“I think a guy they will keep an eye on is Gordon Hayward,” the NBA executive told Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney.
“Charlotte’s in a tough position with the [Miles] Bridges thing, they have [Steve] Clifford coming in, they’re in a position to rest things a little bit around LaMelo Ball. Hayward has two years left.
“If you want to give up [Tyler] Herro before you pay him and you want to move [Duncan] Robinson, you would have to add a pick, but those two guys and Omer [Yurtseven], that might be enough to get Hayward if the Hornets decide to reconfigure. It’s a short-term move for Miami, but they need to make their move now. You can play him at the 3 and go big or go small at the 4. He’s a guy they’ve had interest in before.”
Hayward is under contract for the next two seasons at north of $30 million per year. It’s a major contract, but the Heat may view him as a potential missing piece at the forward position.
Hayward has been solid since joining the Hornets, but he has dealt with injuries that have limited his impact. He appeared in just 44 games in the 2020-21 season and 49 games in the 2021-22 season.
Last season, the veteran averaged 15.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game while shooting 45.9 percent from the field and 39.1 percent from beyond the arc. He took just 12.6 shots per game, his lowest mark since the 2018-19 season.
Hayward would surely help the Heat fill the hole left by P.J. Tucker’s departure this offseason. It’s unclear if the Heat are willing to part with any valuable assets in order to acquire Hayward, but it appears he has been on the team’s radar for some time.