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Disappointing: Gordon Hayward airs grievances over Thunder tenure

After the Oklahoma City’s season-ending loss to the Dallas Mavericks, the awkward marriage between the Thunder and Gordon Hayward is likely over.

The veteran wing’s addition to the Thunder sparked excitement. On the Charlotte Hornets, Hayward was a top-scoring option and put up respectable numbers.

The 34-year-old averaged 14.5 points on 46.8% shooting, 4.7 rebounds and 4.6 assists. He shot 36.1% from 3 on 2.4 attempts. Though a nagging calf injury cost him a chunk of the season, the excitement levels remained.

All Hayward had to do was bring his outside shooting and provide the drive-heavy Thunder with another catch-and-shoot option. Instead, Hayward turned into a lesser version of himself, allergic to shooting the ball.

Hayward averaged 5.3 points on 45.3% shooting and 2.5 rebounds. The stats were expected to decrease considering the downsized role at OKC, but not to the extent they did.

By the time the playoffs rolled around, Hayward fizzled out of the rotation. He totaled three minutes in the final three contests of OKC’s second-round loss to the Mavericks. He finished the playoffs without a single point scored.

In his exit interview, Hayward vented. Any faint hopes of a potential return to the Thunder were quickly dashed with his blunt responses concerning his forgettable time in OKC.

He felt he wasn’t set up for success in his brief stint with the Thunder.

“Obviously disappointing with kind of how it all worked out,” Hayward said. “This is not what I thought it would be. Certainly frustrating. But kind of it is what it is.”

The 34-year-old discussed his miscast in role, stating he could’ve offered more than simply being a bench piece with few touches. He cited a lack of consistent minutes and touches for his subpar performances.

“I feel like as a player I have a lot to offer. I just wasn’t given much of an opportunity to do that,” Hayward said. “I kinda thought I was going to get that opportunity.”

When the Thunder acquired Hayward, there were risks involved. The low price needed to trade for him was certainly a red flag. Considering what OKC gave up, it was a low-risk move.

Alas, it didn’t work out — for whatever reason. Hayward had his moments but they were too few and far between. The lack of shooting is certainly the biggest question mark of what went wrong, but the answers to that might never be revealed.

Instead, the Thunder will take solace with his expiring $31.5 million salary to toy with in the offseason. Hayward’s tenure with OKC sounded great on paper but on the basketball court, it didn’t work.

Story originally appeared on Thunder Wire