Gordon Hayward Talks ‘Frustrating’ Role with Thunder: Not What I Thought It Would Be

Gordon Hayward Talks ‘Frustrating’ Role with Thunder: Not What I Thought It Would Be
Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekX.com LogoFeatured Columnist IVMay 19, 2024

DALLAS, TX - MAY 18: Gordon Hayward #33 of the Oklahoma City Thunder looks on before the game against the Dallas Mavericks during Round 2 Game 6 of the 2024 NBA Playoffs on May 18, 2024 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2024 NBAE (Photo by Cooper Neill/NBAE via Getty Images)

Cooper Neill/NBAE via Getty Images

Gordon Hayward played a grand total of 15 minutes during the Oklahoma City Thunder’s second-round loss to the Dallas Mavericks, and he opened up about his experience with the team this season.

“Disappointing with how it all kind of worked out,” he told reporters Sunday. “Certainly frustrating. I feel as a player, I have a lot to offer. Just wasn’t really given much of an opportunity to do that. I thought I would be given that opportunity.”

He also said,” it’s not what I thought it would be.”

Andrew Schlecht @AndrewKSchlecht

“It’s not what I thought it would be”

Gordon Hayward on his role with the Thunder pic.twitter.com/9FVCJVpHCo

Oklahoma City landed Hayward via trade from the Charlotte Hornets in February, and there was some thought he would provide veteran leadership for a young team with its eyes on a championship run.

Instead, he played just 17.2 minutes a night in 26 regular-season games and appeared in seven of the team’s 10 playoff games. He played just 6.6 minutes per game in the postseason and didn’t score a single point.

It’s certainly not what the 2016-17 All-Star envisioned considering Hayward is someone who has averaged better than 19 points per game in four different seasons during his career.

The season also ended in disappointing fashion for the team as a whole, as the Thunder blew a double-digit lead and lost Saturday’s Game 6 by a single point. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander fouled P.J. Washington on a three-pointer with two seconds remaining, and the ensuing free throws provided the difference.

Instead of a Game 7 at home, the Thunder were eliminated and will now turn their attention toward the offseason.

It doesn’t seem like that offseason will include bringing back Hayward in free agency.

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