The last three seasons have been disappointing for Gordon Hayward.
After playing seven years in Utah, he left for Boston back in the 2017-18 season looking to be more and win more since he just came off his first all-star selection. He was also joining a squad that had Kyrie Irving and two phenomenal young wing guys in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
However, since becoming a member of the Celtics, Hayward’s career started going downhill.
In his very first game donning the historic green jersey, the ninth-pick of the 2010 NBA Draft suffered one of the worst leg injuries in the history of the league.
After attempting to finish a lob pass from Irving, Hayward collided with LeBron James in midair and Jae Crowder who was trailing Hayward bumped into his lower body which caused Hayward to fall awkwardly and suffer the injury.
Hayward dislocated his ankle and fractured his tibia which forced him to sit out the rest of the season. He made his return to action the next season but was far from his usual self.
Before his injury, he was averaging 21.9 points in 47.1% shooting with 5.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists. In his return, he was only averaging 11.5 points in 46.6% shooting with 4.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists.
In his second year after his injury, he played better with 17.5 points in 50.0% shooting with 6.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists but was in a difficult situation in Boston as he was no longer the first or the second option on the team as Tatum and Brown began their ascent into stardom.
Since his injury, a lot of fans have written of Hayward. Stating that he’s no longer his usual self and that injuries destroyed his game and that we won’t see him back in his all-star state.
Fast forward to today and it seems that the 30-year-old versatile forward is proving everyone wrong.
During the offseason, Hayward took his talents to Charlotte via sign-and-trade from the Celtics for a conditional 2022 second-round pick.
Hayward signed a surprising $120M for four-years deal with the Hornets which surprised a lot of fans and critics.
However, it seems Michael Jordan and the Charlotte organization saw something in him and whatever that is, Hayward is showing it this season.
Being the star veteran of a team that has young high-potential guys, the Butler University product is stepping up and ballin’ like an All-Star.
Hayward has played all 16 games this season and is averaging a career-high 24.1 points and shooting a career-high in the field with 51.2% and in three-pointers with 42.5% per five attempts per game. He’s also grabbing 5.4 rebounds, dishing 3.5 assists and 1.3 steals.
The 6’7 combo forward already had multiple big games this season. In January 6, against Atlanta, he dropped a career-high 44 points to lead his squad to the W.
Yesterday, he dropped 39 points and nine rebounds in their win over Orlando. He also put up one of the coldest game-winners of the season to cap off his jaw-dropping performance.
He came back down to earth a bit in a rematch with Orlando, but still had 24 points, five rebounds, four assists, three steals, and a block to go with his five turnovers.
Charlotte is decently competitive in this early stage of the season. They are currently still in the playoff hunt with a 7-10 record.
A big reason for that is because of the stellar play of Hayward and if they could climb the standings, he could become an All-Star again.
What do you think about Gordon Hayward this season? Do you think he can become an All-Star? Sound off in the comment section!