Hornets ship Washington to Dallas, Hayward to Oklahoma City ahead of trade deadline

Charlotte also waived former first-round pick James Bouknight

The Hornets traded PJ Washington, pictured, and Gordon Hayward in a pair of deals ahead of the NBA trade deadline. (Jacob Kupferman / AP Photo)

The Charlotte Hornets officially flew the white flag on the 2023-24 NBA season Thursday, trading away PJ Washington and Gordon Hayward in a pair of deals ahead of the league’s trade deadline.

Dallas landed Washington from the Hornets for Grant Williams, Seth Curry and a 2027 first-round draft pick. The Mavericks also received two second-round picks in the Charlotte trade.

Washington was the 12th overall pick out of Kentucky in 2019 and just signed a $46.5 million, three-year contract with the Hornets this past offseason.

The 25-year-old has averaged 13 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists over 4½ seasons while shooting 45% from the field and 35.9% from 3-point range.

Washington is averaging 13.6 points and 5.3 rebounds this season while mostly coming off the bench and is shooting 32.4% from beyond the arc.

He would make sense as the starter at power forward in a lineup that would include Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving and rookie center Dereck Lively II, who also has been in and out of the lineup because of injuries.

Williams, who grew up in Charlotte and played at Providence Day School before playing collegiately at Tennessee, had a role similar to what is likely for Washington after joining Dallas from Boston as part of a three-team trade last July. The fifth-year power forward averaged 8.1 points and 3.6 rebounds in 47 games this season, shooting 37.6% from long range.

The trade means the end of a third stint in Dallas for Curry, who is in his 10th NBA season. Curry, who grew up in Charlotte while his father, Dell, was a player with the Hornets and played three seasons at Duke, averaged 4.3 points per game for the Mavs this season.

The return for trading often-injured Hayward to Oklahoma City was guard Tre Mann, forward Davis Bertans, point guard Vasilije Micic and second-round draft picks in 2024 and 2025.

The Hornets signed Hayward to a four-year, $120 million contract in 2020 hoping he would help them become a consistent playoff team. But that hasn’t happened as Charlotte is headed toward an eighth straight season without a trip to the postseason, the longest current streak in the NBA.

Hayward’s injuries have contributed to that.

He has missed 43% of Charlotte’s games (128 of 296) since his arrival, including half of this year’s contests.

Hayward, who turns 34 in March, has averaged 14.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.6 assists in 25 games this season while shooting 36.1% from 3-point range. He’s averaged 15.5 points over his 14-year career.

The Hornets also decided to waive 2021 first-round draft pick James Bouknight, the No. 11 overall pick who played in just 79 games in three seasons.

The Hornets already unloaded Terry Rozier to the Miami Heat in exchange for Kyle Lowry and a future conditional first-round draft pick earlier this month. Lowry has not played for the Hornets and is expected to take a buyout.

Miles Bridges, who was the subject of trade rumors after scoring 41 points on Monday and 45 on Wednesday, will remain with Charlotte at least through the end of this season.

Bridges becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer and the Hornets own his Bird rights, which would allow them to exceed the salary cap by signing him to a maximum-salary deal.

The Thunder selected Mann with the 18th overall pick in the 2021 draft. He was a crowd favorite but his playing time was reduced as the team added better players. He started 26 games as a rookie in 2021-22, when he averaged 10.4 points a game. That year, he scored 30 points in a win over the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden and scored a career-high 35 points in a loss to Boston. He has started five games since that season.

The Thunder acquired Bertans from the Dallas Mavericks in a draft-night deal last year, and he has played sparingly. He’s a career 39.8% 3-point shooter in eight seasons.

Oklahoma City acquired the rights to Micic from Philadelphia in 2020. The Thunder brought him from Europe and signed him in 2023. The Serb is an outstanding passer who is averaging 3.3 points and 2.5 assists in 12 minutes per game this season.