In exchange, OKC sent the Charlotte Hornets a package of Tre Mann, Davis Bertans, Vasilije Micic, two future second-round picks and cash considerations.
It’s an exciting addition as the 33-year-old is a veteran wing off the bench who can also start and close for the Thunder.
The only caveat with the acquisition is Hayward’s health — which has haunted him for several years. This season is no different as he’s been out of action since Dec. 26 with a calf injury.
Daigneault provided further clarity on when Hayward can join the Thunder, saying it’ll likely happen in a couple of weeks.
“He’s feeling pretty good. He’s not going to play until after All-Star break. We need to take him through kinda our return-to-play protocol as if he were here all along,” Daigneault said. “We caught up with him this morning, got a feel for that. We don’t really have practice time to go through what he needs to go through to clear our internal hurdles to play.”
If he returns by the first game following the break, he’ll have a chance to play 28 games for the Thunder if he stays healthy. OKC is afforded the luxury of being patient with him since they will really need him for the playoffs.
In 25 games with the Hornets, Hayward has averaged 14.5 points on 48.6% shooting, 4.7 rebounds and 4.6 assists. He has shot 36.1% from 3 on 2.4 attempts. The 33-year-old is on an expiring $31.5 million salary, so there’s no long-term commitment.