz are threatening to match, and I believe they will – though there’s reason for all sides to posture.

I like Hayward’s fit in Charlotte, and unless the Hornets really fear losing other targets while Utah delays three days to match an offer sheet, maybe the Hornets should take a swing at Hayward.

  1. rexgrossman8 - Jul 4, 2014 at 7:34 PM

    Sweet! …If it happens.

  2. dacapt704 - Jul 4, 2014 at 7:47 PM

    As long as we don’t overpay for him..definitely need a shooter and 3 man tho

    • kinggw - Jul 4, 2014 at 8:15 PM

      You drafted (or traded for) a shooter in Hairston and you have a 3 in MKG who isn’t bad, he just can’t shoot.

      MKG still isn’t 21 yet and his shooting will improve over time. I know Charlotte has some money to burn, however im fairly sure Cho and crew can find a better use of $15M per year than to give to Hayward, who is a nice player but isn’t a star and shouldn’t be paid like one.

      • ProBasketballPundit - Jul 4, 2014 at 9:14 PM

        I’m not sure MKG’s shot will improve over time. He has really bad form. And even if he improves he’ll still only be average. I like him and especially the effort he gives defensively but his career arc is Tony Allen at best.

  3. montrealknowledge - Jul 4, 2014 at 7:48 PM

    Only ninjas should be labelled as assassins…. They go through years of training… But a dude with a gun can just shoot someone and be an assassin… Clearly there will be no other comment on this article… I forget what article it is already… Take it off the site and send me the 5 cents per click you get.

  4. 00maltliquor - Jul 4, 2014 at 7:48 PM

    Ooooooh….interesting.

  5. sportsnut101 - Jul 4, 2014 at 7:58 PM

    I hope they get him utah doesnt know what to do anymore
    They had bigs and let them go for nothing

  6. kinggw - Jul 4, 2014 at 8:04 PM

    The Hornets would be stupid to offer Hayward a max contract when they can have Stephenson, who has considerably more upside, a lot cheaper.

    • jmo1015 - Jul 5, 2014 at 2:29 AM

      down votes on this elude me.. hayward is a good team player, but stephenson could ball out. so he has antics, players play, clt needs a playmakers

      • bkbell3 - Jul 5, 2014 at 5:21 AM

        haywards shooting % has gone down every year and his usage rate has gone up. Last year he shot 40% and 30% from the 3.

      • bkbell3 - Jul 5, 2014 at 5:25 AM

        Also he averaged 5.1 rebounds and 5.2 assists not over 6 and 6 per basketballinsiders.com

  7. bparmalee - Jul 4, 2014 at 8:21 PM

    Do the Hornets really want to start this new era off by offering a max deal to a guy that averaged only 16ppg with 5rpg on a bad team…. playing a ton of minutes? Gerald Henderson average 14ppg w 4rpg and is a better defender… is he a max guy? I just don’t get the infatuation for this guy.

    • ProBasketballPundit - Jul 4, 2014 at 9:17 PM

      Don’t matter, my friend. Utah will match whatever offer sheet he signs. That’s why I’ve never understood when restricted free agents sign a huge deal with another team. Eric Gordon signed that deal with Phoenix a while back and he genuinely wanted to go there…. but instead he got trapped in New Orleans for years when he could have waited a season and signed anywhere.

      • casualcommenter - Jul 4, 2014 at 10:21 PM

        “instead he got trapped in New Orleans for years when he could have waited a season and signed anywhere.”

        Gordon had injury issues when he hit restricted free agency, and he was smart to sign that deal because his injury issues continued after he signed that offer.
        Waiting an extra year would have cost him millions of dollars in terms of lost money on a contract since he was very unlikely to get that much money after missing 40+ games a second season in a row.

      • patfic5 - Jul 4, 2014 at 11:19 PM

        Please, anyone, take Gordon outta NO.

      • sportsfan18 - Jul 4, 2014 at 11:37 PM

        Gordon TOLD ya’ll he didn’t want to be there…

        He is there because YOUR team WANTED him there…

        No means no…

  8. longtallsam - Jul 4, 2014 at 8:44 PM

    All I keep hearing on Heyward is, “He’s a nice player, but will never be a star.” Just how many others in the league averaged 16 – 6 & 6? What the NBA needs is more players with those kind of numbers, and less one dimensional prima donnas.

    • clevelandrox - Jul 4, 2014 at 8:55 PM

      the answer is only 4 other guys…

    • bkbell3 - Jul 5, 2014 at 5:31 AM

      Longtall, he shot 40% and 30% from the 3 and had 5.1 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game playing just over 36 min. and has shot worse ever year he has been in the league He didn’t have over 6 and 6

  9. clevelandrox - Jul 4, 2014 at 8:53 PM

    probaly Hayward’s best fit…

  10. campcouch - Jul 4, 2014 at 9:55 PM

    Has anyone in the NBA looked at Hayward’s stats…his entire 4 years of production. Tell me he’s worth this max. This past season his points, rebounds and assists went up simply due to his minutes increasing. His percentages have fallen every year.

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