Giving Gordon Hayward a four-year, $120 million deal to pull him away from the Boston Celtics sounds like a reach, but it’s honestly a steal. Take a look around the NBA. Overpaid is the name of the game. The fact of the matter is that sometimes GMs have to pay big money because of their circumstances. In this instance, Michael Jordan just drafted LaMelo Ball with the third-overall-pick that walks into his rookie season with a pathetic supporting cast. When you cut a check for $30 million a year on Gordon Hayward, that problem quickly evaporates.
Free agent Gordon Hayward is signing a 4-year, $120M deal with Charlotte, per source.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 21, 2020
To be clear, Hayward is not an elite player and that’s actually not important here. What is important is that he showed what he could be in 2016 before his eventual move to the Boston Celtics. Hayward averaged 21.9 points per game, and if he can be anything close that he’s worth his new contract. I know that it’s hard to believe that players struggling to eclipse 20 points a night are making more than MJ made in any year of his career, but times have changed. Gordon Hayward showed he was a solid player in his Utah days and LaMelo Ball’s development is why he got this contract.
What’s Charlotte supposed to do? Let their new Lamborghini spin its tires on the unleaded gas of failing teammates? LaMelo ball needs someone he can trust and GM Mitch Kupchak got him Gordon Hayward. Kupchak’s alternative was to let his top pick play alongside Nicolas Batum and his 3.6 points per game. Yes, in 2019 Batum managed to accumulate that output while playing 23 minutes per contest. He flat out stunk up Charlotte’s Spectrum Center and the Hornets were willing to pay $120 million to make it stop.
Props for putting a stop to the bleed.
The Hornets should be much better and Gordon Hayward is about to be the big reason why. He’s not LeBron James or Kevin Durant that can turn a franchise from a dump to a winner, but he will make LaMelo Ball’s job easier. The duo will help each other pray this turd of a franchise with some cologne. If Ball wasn’t given the right tools to win, he never was going to. That’s why half of NBA Twitter was down on LaMelo while the other half left hope. We had no idea what type of supporting cast MJ was providing in Charlotte, and now we do. A solid pickup at a price they’d of course rather not have paid, but it was the right move.
Michael Jordan has proven to be terrible as an executive and owner of the Charlotte Hornets. This is not one of his mistakes. His franchise was in a position where they had to remedy a supporting cast that was about to fail their most important player. Let’s give MJ his flowers for this one. It wasn’t pretty, but Gordon Hayward will do.