5. Gordon Hayward
Hayward has a lengthy injury history and has not played more than 52 games in a season since 2019. The 33-year-old is healthy right now and playing well. He would be the third offensive option in Milwaukee and should be able to take advantage of the open looks created by Dame and Giannis.
Hayward averaged 17.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 1.3 steals in 32.8 minutes per game through his first six games this season. He is shooting 48.2 percent from the field and 42.9 percent on his 3-point attempts. The 6’7 wing continues to be a plus-shooter, who can handle the ball, make plays, and get buckets when healthy.
Both players are injury risks. The Hornets may be interested in Middleton’s multi-year contract because they struggle to convince talent to come to Charlotte. The Bucks are over the second tax apron, so acquiring Hayward’s expiring contract does them little good. Now, is their chance to improve the roster before the tighter financial restrictions kick in next summer.
They would acquire Gordon Hayward’s Bird rights, but do they want to give a long-term deal to a 33-year-old who has battled various injuries in recent years? This is likely a step backward for the Milwaukee Bucks, but Hayward will not be the only expiring contract on the trade block before the deadline.