There were a lot of free agents during the 2020 offseason that secured the bag, with Gordon Hayward headlining the show. Hayward agreed to a four-year, $120 million max deal with the Charlotte Hornets, the former team of Boston Celtics star Kemba Walker.
One of the major reasons Walker ended up pulling the plug on his time in Charlotte was due to their unwillingness to pay him his full supermax value during the 2019 free agency period.
Some will view Hayward's strange in comparison to letting Walker walk, but the four-time All-Star guard has no ill-will toward the Hornets:
Kemba Walker said he doesn’t care that Charlotte paid Gordon Hayward after deciding not to pay him. Kemba said he’s in the right place and Boston makes him happy. Thinks his “brother” Hayward will enjoy playing in Charlotte and will be good for the Hornets.
— Jay King (@ByJayKing) December 2, 2020
Kemba Walker had worked with a great sense of loyalty to re-sign with the Hornets in 2019, even stating at one point that he was willing to take a paycut to bring in more talent. After reports surfaced that the Hornets decided to not only offer Walker less than the supermax, but also less than a max deal, his time in Charlotte began to fade.
On the contrary, the Hornets made it known that Hayward was their main target coming into this offseason, though many spectators wrote them off in terms of having a high chance to sign the All-Star.
Hayward will serve as primarily the No. 1 option while No. 3 NBA Draft pick LaMelo Ball integrates himself into the Hornets' style of play. In all actuality, the Hornets' dealing with Walker may have worked out for the best seeing as how the end result was grabbing Ball, who could end up becoming a perennial All-Star in the years to come. Plus, Walker seems more than happy with the Celtics.