Michael Jordan played key part in ‘closing’ Hornets deal with Gordon Hayward
Whatever Jordan said worked, as Hayward has agreed to a four-year, $120 million deal with the Hornets.
Michael Jordan called Gordon Hayward late last night in an effort to close the deal for Charlotte, Hayward tells ESPN today. Hayward obviously remembers how MJ and Hornets signed him to an offer sheet in restricted free agency in 2014.
— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) November 21, 2020
In the summer of 2014, Gordon Hayward signed an offer sheet with the Hornets in restricted free agency. However, the Utah Jazz matched it.
Michael Jordan was determined to get Hayward this time around, though, and he succeeded. The Hornets finally have a quality starting small forward after years of suffering with Nicolas Batum, whom they plan on waiving and stretching to accommodate Hayward and his contract.
With the Boston Celtics in 2019-20, Hayward averaged 17.5 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game. He shot 50.0 percent from the field, 38.3 percent from beyond the arc and 85.5 percent from the free-throw line.
Hayward is no longer an All-Star in the NBA, but he figures to put up good numbers on the Hornets since he’ll have a higher usage rate than he had with Boston.
The Hornets’ core is now made up of Devonte’ Graham, LaMelo Ball, Malik Monk, Miles Bridges, PJ Washington and Hayward. Jordan is hoping that group can lead the franchise back to the playoffs in the Eastern Conference.
With the Jazz and Celtics, Hayward has career NBA averages of 15.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists. He made the All-Star team in 2017 as a member of the Jazz.