— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 8, 2024
NBA News: Oklahoma City Trades for Gordon Hayward
Hayward Trade to Oklahoma City
Hayward has been the subject of trade rumors for a long time, as the talented forward was stuck on a Hornets team in full rebuild. The 2017 All-Star has been limited with injuries this season. He has not played since December 26th. Hayward is averaging 14.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 4.6 assists.
The former Butler star will be a huge boost to an already dominant Oklahoma City team. The Thunder are currently first in the Western Conference, led by the young trio of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jalen Williams, and Chet Holmgren. Hayward will be a solid fourth option. His playoff experience will be huge for the talented, but untested OKC roster.
Following his All-Star campaign in 2016-17, Hayward signed with the Boston Celtics and was expected to be a major part of a contending team. However, he suffered a disastrous injury in his first regular season game with the Celtics, and was ruled out for the remainder of the season. He has never fully returned to his pre-injury form, but he will be a tremendous addition for Oklahoma City nonetheless.
Charlotte Trade Acquisitions
Mann will likely serve as the backup to LaMelo Ball, but will likely see extended minutes given Ball’s injury history and the Hornets recently trading away Terry Rozier. The 21 year-old has flashed potential and was a key part of the Thunder’s rotation in 2021-22, his rookie year.
Playing time has been hard to come by this season for Mann. He has only appeared in 13 games, averaging 3.8 points in 9.2 minutes per game. The former Florida Gator is too talented to sit on the bench, and he will certainly have the chance to flourish on a Charlotte team that is seeking to find young talent.
Like Mann, Bertãns fell out of Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault‘s rotation early on, appearing in only 15 games. The 31 year-old is on a luxurious five-year, $80 million deal. Bertãns will have a player option for 2024-25. He is almost certain to accept it given that the offers he would receive in free agency would be much lower than his current deal.
The Thunder are aiming to prove themselves in the playoffs. Having to only give up two players that were on the fringes of the rotation is a shrewd move. Oklahoma City is 35-16 on the year. Their next matchup will see them take on the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday.
Charlotte, on the other hand, is finally able to move on from Hayward and their rebuild is now fully underway. With a record of 10-40, the Hornets will be in the mix to land another top 5 pick in the 2024 NBA draft. Charlotte will travel to Milwaukee to take on the Bucks tomorrow.