The Oklahoma City Thunder have been among the West’s elite all season and are making a move for the playoff push. The Thunder have worked a trade to get former All-Star Gordon Hayward from the Hornets.
- Gordon Hayward
- Vasilije Micic
- Tre Mann
- Davis Bertans
- 2024 second-round draft pick (via Houston)
- 2025 second-round draft pick (via Philadelphia)
- Cash considerations
What trade means for Thunder: The Thunder entered Thursday’s action as the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, essentially tied with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Denver Nuggets; the LA Clippers are just behind and the Phoenix Suns and New Orleans Pelicans are well within striking distance.
The move for Hayward gives the Thunder an additional ball handler and playmaker to take some of those burdens off star guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and his backcourt running mate, Josh Giddey. It is unclear if Hayward will move into the starting lineup or fill in his role off the bench as Oklahoma City regularly plays Lu Dort, Chet Holmgren, Jalen Williams, Giddey and Gilgeous-Alexander as its starting five.
Should Hayward come off the bench, he’d provide offense to the second unit. However, Hayward has been slowed by injuries and has appeared in just 25 of Charlotte’s 50 games this season. He is averaging 14.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.6 assists while shooting 46.8% overall and 36.1% on 3-pointers.
While he is far removed from his All-Star days with the Utah Jazz, he remains a reliable scorer and playmaker who should provide OKC with some veteran savvy and more as the season winds down.
What trade means for Hornets: Mann, the No. 18 pick in the 2021 Draft, is averaging 3.8 ppg, 1.8 rpg and 1.5 apg in 13 games for OKC this season. His production has steadily declined since his rookie season, when he posted 10.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg and 1.5 apg in 60 games for the Thunder.
Micic, a rookie, is posting 3.3 ppg and 2.5 apg in 30 games for the Thunder after being taken with the No. 52 pick in the 2014 Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers. Bertans (2.9 ppg, 41.7% on 3-pointers) is a veteran who sparingly plays this season. His $16 million salary for next season is not fully guaranteed, while Mann has a team option for 2024-25 as he is still on his rookie contract.