NBA rumors: Hornets looking to trade Gordon Hayward ahead of NBA Draft

The Charlotte Hornets will look to be active in the 2022 NBA Draft with two selections available for the North Carolina franchise. The Hornets will need to resolve the situation after Kenny Atkinson backing up from a deal, but the draft will take priority for now.

The Hornets are interested in parting ways with forward Gordon Hayward, and they might ship the veteran along with one of their two 2022 first-round picks (13,15) as a sweetener to trade away his expensive contract, per ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. (h/t RealGM)

Hayward owed $30.1 million next year and $31.5 million in 2023-24. Since joining the Hornets in a sign-and-trade in 2020, he has averaged 17.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.8 assists in just 93 contests.

Injuries were the main issue for the veteran the last few years and Charlotte was not different for him missing many games. In addition, Miles Bridges is set to earn a lucrative deal as a restricted free agent this summer.

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As a result, the Hornets’ front office will need to clear some space to retain their breakout star, who was the leading scorer last season, averaging 20.2 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.8 assists through 80 appearances in the regular season.

Talks for Wolves’ D’Angelo Russell and others “have not come close”

Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic reported deals involving D’Angelo Russell and other players on the Minnesota Timberwolves roster have “not come close” ahead of the 2022 NBA Draft.

The Wolves made clear that all players minus Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards are available to be involved in trading deals. Minnesota made its first playoff appearance since 2017 this past season.

Russell averaged 18.1 points and a career-high 7.1 assists during the 2021-22 season as the Timberwolves finished with the seventh seed in the Western Conference standings. He owed $31.4 million next season in the final year of his current deal.

Sacramento Kings demands for No.4 pick revealed

The Sacramento Kings appeared willing to trade their No.4 pick for a win now move but the price is expected to be considerable, per Jonathan Givony of ESPN. Jaden Ivey is projected to be selected at No.4 and the interest around the league is high.

Rival teams believe the Kings need “a mix of established vets (Malcolm Brogdon, Kyle Kuzma, Jerami Grant, John Collins), a 2022 draft choice and rookie-scale contract players,” Givony reports.

Sacramento wants to put an end to a 16-year playoff drought, and another young player won’t be the answer to their problem. The Kings finished with a 30-52 record last season and missed the play-in and the postseason.

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