The Clear Cut Winner Of Free Agency!
Updated: Nov 24, 2020
Despite the strange timing of the NBA finals and the 2020-21 season all up in the air, November free agency is now underway and opening weekend was as exciting as expected due to the talent available in this free agent class.
Although there are many contracts left to sign and rosters to fill, there has been a winner identified over the weekend, one that nobody had expected. This isn’t due to just the figure he signed for but more combination of his circumstances, contract and play before signing said contract.
Gordon Hayward Signs With Charlotte For $120M 4 Year Deal
Hayward turned down his $34.2M player extension with the Celtics to sign with the Hornets who haven’t made the postseason in four seasons and just ended a 23-42 campaign in the 2019-20 season. This could echo the fact that Hayward was hell bent on leaving Boston.
Gordon signed a four-year, $128 million contract with the Boston Celtics in 2017. He suffered a gruesome season-ending leg injury in his first game with the C's six minutes into his debut, it caused him to miss the season and struggle in the 2018-19 season trying to get back into the groove of playing with such a talented roster averaging only 11.5 PPG. The following season Hayward averaged 17.5 PPG, many complained that he was underperforming his $128M contract. When you take a deep dive in the numbers, you can see that Hayward did this on impressive shooting splits of 50/38/86 alongside 6.7 assists and 4 rebounds per game, this was all done on jus 21% usage rating and a true shooting percentage of 58%, no player has completed such a feat on such low usage in over ten years.
Signing with Charlotte will put Hayward in a position he thought he would have had when first signing with the Celtics, a lead role on the roster and possibly the lead scorer of franchise. Coming off almost 18 PPG on just a 21% usage rate after a gruesome injury two seasons prior is a good sign for what's to come. There is no doubt that Hayward's usage rate with the Hornets will increase which will entail on him scoring more per game being featured more in the offense.
After having suffered a life changing injury many had wrote Hayward off but 3 years later he signs for $120 millions dollars, therefore with all things considered he has won free agency, as many people had him taking his player option or possibly signing elsewhere for less. Despite people thinking the Hornets are playing it dangerous offering this contract, the 30 year old has now signed more $120 million dollar contracts than he has All-Star appearances and has the possibility of making more All-Star weekends as a member of the Charlotte Hornets.