The Knicks shouldn’t relive past desires by trading with Gordon Hayward

It’s been two years since the New York Knicks were interested in hiring then-free agent Gordon Hayward. He eventually ended up signing with the Charlotte Hornets, but New York reportedly offered a similar deal to Charlotte.

However, Hayward had already committed to the Hornets, so North Carolina became his next stop. And that couldn’t be better for the Knicks because the last thing they’ve needed over the past two years has been a heavily injured player.

The 32-year-old has played in a total of 93 games since signing with Charlotte. His last game for the Hornets was on April 2 (his first game in nearly two months), which was a 5-point performance in a 144-114 loss.

He missed for the remainder of the season, including championship play, with “continued discomfort in his left foot”.

He has two years left on a four-year contract he signed with Charlotte and his name has appeared in trade rumours. Reportedly, the front is open to the idea of ‚Äč‚Äčtrade. Although New York had been interested in him for two summers, the Knicks needed to stay away from the trade with Hayward.

The New York Knicks should stay away from the Gordon Hayward trade

According to Jake Fisher of Bleacher Report, Hayward will not object to this summer’s deal, although that is not his main focus.

Word has been circulating among competing front desks that the 32-year-old would be interested in a change of scenery in the off-season, although a source close to Hayward told B/R he is primarily focused on recovering from his injured foot.

Outside of Hayward’s injuries, he owed $30.1 million in 2022-23 and $31.5 million in 2023-24. Meanwhile, New York is going to have a hard enough time creating plenty of space to try and sign Jalen Brunson for at least $20 million a year. So Hayward is a Difficult no.

His numbers in 2021-22 were lower than normal. In 49 games, Hayward averaged 15.9 points (the lowest in three years), 4.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists. He shot 45.9% from the field (the lowest level since 2015-16) and 39.1% from the 3-point streak.

Michael Scotto of HoopsHype was right when he said recently that the Knicks no longer need to go after Hayward.

The New York Knicks came close to being in the ballpark of the Charlotte Hornets deal when Hayward was looking for a new home, I was told. He actually committed to Charlotte at the time, which is why he didn’t end up going to New York. Indiana was previously interested in looking at Hayward as a commercial candidate when they had the Domantas Sabonis. Now, they pivoted and went in a different direction. I don’t know if you can look at it there as decent.

It will be difficult for the Hornets to execute a deal for Hayward during the holiday season. The amount of money he owes is much more than he’s worth, given his injuries and production (or lack thereof) over the past two years.

New York had a flurry of veteran signings last season that weren’t successful, so this should be more reason not to engage with Charlotte in business talks.

Specifically, we all know how it worked out the last time the Knicks signed a player who had recently played for the Hornets and Celtics. This should be a sign in and of itself.

Knicks wasn’t desperate enough to pursue a deal for Hayward and his contract. It’s the exact opposite direction that New York should go.

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