Sam Presti admits Gordon Hayward trade was a bust for Thunder

The Oklahoma City Thunder were the number one seed in the Western Conference this year as the franchise finally saw the fruits of its long rebuild. Despite a strong season, the Thunder were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs, leaving management wondering how they could have better strengthened the roster for the postseason.

During his end-of-season speech, general manager Sam Presti admitted that one of Oklahoma City’s midseason acquisitions didn’t turn out as he expected.

When the Thunder’s trade to acquire Gordon Hayward was discussed at the deadline, Presti took over the deal, a trade he felt he “missed” and called a learning experience.

“I missed that. It’s on me. But I’m learning, you know, I’m trying to learn from this team,” Presti said.

“I don’t think I read it perfectly, and I’m learning from that in terms of bringing someone in midseason, especially early in the process for our team,” he added.

As part of a blockbuster trade with the Charlotte Hornets, Oklahoma City acquired Hayward in exchange for Vasilije Micic, Tre Mann, Davis Bertans, two second-round picks and cash considerations.

After landing with the Thunder, Hayward appeared in 26 games and averaged just 17.2 minutes per game, seeing the court for his fewest minutes since his rookie season in 2010-11. He managed just 5.3 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game, and saw his role reduced even further during the playoffs.

Hayward appeared in seven games during the postseason and did not score a single point while averaging just 6.6 minutes per game, falling completely out of the rotation on some nights.

Following the team’s exit from the playoffs, Hayward admitted that he was frustrated with how things played out during his time with the team. He is scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency this offseason, and a reunion with the Thunder seems unlikely for the 34-year-old.