Update: According to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer, the Hornets will use the waive-and-stretch provision on Nicolas Batum to make room for Hayward’s contract.
This provision allows teams to spread the value of a waived player’s contract for two years beyond the original length of the contract. So in this case, the $27 million remaining on Batum’s contract will instead count as $9 million against the cap for the next three seasons. That may seem like a lot, but it shouldn’t affect any moves going forward.
But the best part of all this, it means Danny Ainge gets nothing in return for Hayward. The rest of the Hornets roster will stay intact.
The Charlotte Hornets are signing Gordon Hayward to a four year, $120 million contract, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Free agent Gordon Hayward is signing a 4-year, $120M deal with Charlotte, per source.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 21, 2020
I don’t know how this deal will work logistically, as the Hornets currently don’t have the cap space to make that signing outright. We’ll have to wait for more info, which I’m sure we’ll be coming out very soon.
I don’t think anybody expected Hayward to end up a Hornet this summer. It always seemed more likely that the Hornets would pursue young talent, particularly at the center spot. Instead, the Hornets went and got themselves a veteran wing to fill out the lineup and provide some mentorship for the young guys.
Hayward just turned 30, and he is still a very good player. After struggling back from a broken leg in 2018-19, he regained his old form for the Celtics last season. He averaged 17.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game while dealing with a couple injuries over the course of the season.
This isn’t the first time the Hornets have pursued Hayward. They signed him to a max offer sheet when he was a restricted free agent in 2014, but Jazz matched it and brought him back. Now the Hornets have their man, even if this is an entirely new regime.
I’m not sure how Hayward fits the team as currently constructed. He’s going to help the team win a lot more games than they would have otherwise, which suggests that the front office feels like they’re getting closer to competitiveness. I’m not sure I would’ve made a move like this during this offseason, but I’m willing to see how this goes. It’ll surely make the Hornets more fun to watch in 2020-21.
Hornets fans, what do you think?
How do you feel about the Hornets signing Gordon Hayward?
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