Apr 16, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Utah Jazz guard Gordon Hayward (20) dribbles in double overtime against the Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love (42) at Target Center. The Utah Jazz win 136-130 in double overtime. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Rumors: Charlotte Hornets could pursue Gordon Hayward

Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward has had a fine career thus far. [category-related]

After being selected with the ninth-overall pick in the first round of the 2010 NBA Draft, the former Butler star has showed continued improvement throughout his career.

According to Rick Bonnell and Ben Weinrib of The Charlotte Observer, the Hornets could make a run at Hayward.

A big (6-foot-8), athletic small forward who averaged 16.2 points per game last season, he’d offer something very different from the defense-centric performance the Hornets get from Kidd-Gilchrist. The problem is he’s a restricted free agent. Seldom do teams choose not to match offer sheets for quality restricteds…

Hayward has been a good shooter, although his struggles last season dropped his career three-point percentage from 40.1 percent to 36.5 percent…

Hayward has flipped between small forward and shooting guard for the Jazz. He has great size for a guard and any defensive deficiencies would be tempered by Kidd-Gilchrist on the wing.

The Hornets would clearly love to add a few offensive-minded players to their roster after enjoying perhaps their greatest season in franchise history. Putting a scorer and play-maker like Hayward as a third option next to big man Al Jefferson and point guard Kemba Walker could help the Hornets reach the next level.
Hayward averaged 16.2 points, 5.2 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game for the Jazz last season. He didn’t have a good year shooting, going 41.3% from the field and 30.4% from beyond the arc, but has career averages of 43.6% from the field and 36.5% from three.

Tags: Charlotte Hornets Gordon Hayward NBA Rumors Utah Jazz

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