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Former NBA All-Star Reveals Frustrations About His Role

Feb 22, 2024; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; A close up view of Oklahoma City Thunder forward Gordon Hayward's shoes during the second quarter against the LA Clippers at Paycom Center. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Despite entering the 2024 NBA Playoffs as the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, the Oklahoma City Thunder were eliminated in the second round by the Dallas Mavericks. Although the playoff exit could be considered a disappointment for the Thunder, there is a lot to be excited about. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Chet Holmgren had fantastic seasons, and there is a great supporting cast around them who will likely stick around around in the long run. Additionally, they are led by this year’s Coach of the Year winner Mark Daigneault. The Thunder have an exciting future and should only continue to grow over the next few years. However, it seems one of their veterans may not stick around any longer. After the Thunder’s playoff elimination, forward Gordon Hayward revealed his frustrations during his short stint with the team.

“Disappointing with how it all kind of worked out. Certainly frustrating.” “I feel as a player, I have a lot to offer. Just wasn’t really given much of an opportunity to do that. I thought I would be given that opportunity.”

In addition to being unhappy in his role, Hayward indicated he was not aggressive enough in the minutes he got with the team.

“I think with the minutes that I was given, and like I said, the role that I was in, I think there might have been some possessions where I could probably have been more aggressive. But it’s hard when you just get in the game and it’s not like you’re given an open shot, you’re asked to — I’ve never really been the type of player to kind of just go 1-on-1 first time I get it, take a tough contested shot.”

Hayward joined the Thunder after the team acquired him from the Charlotte Hornets in February. During the regular season, the one-time All-Star appeared in 26 games, starting three of them. In those games, he averaged 5.3 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 1.6 assists. Additionally, he averaged just 17.2 minutes per game. In the playoffs, Hayward played in just seven of the team’s 10 games, not logging a single minute during Games 4-6. Hayward played roughly 46 total minutes in the postseason and shot 0-for-3 from the field.

After the worst statistical full season of his career since his rookie year, Hayward will hit unrestricted free agency this summer.

Former NBA All-Star Reveals Frustrations About His Role

What’s Next for Gordon Hayward and the Oklahoma City Thunder?

Based on Hayward’s comments, it seems unlikely he will re-sign with Oklahoma City. However, at this stage in his career, it remains unclear how coveted he is. Hayward is clearly not the same player he was when playing for the Utah Jazz. However, it seems like he still has a little bit left in the tank. He is still a solid offensive player, and he can contribute as a veteran presence. It could make sense for a championship contender to add Hayward for depth and experience.


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