Hornets acquire Gordon Hayward, 2 draft picks from Celtics

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Boston Celtics’ Gordon Hayward (20) attempts a shot during the second half of an NBA conference final playoff basketball game against the Miami Heat on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Charlotte Hornets have acquired forward Gordon Hayward and unprotected 2023 and 2024 second-round draft picks from the Boston Celtics in exchange for a heavily protected 2022 second-round draft pick as part of a sign-and-trade transaction.

The Celtics will only get Charlotte’s draft pick if the Hornets finish in the top five in the league next season, so it’s unlikely they will get anything in the deal other than unloading Hayward’s contract.

Hayward previously agreed to a four-year, $120 million deal to join the Hornets.

“We are thrilled to welcome Gordon and his family to the Hornets organization and Charlotte,” Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak said. “Gordon is an NBA All-Star, a proven scorer and playmaker and a tough competitor that will fit well into the needs of our team. We believe that his basketball talent, NBA experience and veteran leadership will make a positive impact on our young, talented team as it continues to develop.”

The Hornets also waived guard Nicolas Batum and forward Ray Spalding.

Hayward, a 10-year NBA veteran, has appeared in 641 regular-season games with 479 starts with the Jazz and Celtics, averaging 15.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 30.8 minutes per game. The 6-foot-7 forward has appeared in 29 postseason games with 16 starts, averaging 15 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 33 minutes per game.

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