The NBA offseason has been a whirlwind of trades and free agencies. However, as we near the beginning of the new season, we can predict which teams will do well this year. One blockbuster move of the offseason was Gordon Hayward's deal with the Charlotte Hornets. Hayward will be hoping to reverse the Hornets' recent fortunes in the East.
In a press conference on Tuesday, Hayward discussed his move from the Boston Celtics and how he feels about the season ahead with his new team.
NBA News: Gordon Hayward is keen to reignite his career with Charlotte Hornets
Gordon Hayward's time with the Boston Celtics was both short-lived and underwhelming. Only playing two seasons with the franchise after he missed his first through injury, Hayward didn't quite reach the 21.9 points per game he averaged in his final year with the Utah Jazz.
However, the small forward is keen to prove that he can return to those figures this year with the Charlotte Hornets - something he discussed in his interview with the media on Tuesday:
"I still firmly believe I'm in the prime of my career."
Hayward averaged 17.5 points last season and looked to be returning to his previous All-Star form. As well as rookie LaMelo Ball, the Hornets have an exciting young team.
Scorers Terry Rozier, Malik Monk, and Miles Bridges will all combine with the incoming Gordon Hayward and could form a potent offense taking them back to the NBA playoffs.
Gordon Hayward's departure from the Boston Celtics, as mentioned, was one of the blockbuster deals that happened this offseason. Although many NBA fans and analysts were surprised by the move, Celtics GM Danny Ainge had expected that the move may happen for some time:
"I was anticipating the possibility for the last few months. This gets missed, but because it's a sign & trade, the player has control. If he doesn't want to go somewhere, or gets a better offer somewhere else, there isn't much you can do."
As far as the player is concerned, Gordon Hayward said his decision to leave Boston was amicable and that he has no hard feelings toward the organization that put a lot of faith in him after excelling in Utah:
"There is no ill will on my end to anybody in the Celtics organization... Its unfortunate what happened. I had a freak injury."
As to why Gordon Hayward wanted to move, we may not know - perhaps because of the contract offered to him from Charlotte or due to his time in Boston not living up to how he had hoped.
Regardless, the 30-year-old still has a lot to give a franchise such as Charlotte, who are looking for an elite scorer that can help pull them up the standings.
This year could be the return of the Gordon Hayward that averaged almost 40% from three and, if so, can be the Hornets' much-needed leader.Published 02 Dec 2020, 00:27 IST