Hornets trading Gordon Hayward to Thunder for 3 players, 2 second round draft picks, AP source says

Thu, Feb 8, 2024
NBA News (AP)

Hornets trading Gordon Hayward to Thunder for 3 players, 2 second round draft picks, AP source says

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - The Charlotte Hornets are sending often-injured small forward Gordon Hayward to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for guard Tre Mann, power forward Davis Bertans, point guard Vasilije Micic and two second round draft picks, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The second round picks will be in 2024 and 2025, according to the person.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Thursday because the deal has not yet been approved by the league.

The Hornets have had a busy day, also trading P.J. Washington to the Dallas Mavericks for Grant Williams, Seth Curry and a 2027 first-round draft pick, AP sources said.

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The Hornets signed Hayward to a four-year, $120 million contract in 2020 hoping he would give them a boost and make them a consistent playoff team. But that hasn't happened as Charlotte is headed toward an eighth straight season without a trip to the postseason, the longest current streak in the NBA.

Hayward's injuries have contributed to that.

He has struggled to stay on the floor and missed 43% of Charlotte's game (128 of 296) since his arrival, including half of this year's contests. The Hornets are 10-40 entering Friday night's game at Milwaukee.

If Hayward is able to return from a left calf strain he could help the Thunder, who are tied with Minnesota and Denver for the best record (35-16) in the Western Conference.

Hayward, who turns 34 in March, has averaged 14.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.6 assists in 25 games this season while shooting 36.1% from 3-point range.

This is Charlotte's second major trade as it looks to overhaul its roster and build for the future.

The Hornets already unloaded Terry Rozier to the Miami Heat in exchange for Kyle Lowry and a future conditional first-round draft pick earlier this month. Lowry has not played for the Hornets and is expected to take a buyout.

Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak said Charlotte would be interested in moving more players before the deadline as the team looks to reshape it roster, and it did just that in dealing Washington and Hayward.

However, ESPN reported that Miles Bridges has a trade clause and will not approve any trades. That means Bridges, who scored 41 points on Monday and 45 on Wednesday, will remain in Charlotte at least through the end of this season.

Bridges becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer and the Hornets own his Bird rights.

The Thunder made Mann the 18th overall pick in the 2021 draft. He was a crowd favorite who fell in the rotation as the team added better players. He started 26 games as a rookie in 2021-22, when he averaged 10.4 points a game. That year, he scored 30 points in a win over the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden and scored a career-high 35 points in a loss to Boston. He has started five games since that season.

The Thunder acquired Bertans from the Dallas Mavericks in a draft night deal last year, and he has played sparingly. He's a career 39.8% 3-point shooter in eight seasons.

Oklahoma City acquired the rights to Micic from Philadelphia in 2020. The Thunder brought him from Europe and signed him in 2023. The Serb is an outstanding passer who averaged 3.3 points and 2.5 assists in 12 minutes per game for Oklahoma City this season.

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AP Sports Writer Cliff Brunt in Oklahoma City contributed to this report.

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