The trade does land the Cavs a reliable scorer on the outside. That’s first and foremost. While Gordon Hayward may likely never make another All-Star game due to that gruesome injury he suffered, he’s still among the better and most versatile players in the league. Arguably a player who can start at the two, the three, or the four spot in a lineup.
He put up 19.6 points per game in 2020-2021 with the Hornets, shooting 47% from the floor and 41% from three-point. His addition would make him the best shooter the Cavs would have had in years. He’s capable of scoring inside and out, though he’s usually shooting threes more than anywhere else on the court. He doesn’t utilize his mid-range shot very often, averaging just 25.8% of his shots from that distance, but he’s still very effective hitting 44.1% of his shots from the 10′-3P range.
That type of scoring versatility makes him extremely reliable. He’s also usually around the plus portion of play on both ends of the court as well. He’s had five + outings on defense in his last seven years and has not been a true negative on offense since his rookie year. He was a -6.6 in 2017-2018, but he only played five minutes that season and broke his lower leg. So that doesn’t really count.
Not just that, but he comes in with the added benefit of having an eclectic skill set. He’s a playmaker on the wing and when given more control over an offense, can average anywhere from four to five assists per game. Not only that, but he’s physical enough to chase after rebounds. He’s averaged 6.3 rebounds per game over his last two years.
The Cavs were interested in him before, in the summer they got LeBron James to return. Yet, Hayward oped to stay in Utah at the time.