Hornets' Gordon Hayward Enters NBA's COVID-19 Protocols; Out vs. Pacers

Doric SamJanuary 26, 2022

Charlotte Hornets forward Gordon Hayward (20) brings the ball up the court during an NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder Friday, Jan. 21, 2022, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Rusty Jones)
AP Photo/Rusty Jones

The Charlotte Hornets announced that forward Gordon Hayward has been placed in the NBA's health and safety protocols and will miss Wednesday's game against the Indiana Pacers.

The 31-year-old also missed the previous two games with right foot discomfort.

Hayward is in his second season with the Hornets and has become a solid contributor for the team. Through 45 games, he's the team's fourth-leading scorer and averages 17 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists.

At 26-22 entering Wednesday's matchup, Charlotte is seventh in the Eastern Conference and has a chance to earn a trip to the playoffs for the first time since 2016. The team will need the Butler product to return sooner than later if it hopes to remain in the hunt for a postseason spot.

While Hayward is out of the lineup, veteran swingman Kelly Oubre Jr. will likely be inserted into the starting role. Primarily playing as the team's sixth man, he is averaging 16.2 points and 3.9 rebounds in his first year with Charlotte.t

Hayward's absence will also mean more playing time for Cody Martin and P.J. Washington.