Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward continues to draw interest from teams around the league, reportedly meeting with the Charlotte Hornets for two days, which ended on Tuesday according to TNT's David Aldridge.
Hornets pleased with meeting with Gordon Hayward today, but Jazz maintain stance that they plan to match any offer sheet for him.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 8, 2014
Why this is a good idea
Charlotte needed an extra offensive punch last season. At the wing position, it was Gerald Henderson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Chris Douglas-Roberts in the rotation, where shooting was at a premium and defense was abundant.
Hayward, 24, has proven to be a reliable scorer, passer and rebounder at the wing position. Although he doesn't have the shooting acumen the Hornets desperately need -- like Josh McRoberts, who signed with the Heat -- he does provide an ability to penetrate off the dribble, which could help open up the arc for Charlotte.
Charlotte isn't going to attract a Carmelo Anthony or a LeBron James, so getting a valuable free agent, even if they have to dip into their pockets to scare off Utah, is a big win for the Hornets if they can get him.
Why this is a bad idea
With just $42 million committed in cap space, Charlotte has a lot of money to spend in free agency without having to re-sign their own players. That can be a dangerous thing for a mid-market team looking to compete with the larger teams out East.
Cleveland reportedly also took a meeting with Hayward, considered sending him a massive contract that would have tied up their cap space for future moves (LeBron James) and decided against it.
The key to all this is that Hayward is a restricted free agent, and most buzz around Utah is that they intend to match any offer for him. Tying up cap space temporarily only to lose out on the player can be a dangerous wager for a team trying to make the best of their upcoming season.
Likelihood it happens
Overall, the fit for Charlotte isn't terrible. Pairing Hayward with old pal Al Jefferson would give them some comfort right off the bat, and having a wing who isn't totally useless off the dribble would be a change for the Hornets. However, Utah is tired of getting burned in RFA and they aren't likely to let Hayward go as a homegrown star. I'd give it a 3/10 chance of happening.