Sam Presti Admits Gordon Hayward Trade Was a Miss for Thunder

Oklahoma City Thunder GM Sam Presti admitted that the Gordon Hayward trade didn't pan out as he'd anticipated.
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Gordon Hayward (33) goes to pass the ball vs. the Toronto Raptors.
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Gordon Hayward (33) goes to pass the ball vs. the Toronto Raptors. / John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma City Thunder were the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference this year as the franchise finally saw the fruits of its lengthy rebuild. Despite a strong season, the Thunder were bounced in the second round of the playoffs, leaving the front office wondering how it could've better fortified the roster for the postseason.

During his end of season address, GM Sam Presti admitted one of Oklahoma City's midseason acquisitions didn't turn out as he'd hoped.

When discussing the Thunder's trade to acquire Gordon Hayward at the deadline, Presti took ownership for the deal, a trade on which he felt that he "missed," and called it a learning experience.

"I missed on that. That's on me. But I'm learning, you know, I'm trying to learn this team," said Presti.

"I don't think I read that one perfect, and I'm learning from that in terms of bringing somebody in midseason, especially early on in the process for our team," he added.

As part of a big trade with the Charlotte Hornets, Oklahoma City acquired Hayward in exchange for Vasilije Micic, Tre Mann, Davis Bertans, two second round picks and cash considerations.

After landing with the Thunder, Hayward featured in 26 games and averaged just 17.2 minutes per game, seeing the floor for the fewest minutes since his rookie season back in 2010-11. He logged just 5.3 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game, and saw his role reduced even further during the playoffs.

Hayward featured in seven games during the postseason and didn't score a single point while averaging just 6.6 minutes per contest, falling out of the rotation entirely on some nights.

Following the team's playoff exit, Hayward admitted he was frustrated with how things played out during his time with the team. He's due to hit unrestricted free agency this offseason, and a reunion with the Thunder seems unlikely for the 34-year-old.

Karl Rasmussen