The NBA has many ways to acquire players on teams. Free agency is a big one, as a lot of teams try to save up as much money to be able to attract a big name to their team. Trades are major, too, and the trade deadline is one of the most busy times of the NBA season. One other alternative is widely undervalued and underappreciated, that being the buyout market.
What is the buyout market? It is where a player, usually a veteran on a team that isn’t contending for a title gets waived so he can sign elsewhere, whereas the team that waived him saves money, so it would be a win-win for both sides. The Denver Nuggets were able to do that last season with Reggie Jackson, who is still on the team to this day.
Other big names last year being bought out were Miami’s Kevin Love, Philadelphia’s Danny Green, and the Los Angeles Clippers’ Russell Westbrook. This season, there are a lot of veterans on rebuilding teams that could be candidates to be bought out closer to the trade deadline.
One team in particular, the Charlotte Hornets, are multiple years into what looks like a long rebuild, and they have young pieces but are nowhere close to competing for a title any time soon. The Hornets also have a few veteran players, such as Terry Rozier and former Nugget Ish Smith.
Gordon Hayward, also on Charlotte’s roster, is 33 years old and is in the last year of his giant contract. The Hornets recently drafted Brandon Miller, who is their small forward of the future. This puts Hayward in a tough spot, as he is starting at the small forward spot over the recent 2nd overall pick.
Considering the amount of money on his contract and the fact that he’s a veteran on a rebuilding team, the Charlotte Hornets could look to buyout Gordon Hayward sooner rather than later. If so, the Denver Nuggets should pounce on that opportunity.
The Denver Nuggets have a lot of depth at the wing position, but none are as good of a player as Hayward. He’d give more depth to the power forward spot, too, as he has played multiple seasons in that position. The Nuggets’ bench depth is lacking a bit, so he’d be a great acquisition there.
As a small forward, Hayward is a tremendous playmaker, and that could be beneficial if Nikola Jokic or Jamal Murray are out for the Denver Nuggets. He’s also a quality 3-point shooter, as he has shot 36.9 percent from beyond the arc for his career, but had a down year last year, shooting only 32.5 percent there.
One major question mark is his availability. In his last three seasons in Charlotte, the most amount of games he has played was 50 last season, which isn’t that much for a player like Hayward. However, if he shows that he can stay healthy, a lot of teams will keep an eye out for him on the buyout market.
The Denver Nuggets could use a player like Gordon Hayward, and if he does hit the buyout market like some are predicting, then Denver should try their best to get him on the team.
Maybe some other notable names will be on the buyout market this season, but Gordon Hayward fits the Denver Nuggets’ roster, and they should try their best to get him on the team if he becomes available.