Amid their rumored hunt to gain either Kevin Durant or Donovan Mitchell, the Miami Heat may have also identified their interest in Gordon Hayward.
Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney has reported that one anonymous Eastern Conference executive believes that the Heat could target Hayward and classify him as their ‘Plan B’ should they fail to net Durant or Mitchell.
“I think a guy they will keep an eye on is Gordon Hayward,” the executive told 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.”
In hindsight, acquiring Hayward is a much more likely scenario rather than those of Durant and Mitchell.
He has two years left in his deal which will take him at the end of 2023-2024 season. Certainly, Hayward is a risky asset to deal with, given the injury history he tallied for the past few seasons. He only managed to play 93 games in his past two seasons, and missed the pivotal back-to-back Play-In games of the Charlotte Hornets.
But he could at least become Miami’s spark plug off the bench should a trade materializes, which is a suitable role for him due to his age and current liability.
Losing P.J. Tucker in this offseason left a bad taste in the franchise, but Pat Riley might have other plans to fill this vacated position.
The Heat remains slated for contention with Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Kyle Lowry still in town, and they would move their chips smartly to improve every side of their competitive components.