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Hornets want to trade Gordon Hayward, along with No. 13 or 15 pick

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According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the Hornets are aiming to trade Gordon Hayward and either their No. 13 or 15 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. One of their first-round draft picks is to accommodate the team for accepting Hayward’s salary. The 13-year veteran will make $31.1 million next season. Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak is aware of his team’s salary cap predicament.

Furthermore, Miles Bridges is awaiting his contract extension. He earned $5,421,493 this past season. Now, the Hornets are unsure on whether or not Bridges is worth a five-year, $173 million max extension. If they re-sign Bridges to a long-term deal, Hayward is definitely gone.

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In a total of 49 games played in the 2021-22 regular season, Hayward averaged 15.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. So, he is decent when he’s on the court. However, most of all, the forward has never played a full season in his entire NBA career. He played the most games in the 2015-16 season with the Jazz, finishing with 80 game appearances.

At the beginning of the 2017-18 season, Hayward underwent surgery to repair a fractured tibia and dislocated left ankle. Not to mention, he dealt with a right foot sprain during the 2020-21 season. This injury occurred after he signed a four-year, $120 million deal with the Celtics, as part of a sign-and-trade deal with the Hornets in 2020.


RELATED: NBA Draft 2022: Top 10 Best Forward Prospects


Will the Hornets trade Gordon Hayward and Terry Rozier for Russell Westbrook?

Considering the forward is an injury-prone player, it would be unwise for any team to offer Hayward a maximum contract at this point of his playing career. Terry Rozier’s four-year, $96 million contract is something to think about, too. In the event the Lakers decide to trade Russell Westbrook to the Hornets, it could work in G.M. Kupchak’s favor to unload Rozier and Hayward together. That could be on the agenda.

And Westbrook is owed $47,063,478 for the 2022-23 season. Keep in mind, he averaged 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists with the Lakers last season. Unless Westbrook returns to his 2019-20 season form — when he averaged 27 points and 7.9 rebounds per game with the Rockets — he’s not the biggest upgrade for the Hornets. Team chemistry has been an issue for nearly every contending team Westbrook has played for.

Moreover, it would be disingenuous for anyone to hint that Hayward is not worth a reasonable contract. In his Hornets’ debut on Dec. 23, 2020, he finished his performance with 28 points, 4.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists in their 121-114 loss to the Cavaliers.

Then, on Jan. 6, 2021, he scored a career-high 44 points in the Hornets’ 109-94 win over the Hawks. Again, he is a solid wing when he’s healthy. With two years left on his contract, perhaps Kupchak has seen enough. The Hornets could use another All-Star player, especially considering the head coach position is still vacant. But if the team shops Rozier and/or Hayward, Westbrook might not be the answer.

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“We’re going to bring him back.”

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Mitch Kupchak, the Hornets general manager, commented on forward Miles Bridges when asked about his situation. He said, “As an organization, we love Miles, ok? And we’re going to bring him back. He’s been great for the franchise, and I believe, with his work ethic, he’s only going to get better.” A few weeks ago, NBA analysts were reporting that Kupchak was stalling to offer Bridges a maximum contract.

Now, Kupchak might not have a choice. The forward is a restricted free agent. He will test free agency for the highest possible offer. And this all comes down to whether or not the Hornets can afford to keep him. He earned $5,421,493 last season. Bridges will be asking for a deal in the ballpark figure of four years, $130 million. While such a contract sounds ridiculous for this fifth-year player, he did have a career season.

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In the 2021-22 season, Bridges averaged 20.2 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game in 80 games played. He ranked 12th in the league in made field goals (596). Plus, he finished 15th in total points (1,613). Not to mention, the 24-year-old played 35.5 minutes per game, ranking seventh overall.

Is Miles Bridges worth his asking price?

Furthermore, on Nov. 20, 2021, in the Hornets’ 115-105 loss to the Hawks, Bridges scored a career-high 35 points. Also, in the Hornets’ 132-103 loss to the Hawks in the play-in tournament, the forward finished his performance with 12 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists. He was 0-for-4 from 3-point range. Bridges deserves to get paid, but is the forward worth his demands? It’s just something to think about.

Additionally, it is unknown as to where Kupchak will move Gordon Hayward and Terry Rozier. Before Kyrie Irving opted in with the Nets, one rumor circulated that Charlotte would trade Hayward and Rozier for Irving. Of course, that trade never manifested. In a total of 49 games played last season, Hayward averaged 15.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game.

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G.M. Mitch Kupchak could trade Gordon Hayward and Terry Rozier

Likewise, Rozier averaged 19.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game in 73 games played. While Hayward is projected to earn $$30.1 million for the 2022-23 season, Rozier is set to make $21.5 million. As of right now, both players could end up on the Lakers to make room for Miles Bridges and potentially Russell Westbrook. That NBA trade rumor is still floating around on social media.

Either way, it’s unlikely the Hornets’ roster will remain the same heading into next season. LaMelo Ball could use more support. He won Rookie of the Year in 2021, and Ball is aiming to further develop his game. Perhaps he could use a veteran like Westbrook. This deal could be in the works behind closed doors. Other Hornets NBA news articles are on the main page.

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NBA 2K23 Cover Athlete Odds

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NBA 2K23 is set to release in September 2022; free NBA 2K23 cover athlete odds are featured below. According to the BetOnline sportsbook, with +120 odds, Stephen Curry is the top favorite to win.

The last time Curry was named cover athlete was for NBA 2K16. Ja Morant has the next-best odds (+125), followed by Jayston Tatum (+400) and Nikola Jokic (+600). Continue reading to view the full NBA 2K23 cover athlete odds.

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NBA 2K23 Cover Athlete Odds

Since Stephen Curry won his first NBA Finals MVP of his professional playing career, he has to be the favorite to win cover athlete. Before the playoffs, Nikola Jokic was once the No. 1 pick in March. After all, Jokic became the first player in NBA history to record 5,000 rebounds and 3,000 assists in less than 500 career games.

Not to mention, the Nuggets center won his second MVP award. However, come time to the playoffs, his odds began to slip. In Game 2 of the Grizzlies’ second-round playoff series, Ja Morant scored a playoff career-high 47 points against the Warriors. And Morant won NBA Most Improved Player in 2022. Check out the odds below.

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Stephen Curry (+120) at BetOnline

In the 2021-22 regular season, Stephen Curry averaged 25.5 points, 5.2 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game with the Warriors. While he did not surpass his career-high 32 points per game from last season, he still quietly led Golden State to yet another NBA Finals appearance.

In addition to being named Finals MVP, Curry was named to the All-NBA Second Team, he won All-Star Game MVP and he won his fourth championship. Will he earn his second career NBA 2K cover? Yes, it will likely happen. Place your bets below.

Equally important, Curry is one of the most consistent players in the league. He won the league’s first Western Conference Finals MVP after averaging 23.8 points and 6.6 rebounds versus the Mavericks.

In Game 4 of the Warriors’ second-round playoff series, the 14-year veteran became the first player to make 500 career 3-pointers in the postseason. Plus, against the Celtics, the guard became the first player to make five or more 3-pointers in four straight NBA Finals games.

Ja Morant (+125) at BetOnline

Next, Ja Morant had a career season in the NBA this past season. In a total of 57 games played, Morant averaged a career-high 27.4 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game. Also, he averaged 5.7 rebounds per game. As stated above, on top of winning NBA Most Improved Player, he was named to the All-NBA Second Team and earned his first All-Star selection. On Feb. 28, in the Grizzlies’ 118-105 win over the Spurs, Morant scored a career-high 52 points.

Moreover, after scoring a playoff career-high 47 points against the Warriors in Game 2 of the Grizzlies’ second-round playoff series, Morant joined Kobe Bryant and LeBron James as the only players in NBA history to have multiple 45-point games before turning 23 years old. The fourth-year player averaged 27.4 points per game in the playoffs last season. If not Curry, Morant is another noteworthy candidate.

Jayson Tatum (+400) at BetOnline

Finally, Jayson Tatum exceeded expectations with the Celtics last season. Practically no one had the C’s reaching the NBA Finals. At one point, the Celtics were 7-0 following a loss during the 2022 NBA Playoffs. Anyway, in a total of 76 games played in the 2021-22 season, Tatum averaged 26.9 points, 8.0 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game. He also shot 45.3% from the field.

His outstanding performances in the regular season led to him qualifying for All-NBA First Team for the first time of his professional playing career. After averaging 25 points, 8.3 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game versus the Heat, Tatum went on to win the league’s first Eastern Conference Finals MVP award as well.

Unfortunately, Tatum finished his playoff run with the most turnovers ever in NBA playoffs history (100). His odds of winning NBA 2K23 cover athlete are slim right now.

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John Wall joins Clippers after Rockets buyout

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John Wall is now headed to the Clippers after yielding $6.5 million in a buyout with the Rockets. He exercised his player option for the 2022-23 season, which is set for $47,366,760. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the 11-year veteran will sign with Los Angeles after he clears waivers. Wall missed the entire 2021-22 season because he chose to sit out.

Of course, the guard also missed the 2019-20 season after tearing his ACL and dealing with an infection. The five-time All-Star has not played a game since the 2020-21 season, when he averaged 20.6 points, 3.2 rebounds, 6.9 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Most NBA analysts would agree that Wall’s best performances are behind him. The guard is a shell of his former self due to injuries.

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Is this move involving the Rockets and Clippers considered tampering? Well, the league could investigate this case. Free agency begins Thursday, but now is the time of the year when teams begin negotiating player buyouts. Ergo, this is not necessarily tampering per se. It’s business as usual for several teams across the league this week.

John Wall will improve the Clippers’ backcourt

Moreover, with the roster as it is, the Clippers are limited in the backcourt. Aside from Wall now, they have Reggie Jackson, Jason Preston and others. At point guard, Jackson might not be enough. He averaged 16.8 points, 3.6 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game last season.

Plus, Jackson is entering the final year of his contract. And Preston is not a proven player just yet. He missed all of the 2021-22 season after injuring his right foot during the preseason. So, despite all the injuries Wall has sustained these last couple of years, the guard should help to improve the Clippers’ ball movement. The biggest question for Wall is whether or not he can play like his younger self.

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Can the guard go back to averaging 20 points per game?

Before the guard tore his ACL, he recorded his eighth career triple-double in the Rockets’ 117-99 win over the Raptors on Mar. 22, 2021. Wall finished with 19 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. His performance also helped put an end to Houston’s 20-game losing streak. Not to mention, it was his first triple-double since 2016.

Wall turns 32 in September. He has not earned an All-Star selection since 2018, and he has not received any honors since being selected All-NBA Third Team in 2017. He should consider himself very fortunate that Washington offered him a four-year, $170 million contract extension five years ago.

It is anyone’s guess on how the guard will bounce back in the 2022-23 season after missing two of the last three years’ worth of basketball. To add to that, Wall has not played a full season since the 2013-14 season. Back then, he averaged 19.3 points per game. Other articles related to the John Wall buyout with the Rockets are on the main page.

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