Hornets, Gordon Hayward Agree To Four-Year Deal

The Hornets are signing Gordon Hayward, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reports (via Twitter) that the forward’s new deal will be worth $120MM over four years. It’s fully guaranteed, tweets David Aldridge of The Athletic.

Hayward turned down a $34.2MM player option with the Celtics earlier in the week, which was a signal that he and agent Mark Bartelstein were confident that one or more lucrative multiyear offers would be waiting for him on the open market.

The Hawks and Knicks were said to have interest in Hayward, but Atlanta quickly moved onto other targets – including Danilo Gallinari – and New York wasn’t comfortable with either the years or the money that Hayward ultimately received from Charlotte, per Steve Popper of Newsday (Twitter link).

Hayward was said to prefer joining his hometown Pacers, and Boston and Indiana attempted to work out a sign-and-trade deal within the last couple days. However, the Pacers’ cap situation complicated matters, as Bobby Marks of ESPN notes (via Twitter), and it was always going to be a challenge for the C’s and Pacers to agree on fair compensation.

Just a half-hour before word of Hayward’s agreement with the Hornets broke, Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files said (via Twitter) that there had been no progress in those sign-and-trade talks.

So Hayward will be headed to the Hornets, who will have to either open up some extra cap room in order to clear the space necessary to complete the signing. They’ll reportedly do so by using the stretch provision on Nicolas Batum.

Although the Hornets were cited on Friday as a potential suitor for Hayward, the deal still comes as a major surprise, especially since president of basketball operations Mitch Kupchak had talked for the better part of the year about Charlotte not planning to make a splash in free agency. Apparently, the team decided to change course on that plan when Hayward became available.

Hayward, 30, still didn’t quite look like his old All-Star self in 2019/20. However, he was a lot closer to that level last season than he was during his first two years in Boston. In 52 games, he averaged 17.5 PPG, 6.7 RPG, and 4.1 APG on .500/.383/.855 shooting.

Hayward’s deal with the Hornets represents a full-circle moment, as the first free agent contract he signed in the NBA, back in 2014, was an offer sheet with Charlotte. The Jazz, of course, matched that offer and the former Butler standout spent the next six years in Utah and Boston, but now he’s finally joining the Hornets.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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78 thoughts on “Hornets, Gordon Hayward Agree To Four-Year Deal

    • Tatsumaki

      The more I think about this move I like it. He will get huge minutes and could possible return to his 2014-2017 form, with the roster so bare. Melo and hayward will definitely put up some points.

    • hiflew

      Not even. It’s just a straight signing, not a sign and trade. So Boston could have had Myles Turner, but chose to take nothing instead.

      • Curtisrowe

        Nah, no way Indiana was gonna pay 30M a year for Hayward. He took the cash. Can’t blame him.

        • KnickerbockerAl

          Not worth 30 mill. Good for him. Hope he proves me wrong. But Celts list out on Turner a big piece IMO. Let’s see what they get back from Hornets

      • buttholesurfer69 2

        nah dude indiana chose not to agree sign him im sure boston would have no prob w indiana paying hayward 30m/yr lol

        • hiflew

          From what I read it was Boston that was asking for Turner and either Warren or Oladipo and Indy understandably not wanting to include that much. It wasn’t Indy balking at the contract.

      • sportznut1000

        Well to be fair they chose to take the cap space instead of myles turner. Thats counts for something, wait a few more days and you will find out what that nothing turns into and then you can compare that to myles

        • Boston2AZ

          What cap space? The $34 million doesn’t come off the books. “If Hayward signs with another team, the Celtics won’t be able to use his $34 million to refill his roster spot since they are over the cap. They would, however, have a $9.7 million exception slot to use on a free agent or to acquire a player in a trade. “

        • hiflew

          It turned into Tristan Thompson, so I stand by my original opinion. The Celtics messed this one up.

    • hiflew

      The guy is going to be making $120 million over the next 4 years, sounds like his career is going strong. I wish my career was that lucrative when people said it was over.

      • Luckylefty2

        Always that one guy pocket watching. I obviously wasn’t talking about money.

        • hiflew

          What exactly do you think a career is? Do you think these guys are playing simply for your enjoyment? Do you go to work (or plan to in the future depending on your age) simply to be recognized or do you expect to be paid?

          • phillyballers

            I’ll just go out on a limb and say he means that he just signed a deal for 4 years in NBA purgatory

  1. DVail1979

    Danny Ainge overplayed his hand asking Indiana for Oladipo or Warren with Turner in a sign and trade and now Hayward has left Boston anyways and Boston seemingly has gotten nothing in return

    • Chris_Favreau

      That’s what was reported… But is that the actual truth? NBA “rumors” are generally bs. To be fair, that rumor could’ve been accurate, but we won’t know unless the C’s or Pacers actually comment.

    • Tatsumaki

      Ainge is a bum gm, makes playoffs yearly in the leastern conference but fails to build a championship caliber team outside of 1 year. Not sure how he still has a job with all the blunders in free agency and horrible draft outside of tatum/brown.

      • imindless

        I agree that ainge is massively overrated as a gm, as with doc rivers as a coach they lucked out having 3 future hofs on one team at the right time. If they were as great as advertised they would have won multiple rings with that roster.

        • Ainge did over play his hand thinking he was going to get a all star in a sign and trade. Instead he is left with nothing but more cap space which is limited.

          • Curtisrowe

            Fact of the matter is neither the Knicks, Pacers, or Celtics were going to pay Hayward that money. I would imagine that deal is about 20M more than anyone else was offering.

      • raz427

        Not sure he is a “bum” but he really hasn’t made this team stand out in previous offseason. Kyrie was lucked into it Bc he wanted out, they could have had AD even before Lakers but didn’t want to trade those picks/players. Boston looks like they are capped out at a few ECF appearances with Tatum/Brown core. I can see Whiteside signing here for rim protection now and board help.

        • imindless

          Raz I agree with the whiteside prediction he would be an excellent pick up and rim protector they are looking for, sadly don’t think that puts them past heat or bucks as currently constructed!

          • raz427

            I agree 100%. They still are not good enough to beat Miami or Milwaukee. They are a well coached team but they lack a big who can stretch the floor like Turner could have. Asking for Oladpio or Warren + Turner was just plain absurd. Ainge is the most disappointing GM in the last 3 years, given the amount of picks he had and opportunities he could have dealt for stars like AD, Butler, PG13 just to name a few.

            • Tatsumaki

              Raz 10000 percent correct ainge over played his hand and now sits broken hearted.

      • sportznut1000

        ainge stepped in as GM and completed the most lopsided trade in NBA history with Brooklyn and has been riding that reputation ever since. There were a couple years when cavs were really soft that i really felt boston should have traded some of the nets picks for elite players to help them beat out the cavs in the East. Now that window has closed and they might not get there with this core group

        • Tatsumaki

          @sportznut1000 I wouldn’t be super pessimistic, because tatum look like a top 10 player and brown a top 25. I think it will take a few more years to develop a championship caliber team around those 2. At the very least he didn’t trade both for ad only to have ad walk to lakers for free.

        • Very Barry

          No overplay by Ainge. Pacers were not gonna go to $30 million. Hayward decided an extra $5 million a year on worst team in NBA over competing in playoffs with Pacers or Celtics.

    • buttholesurfer69 2

      again it’s not boston’s decision if indiana didnt want to pay hayward this much

      this was on hayward wanting the cash and indiana not wanting to pay. nothing much bos could do

  2. raz427

    Wtf? They just had one job to do and that was not blow up their cap space and they couldn’t even do that? Heyward gambled on himself and it worked out. Can’t question him, have to question the front office vision.

  3. joeyrocafella

    The Hornets signed him to an offer sheet a few years ago andthe Jazz matched it. I guess he really wanted to play here!! Good signing

  4. Dunkinstompin

    Smart man! He barely plays 50 games a season and makes more than Lou & Montrez combined. His agent is a keeper for show!

  5. Hayward is an excellent player at the NBA’s most premium position, but this is, at best, a gamble, and not worth it for the Hornets. Also, they need to buy at least 9 mm in cap space to do this transaction. Won’t come cheap.

  6. Yeah the Hornets are synonymous with success…I think Hayward is all about sitting on the bench with his hair finely styled.

  7. case7187

    Nice to know I called it that Danny would screw us in the end but paying Hayward 30per is crazy Can you fire a owner? How do you go from the best player ever to the worst owner ever Jordan needs help

  8. hiflew

    The best thing for them right now would be to re-sign Nicolas Batum to a 3 year $32MM deal. It would give Batum only a minimum salary for the next two years, but it would remove about $17MM from this year’s cap and spread it over te next three years. Same concept as stretching and waiving except you keep the guy.

    • bdpecore

      The CBA doesn’t allow teams and players to restructure their contracts like this.

    • Nope. That salary cap thing is giving you trouble again. You can’t just restructure an existing contract, apart from an option year. Separately, a new contract can’t have increases year to year greater than a certain % (here about 8%).

      • hiflew

        Batum’s final year is a player option. That means it can be restructured or could have been.

        I am by no means an expert on the “salary cap thing” or the NBA’s CBA, it’s not my job. But there is no need for little comments like that. It really makes you look like a smug little punk. I don’t think you are one based on your mostly reasonable posting, but I have been wrong before.

  9. bdpecore

    I bet they waive Batum using the stretch provision to create another $18MM in cap space.

  10. joeyrocafella

    You will all eat your words when the Hornets are the 4 or 5 seed next year!!

  11. KnickerbockerAl

    How’s that Turner- McDermott offer looking now. Hayward has overstayed his worth in Boston. No offense. But they should of moved him last yr. Turner his age and gm. Was a great fit for this team.
    MJ overpaid for Hayward. But he starts and plays at 90 % of what he was. It’s a solid move for them. He did play major mins last yr. Hornets still need a center. Whiteside still out there.
    Then who is coming back to Celtics. Batum would have to be included no. And what either picks or

  12. Danny is a bad GM EXCEPT for the one championship and a yearly post season invite… Danny is a bad GM EXCEPT for Tatum and Brown… that makes as much sense as your neighbor having 10 kids and you get the vasectomy!!

    • The Mistake of Giving Eugene Melnyk a Liver Transplant

      Well if my neighbor would just have had the abortions like I told her to, then I wouldn’t have to get the vasectomy. However, at this point ,I just cant trust her and have to take care of things myself!

  13. hoosierhysteria

    I am glad thePacers stayed out of this. Rozier will have to go. He/Hayward had issues in Boston…rozier jealous of GH money. Rozier is trouble….all the way back to Louisville. Jerry West/Clippers have “the book”…rozier not going there.


    As a hornets fan this is definitely a lot of money, especially since we were just about to get done with batum’s contract. HOWEVER I’m glad to see someone competent at the wings instead of bacon and a confused batum. I liked bacon but he never developed. And Hayward is one of my favorites, I’ll take this any day.

  15. Whew! Just glad the Knicks didn’t sign him. Not that he wanted to go there anyway.

  16. giants51

    …. and Boston gets nothing in return….. That didn’t work out well ….What happened Danny….???

  17. bigeasye

    Anybody who thinks Ainge is a bad GM obviously doesn’t pay attention.
    He hardly misses on draft picks
    He never loses a trade
    He re-tooled the team into a perennial contender without completely tanking (remember Philly 8 years ago anyone?)
    He’s had how many reclaimation projects that have turned out all the while keeping the team competitive. And oh, the celtics have made the eastern conference finals three of the last four years with devastating injuries each year.
    Losing Kyrie does not make him a bad GM
    Losing Horford for 100+ million does not make him a bad GM
    Losing Hayward for 120 mill does not make him a bad GM
    This team is ahead of schedule from what was expected 5 years ago

    • Very Barry

      Danny Ainge isn’t a bad GM. He just isn’t a Championship GM. He can’t close the big deal to get over the top. When he opens his wallet ….. the player leaves …. Can’t win the big one. That will fly in every NBA organization except the Lakers and Celtics.

    • PhillyPhan69

      As a 76er fan I hate to agree, but I do. They don’t seem to love him in Boston right now, but he still has the c’s ready to contend. I guess they could be between the 2-7 seeds (but the east is looking tough) but I think that will be a hard battle for all 5-6 teams in that range (Philly/NJ/Tor/Mia/Bos and perhaps even Indy). But they are capable of representing the east (or first rd exit for that matter) and if they are on they could win it all? I hate them so I say it begrudgingly but I think Ainge is a top 5-10 GM and stevens a top 5-10 coach. I would love to hear them, but would hate to have to play them 7 games to find out.

  18. Very Barry

    Jordan hires his buddy Mitch Kupchak to run the front office, so this should not be a surprise. Kupchak is the same guy who with the Lakers and bidding against himself gave Timofey Mosgov and Luol Deng matching 4-year, $70+ million contracts. Both were benched less than 25 games into Year 1 in favor of playing young guys. Kupchak has no idea what he is doing. Jordan is one of the 5 best to ever play the game, but he is horrific as an owner.

  19. onthebucks

    The one and only one question the Celtics have to be asking is who do we have to acquire to neutralize Anthony Davis because that’s what has to be done to beat the Lakers and become champs. Indiana’s Myles Turner was not the answer. So, good luck Hayward in Charlotte. The Celtics should acquire free agent Hassan Whiteside and start printing playoff tickets.

        • onthebucks

          You’re right, but it all comes down to physics. Pound for pound, Theis is one of the toughest guys in the NBA, but the Celtics need someone with a little more mass to make it just a little more difficult for Davis to do his thing.

        • I think you’re right but could this be why the Warriors picked 7 foot 1 athletic gazelle James Wiseman? They’ll be facing Anthony Davis the next five years ?

  20. siggers84

    This move makes no sense for Charlotte at all at this point. 5 more wins. And they were going in the right direction. Still won’t make the playoffs.

  21. tropicoflungcancer

    LOL. Wow. Michael Jordan is so bad at being an NBA franchise owner. To the point that I’m beginning to question whether or not he actually ever played basketball. Hayward isn’t worth a quarter of this ridiculous contract. Free Agency turns us all into fools.

  22. Appalachian_Outlaw


    I like the player and the fit, but that contract… why? That’s such a huge risk after they just cleaned up the cap situation and nearly had Batum off the books. I want to defend my Hornets here but I can’t. I guess it’s back to 5th seed dreams with no championship hopes. Yay. All they had to do was be bad for 2 more years.

    At least I like Hayward’s game.

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