Gordon Hayward will sign a four-year, $120 million contract and be a member of the Charlotte Hornets next season.
The exact machinations of how that is going to happen are still being hammered out between Boston and Charlotte. The Hornets have the ability to sign Hayward into cap space (after just a couple of moves to clear space), but Boston and Charlotte would like to find a third team to take on Nicolas Batum‘s contract and make this a sign-and-trade deal. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN Tweeted about this:
The math in Charlotte
Hornets were $19M below the cap pre: Hayward
GH= $28M in Y1
How do you find $9M in room without without/waiving stretching Batum?
Find a trade partner that has less salary coming back but with Charlotte having to take back $$ in 2021/22.
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) November 25, 2020
It is a very common three-team trade construction where the third team — usually a rebuilding team — takes on a bad contract in exchange for picks. Some teams might be open to taking Batum on, but the cost for $27 million gets into more than just one first-round pick.
Charlotte can waive-and-stretch Batum but would have $9 million locked in on the books for three seasons, cap space the Hornets may want down the line to bring in other players.
One way or another, Hayward will be a Hornet. It may just take a little longer to finalize.