Just about everyone agrees that the Cleveland Cavaliers’ biggest need this offseason is depth and production at the wing position, especially when it comes to 3-point shooting.
This season, Cleveland had only three rotation players who shot at least 36.0 percent from 3-point range: Darius Garland, Kevin Love and Rajon Rondo.
The Cavs will likely have to look to the trade market for a serious remedy to this issue unless they luck out and draft someone who will immediately light it up from the outside on a consistent basis.
One sharpshooting wing who may become available via trade is Gordon Hayward, who currently plays for the Charlotte Hornets.
The Hornets are reportedly looking to shed some salary, and it may result in Hayward suiting up for a new team.
He has been an outstanding 3-point shooter over the years, but the question is if he would be the right wing for the Cavs to go after.
Hayward Is The Type Of Player Who Could Help Cleveland’s Shooting Woes
Hayward, a 6-foot-7, 225-pound small forward, has been one of the NBA’s better outside shooters for several years now.
His 3-point shooting percentage has fluctuated a bit from year to year, but by the 2016-17 season, he was peaking, as he averaged 21.9 points a game and shot 39.8 percent from beyond the arc.
That year, he made it to the NBA All-Star team for the first time.
But the following season, disaster struck, as he suffered a gruesome foot injury on national television in the very first game of the year, just after signing a huge contract with the Boston Celtics.
He missed virtually the entire season, and he spent the whole 2018-19 campaign simply getting his sea legs back.
The past three seasons, Hayward has largely returned to the player he was before the injury, especially on the offensive end.
Gordon Hayward gets out to a half career-high 28 PTS in the opening two quarters on NBA League Pass! pic.twitter.com/a1l7pWzS2y
— NBA (@NBA) January 12, 2021
He is more than just a long-range bomber, as he can attack the hoop and finish, and he is an accurate finisher near the rim.
GORDON HAYWARD WINS THE GAME ♨️ pic.twitter.com/geEFFCm2Rm
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 25, 2021
He can also facilitate a bit – he has a career average of 3.6 assists per game.
Although Hayward is no defensive stopper, he also isn’t a slouch in that department either.
— Adam Kaufman (@AdamMKaufman) November 27, 2018
The Two Problems With A Hayward Trade
Even though he is now nearly five years removed from his gruesome injury, Hayward still has trouble staying healthy, and he has missed many games over the last three seasons.
Games played the last two seasons:
Gordon Hayward 103
Myles Turner 99
Durability should be a concern in any Turner trade as it would be for any team trading for Hayward. pic.twitter.com/xPEn9uINK7
— James Plowright (@British_Buzz) June 15, 2022
There is an old saying that one’s best ability is availability, and Hayward’s continued injury problems put a big dent in his overall value to his team.
Then there is the matter of his contract.
Hayward is owed just over $30 million for each of the next two seasons, and although he is still a good player, he simply isn’t worth that much money, especially when one factors in the fact that he cannot remain healthy throughout the season.
With big extensions due to Darius Garland, Evan Mobley and perhaps Collin Sexton, the Cavaliers simply shouldn’t be paying $30 million a year to a player with the flaws that Hayward has.