Insider Drops Truth Bomb on Heat’s Pursuit of Former All-Star

Gordon Hayward Hornets-Sixers

Getty Gordon Hayward looks on during a game between the Charlotte Hornets and the Philadelphia 76ers.

As time passes and the start of training camp draws ever nearer, the possibility that the Miami Heat could make a serious play for Kevin Durant or Donovan Mitchell (or any major star) feels more and more like a pipe dream. Pessimistic fans aren’t the only ones who think it might be time for a backup plan, either.

In speaking with Heavy.com‘s Sean Deveney, a league executive indicated that Heat prez Pat Riley could look to shift his focus to acquiring another player with All-Star creds instead. Specifically, Hornets forward Gordon Hayward, whom the exec called “a guy they will keep an eye on.”

Added the exec: “If you want to give up [Tyler] Herro before you pay him and you want to move [Duncan] Robinson, you would have to add a pick, but those two guys and Omer [Yurtseven], that might be enough to get Hayward.”

However, one Heat insider rebuffed the notion that a Hayward deal makes sense for the team.


Winderman Pooh-Poohs Hayward Deal


Gordon Hayward ERUPTS for 41 PTS in 3 QTR 😮Gordon Hayward records his 2nd career 40-PT game as he goes off for 41 in only 29 MIN as he makes 15-19 FG & 5-6 3PT in the Charlotte Hornets’ 131-115 win over the San Antonio Spurs. ✔️Subscribe to ESPN+ espnplus.com/youtube ✔️ Get the ESPN App: espn.com/espn/apps/espn ✔️Subscribe to ESPN on YouTube: es.pn/SUBSCRIBEtoYOUTUBE ✔️ Subscribe…2021-12-16T03:50:34Z

The Sun Sentinel‘s Ira Winderman was asked about the possibility of a Heat-Hayward partnership by a reader for his latest mailbag piece. And while the Miami mainstay conceded that there was a rationale to the idea, he fell well short of endorsing it as a realistic option.

“It would seem that ship has sailed,” Winderman wrote. “Unless the Heat choose to be all-in during Kyle Lowry’s final two seasons under contract, with Hayward’s contract aligning to that timetable.”

Even then, Winderman doubts that there’s a legitimate pathway to getting the 2017 All-Star (as a member of the Utah Jazz) to the Heat.

“It’s not as if Duncan Robinson’s $16.9 million gets you close enough to the required matching salaries,” Winderman wrote. “And Robinson and Tyler Herro would appear an excessive price for a player who appeared in only 49 games last season and just 44 the previous season.”

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An Imperfect Marriage

In a vacuum, Hayward bears the look of a baller who could bring something to the table in just about any situation. His size at around 6-8 and 230 combined with a Swiss army knife skill set on both sides of the ball puts him in rarefied air in the Association.

Last season, the Butler alum averaged 15.9 points, 4.6 boards, 3.6 assists and 1.0 steals per contest with shooting splits of 46-39-85.

Alas, Hayward’s high-dollar contract — he’s due more than $61 million over the next two years — and that sketchy injury history are enough to give any team pause. That goes double for a franchise like the Heat that is already walking a salary-cap tightrope in its attempt to field a championship roster.

On paper, there may be a lot to like about G-Time in SoFlo, but the Heat would find themselves in a bad, bad way if such an acquisition were to go south.

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