- Gordon Hayward suffered a finger fracture during the Hornets’ December 14 preseason game against the Raptors.
- He is coming off a season in Boston where he missed 20 regular season and 12 playoff games.
- Hayward signed a four-year $120M deal with the Hornets during the offseason.
The Charlotte Hornets announced on Wednesday that forward Gordon Hayward has suffered an avulsion fracture of the fifth metacarpal on his right hand during Charlotte’s preseason games against the Toronto Raptors last December 14. Because of that, Hayward will miss the team’s preseason game versus the Orlando Magic and will be listed as day-to-day after that.
Charlotte Hornets forward Gordon Hayward is listed as day to day after breaking the bone at the base of his right pinky. #NBA finger.https://t.co/LamL0q5RM2
— AP Sports (@AP_Sports) December 17, 2020
While its sad that the injury bug has struck again, this one isn’t considered serious and is immaterial compared to the leg injury he suffered during his first ever game for the Boston Celtics. According to the Hornets, surgery won’t be needed here and Hayward will be eligible to return when he feels he can “comfortably manage the pain and perform effectively.
Injury Bug Following Hayward in Charlotte
The injury bug has followed Gordon Hayward to Charlotte https://t.co/V833pVvYP4
— WBZ Boston Sports (@wbzsports) December 17, 2020
It can be recalled that Hayward suffered a gruesome injury five minutes into his Boston Celtics debut in 2018. Hayward dislocated his left ankle and fractured his left tibia when he went for an alley-oop pass and collided with LeBron James midway through the first quarter of the Celtics’ opening game against the Cavs. He would go on to miss the entire 2017-18 season.
Hayward returned to action the following season but struggled to regain the All-Star form he had in Utah which earned him a four-year $128M deal with Boston. In 72 regular season games, Hayward averaged just 11.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game.
Last season, Hayward appeared to be close to his former self when he averaged 17.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 4.1 assists while shooting 50%from the field, 38% from three ball, and 85% from the foul line. But Hayward appeared in only 52 out of a total 72 games due to various injuries. He suffered broken bone in his left hand in November 2019 and had nerve issues with his surgically repaired foot the following month. He also missed 12 of the Celtics’ playoff games with a Grade 3 right ankle sprain.
During the offseason, Hayward surprised a lot of people when he opted out of his $34.2M final year salary with the Celtics to become a free agent. Hayward then proceeded to signing a four-year deal worth $120M with the Charlotte Hornets. The Hornets and Celtics ended up with a sign and trade deal that finalized Hayward’s entry to Charlotte. He played in Charlotte’s first two preseason games, scoring an average of 12.5 points per game.
What are your expectations for @gordonhayward and the @hornets this season? ?
The 2020-21 NBA season tips off Christmas Week with games beginning Tuesday, December 22nd https://t.co/1cSbHIyJ8d
— NBA (@NBA) December 8, 2020
Charlotte kept the core of last season’s team with Terry Rozier, Devonte Graham, PJ Washington, Miles Bridges, and Malik Monk all returning to run it back again this year. With the signing of Hayward and drafting of LaMelo Ball with the 4th pick overall pick of the 2020, the Hornets were optimistic about improving last season’s performance.
The Hornets finished the 2019-20 season with a 23-42 (.354) record. They were 10th overall in the Eastern Conference team standings and were next to last in the tough Atlantic division with only the Knicks having a worse record than them. This season, the Hornets are predicted to win 26 games but with the under 26.5 wins favored at -135. The oddsmakers are also saying that they won make the playoffs (-450).
There’s no need to panic right now although after committing $120M and four years to Hayward, you can’t blame the Hornets for being worried. But while the injury is just to Gordon’s pinky finger, it’s on the base of that finger on his shooting hand. That could be bothersome and could definitely affect his shooting touch so it’s still going to be an issue when the regular season starts.
If there’s any bright spot for Charlotte in the sportsbooks it’s the fact that their prized rookie La Melo Ball is the current betting favorite to win Rookie of the Year honors at the end of the season. Lonzo’s younger brother is currently a +350 at BetOnline.ag while number one overall pick Anthony Edwards is listed at +500 a the same sportsbook.