The Charlotte Hornets have delivered one of the big surprises of free agency.
As first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Hornets have agreed to a four-year, $120 million contract with Gordon Hayward. The deal was confirmed by Hayward’s agent Mark Bartelstein.
Few saw this coming in terms of either the destination or the price. The Hornets hadn’t really been mentioned as a suitor for Hayward. In fact, this wasn’t the team we heard Hayward wanted to join. The $30 million annual price tag is also something. Essentially, the Hornets are paying Hayward with the expectation that he’ll perform as he did with the Utah Jazz, not the Boston Celtics.
The Hornets lack the cap space to make this deal outright. They will have to either move some money or execute a sign-and-trade with the Celtics.
The 30-year-old swingman averaged 17.5 points and 6.7 rebounds last season for Boston. Expect him to be a focal point of Charlotte’s offense.