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Grading Hornets-Thunder deal centered around Gordon Hayward

Oklahoma City adds a veteran forward ahead of a playoff run.

Charlotte Hornets v Los Angeles Clippers
Gordon Hayward of the Charlotte Hornets handles the ball during the game on December 26, 2023 at Crypto.Com Arena in Los Angeles, California.
Photo by Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images

The Oklahoma City Thunder have made a move at the trade deadline, although it might not be the big deal fans hoped for. The Thunder are adding veteran wing Gordon Hayward from the Charlotte Hornets, sending back Tre Mann and Davis Bertans in the deal according to Adrian Wojnarowski.

Here’s a look at how each team grades out after the deal.

Hornets: B+

Hayward is coming off a calf injury which has put him on the shelf for a long time. He still hasn’t returned to the floor in a big capacity, so there’s a lot of risk in this deal for the Thunder. In fact, there was a belief the Hornets would have to buy Hayward out due to his contract number. The fact Charlotte was able to trade him and come away with a decent prospect in Mann is a win. The 2021 first-round pick has upside as a three-point shooter and should get a better opportunity in Charlotte.

Thunder: B-

This is a bit of an underwhelming deal for Oklahoma City, although there’s an easy pivot for the Thunder if it doesn’t work out considering Hayward is an expiring deal. The veteran forward has 29 games of playoff experience under his belt but he hasn’t played for a while since he’s recovering from a calf injury. Hayward does give the Thunder a veteran presence they’ve lacked but it’s hard to imagine him moving the needle in a playoff series. We’ll see how he looks when he does come back to the floor. If Hayward is able to improve his performance from the last few seasons, this grade will go up.