Gordon Hayward, Al Jefferson

Report: Gordon Hayward to visit Hornets


Al Jefferson, a veteran signed from Utah last summer on a deal many considered an overpay, unexpectedly lifted Charlotte into the playoffs.

His transformative effect on the team could be felt for years to come, but it also alters the present.

With higher expectations entering this season, the Hornets need more playmaking on the wing. Their long-term aspirations remain in tact, though.

It’s a tough line to balance.

Maybe another Jazz player – 24-year-old Gordon Hayward, who averaged 16.7 points, 6.3 assists and 6.2 rebounds per game last season – fits the bill.

Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer:

Forward-guard Gordon Hayward, one of the top free agents in this class, has scheduled a visit with the Charlotte Hornets for early next week, the Observer has learned.

Jefferson and Hayward are friends from their time together in Salt Lake City. A source familiar with the situation said Jefferson has been recruiting Hayward and will be part of the Hornets’ presentation next week.

The Hornets have enough cap room to offer Hayward a max offer sheet, and that’s probably what it would take to get him to sign. Enough other teams – the Cavaliers, Celtics, Suns – are hovering that I can’t imagine Hayward would guarantee himself a lower salary.

The Jazz are threatening to match, and I believe they will – though there’s reason for all sides to posture.

I like Hayward’s fit in Charlotte, and unless the Hornets really fear losing other targets while Utah delays three days to match an offer sheet, maybe the Hornets should take a swing at Hayward.

C.J. McCollum ejected for flagrantly fouling Gordon Hayward (video)

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I’m not sure C.J. McCollum meant to grab Gordon Hayward‘s neck. The 6-foot-8 Hayward elevated, and the 6-foot-4 McCollum just might not have been able to get high enough to make a play on the ball.

But McCollum did grab Hayward’s neck.

It was a dangerous and unnecessary play, especially in the preseason.

Report: Mavericks may be team interested in Larry Sanders

Larry Sanders
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The Dallas Mavericks are looking for a center— desperately at times, they brought JaVale McGee into training camp to get a look. They will start Zaza Pachulia and behind him it’s probably Samuel Dalembert once he gets healthy.

Which is why Dallas may be the team interested in Larry Sanders — Mark Cuban is a guy known for giving second chances in the league. But there have been no talks, yet, reports Tim MacMahon at ESPN.

Larry Sanders has been out of the game since his buyout last February trying to deal with his personal demons and may well not be ready to return. He may never return.

His couple seasons with the Bucks were filled with drama and issues. There was the nightclub brawl left him with an injured thumb in need of a surgery. There were the charges of animal cruelty. There was a five-game drug suspension. There was missed time for personal reasons. There was the 10-game suspension for marijuana use (he failed at least four tests to get there) — then that suspension was extended past the 10 games. In the end, he agreed to a buyout to get space away from the game to deal with his personal issues.

He may or may not be ready to return from that. He may or may not ever be ready. But if he decides to give it a try, NBA teams will be waiting. Maybe Dallas.