Injuries have derailed his career since suffering a gruesome leg injury in his first game with the Boston Celtics in 2017. He returned in 2018-19 but struggled the entire season to get back into a rhythm. As Hayward seemingly was coming into his own after a largely healthy regular season in 2019-20, he suffered a serious ankle injury in the Celtics' first-round series against the Philadelphia 76ers.
The 30-year-old joined the Hornets on a four-year, $120 million contract in November, a deal that largely shocked the basketball world.
His absence from the lineup, even if brief, is a reminder how much risk Charlotte assumed by giving Hayward such a massive deal.