Very quietly, the Charlotte Hornets are in position to strike in free agency once again.
The Hornets have plenty of cap space to work with, and if this feels a little like Groundhog's Day, you'd be correct.
Charlotte was able to nab Al Jefferson to the surprise of many last year, and at least so far, that jump into free agency has paid nice dividends. Once again, Charlotte is coming on strong, as they signed restricted free agent Gordon Hayward to a max offer sheet, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:
Restricted free agent Gordon Hayward has agreed to a four-year, $63 million maximum contract offer sheet with the Charlotte Hornets, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
A player option for the fourth year of the deal and a 15 percent trade kicker are expected to be included in the offer sheet, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Both would be considered incentives to dissuade the Jazz from matching the sheet, but Utah officials have remained adamant they will match any sheet for Hayward – including a max offer.
While the Hornets will wait to see if Utah matches on Hayward or if a player like Luol Deng or Trevor Ariza is available to fill their need for a starting small forward, here are some bargain-bin signings they could make after a bigger piece is brought in.