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Gordon Hayward ranked No. 45 in Sports Illustrated’s Top 100 rankings

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With training camp for the 2021-22 NBA season right around the corner, season predictions and player rankings are starting to flood social media.

On Monday, Sports Illustrated began their Top 100 player rankings, which included Hornets star LaMelo Ball at No. 51.

On Tuesday, SI continued releasing their rankings with spots 50-31 on their list. Charlotte Hornets forward Gordon Hayward landed at No. 45 after being outside the top 50 last season at No. 53.

Sports Illustrated’s Chris Herring explains Hayward’s ranking:

“Finally free of having to wonder where he sat in the pecking order, Hayward looked fully comfortable again last season, putting up borderline All-Star numbers for Charlotte alongside LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier. He suffered a foot sprain toward the end of the season that hindered the Hornets’ chances of winning a playoff spot. But when he’s healthy, Hayward still has undeniable playmaking ability.”

In his first season with the Hornets, Hayward averaged 19.6 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game.

Check out the full rankings here.