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NBA Draft Trade Rumors: Pistons interested in Gordon Hayward, pick from Charlotte

Pistons have ample cap space and could be looking to use it to buy picks, players

Oklahoma City Thunder v Charlotte Hornets Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

The Detroit Pistons and the Charlotte Hornets could become trade partners centered on a deal for Gordon Hayward and one of Charlotte’s draft night picks, according to ESPN.

In his latest mock draft, Johnathan Givony notes that the Pistons and Hornets could reach a deal, especially if Jalen Duren falls to one of Charlotte’s picks at No. 13 or No. 15. The Hornets have reportedly been shopping a first-rounder if someone would take Hayward’s contract off their hands.

Charlotte is attempting to create more financial wiggle room to more comfortably sign restricted free agent Miles Bridges to a big new contract. The Pistons would be especially motivated to do a deal if big man Jalen Duren was available in the draft, Givony writes.

“Detroit Pistons GM Troy Weaver is one of Duren’s biggest fans in the NBA, sources say, and could very well look to target him in a draft night trade if he continued to slide down the board, especially to Charlotte, which has been identified as a possible trading partner for the Pistons in a potential Gordon Hayward deal.”

Hayward, 32, signed a four-year, $120 million contract with the Hornets in 2020. Hayward is owed $30 million this season and $31.5 million next season.

The Pistons opened up as much as $55 million in cap space when they traded Jerami Grant to the Portland Trail Blazers without taking a player back in return. GM Troy Weaver reportedly has his sights set on Phoenix Suns restricted free agent Deandre Ayton, but it is believed he’s willing to be aggressive beyond that in an attempt to add players and future picks.

The Hayward deal fits the bill on both counts as it nets another lottery pick and also provides a nice veteran offensive option when healthy. Hayward averaged 15.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists last season on 45/39/84 shooting splits.

In regards to the interest in Duren, he is one of the youngest, most athletically gifted players in the NBA Draft. Some people absolutely love how that raw athleticism could translate as an NBA defender and others have doubts at how effective he will be on the next level.

Much like Weaver’s reported interest in Jaden Ivey, it seems there is a belief athleticism + work ethic are what Weaver is looking to add, and that the other parts of their games can develop over time.