The Charlotte Hornets have been mentioned in quite a few rumors this offseason already and it is clear that they could be very active. After a 2020-21 NBA season that saw them take a big step forward in their rebuild, the Hornets want to push themselves back into the playoffs next year. Gordon Hayward was the big offseason splash for Charlotte last offseason, but the team could be open to moving him this offseason.
Hayward would not be moved simply for the Hornets to shake up the roster. They don’t need to shake up the roster to be a competitive basketball team. In fact, no one knows what Charlotte would have been capable of if Hayward hadn’t gotten injured late in the year.
One source spoke to NBA Analysis Network about the Hornets’ plans this offseason and mentioned that Hayward could be available in the right deal. The source specifically mentioned that Charlotte would love to acquire an elite big man.
During the 2020-21 season with the Hornets, Hayward ended up averaging 19.6 points per game to go along with 5.9 rebounds and 4.1 assists. He shot 47.3 percent from the floor overall and knocked down 41.5 percent of his three-point attempts. Hayward’s numbers make his massive contract look a little better.
With that being said, who could the Hornets be looking at if they were to have Hayward on the table?
Right off the bat, the name Myles Turner comes to mind. The Indiana Pacers seem open to moving Turner, who is one of the NBA’s elite rim protectors and can also stretch the floor offensively. Indiana had major interest in acquiring Gordon Hayward last offseason via a sign-and-trade with the Boston Celtics before he signed with the Hornets.
Another potential name to watch could be Karl-Anthony Towns, although that deal would be much more difficult to figure out. Whether or not the Minnesota Timberwolves would be open to moving KAT remains to be seen.
Expect to hear quite a few rumors involving the Hornets this offseason. They have a very talented young roster and quite a few assets they could use in a trade for a star. Hayward isn’t on the trade block, but he could be a name thrown into some deals that Charlotte feels confident will make them a bigger contender in the East.