After years of ineptitude, the Charlotte Hornets had a trickle of success last season, finishing 43-39 and reaching the play-in tournament.
Although they didn’t qualify for the playoffs, they came into the offseason with plenty of hope that they could reach the postseason this year for the first time since 2016.
Gordon Hayward seems to be feeling the optimism, as he got himself a fresh new haircut.
Gordon Hayward showing off the new cut💈 pic.twitter.com/5UujPo4rNg
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 14, 2022
Hayward Seems Ready For A Productive Season
The Hornets may have gone 0-5 in the exhibition season, and forward Miles Bridges may have left the team due to his felony domestic violence case in California, but Hayward is looking to prove that he can be a consistent contributor.
He has been injury prone ever since he suffered gruesome tibia and ankle injuries on opening night of the 2017-18 season, and he has appeared in at least 55 games only once since then – that happened during the 2018-19 campaign.
However, his renowned 3-point shooting touch hasn’t wavered much, as he shot 39.1 percent from downtown last season and 41.5 percent the season before.
In his two preseason games this past week, he flashed some of his solid skills.
Gordon Hayward is in his bag tonight 👀
🔥 16 PTS | 7 REB | 3 BLK pic.twitter.com/fVClEP7D6D
— NBA (@NBA) October 13, 2022
— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) October 12, 2022
For Charlotte to improve on what it did last season and give itself a real shot at returning to the playoffs, it will take an all-hands-on-deck effort, and the biggest thing Hayward can do to contribute to such an effort is to remain relatively healthy.
It would be a big boon for the team if he appeared in at least 70 regular season games, as he is a skilled scorer and secondary facilitator.
Hayward has career averages of 15.6 points and 3.6 assists per game, and with Bridges’ status unknown moving forward, this would be an opportune time for the 6-foot-7 forward to turn in a career-best effort.