OKC's Presti on Hayward deal: 'I missed on that'

Oklahoma City Thunder executive vice president and general manager Sam Presti said he “missed” on the midseason trade that brought in veteran Gordon Hayward, calling it a learning experience.

The Thunder enjoyed a breakout season this year, entering the playoffs as the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, but fell in six games to the Dallas Mavericks in the second round.

Presti attempted to fortify the young roster by bringing in Hayward, an accomplished veteran, back in February. However, the oft-injured former All-Star averaged just 5.3 points in 17.2 minutes per game for the Thunder in 26 regular-season games and did not score a single point in the postseason.

“I missed on that,” Presti said Tuesday at his end-of-season news conference. “That’s on me. But I’m learning, I’m trying to learn this team, I’m trying to learn the pace of the team a little bit. And trying to be a great observer of the team as it’s going through its paces, knowing that it’s really going to change on its own in and of itself.”

The Thunder acquired Hayward from the Charlotte Hornets for guards Tre Mann and Vasilije Micic and forward Davis Bertans. The Hornets also received a 2024 second-round pick and a 2025 second-rounder in the deal. Hayward was averaging 14.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game at the time, although he hadn’t played since Dec. 26 because of a left calf issue.

Hayward last week told reporters that his brief tenure with the Thunder was “disappointing” and “frustrating.”

“I feel as a player, I have a lot to offer,” said Hayward, who will be a free agent this summer. “Just wasn’t really given much of an opportunity to do that. I thought I would be given that opportunity.”

Presti called it a “tough situation” for Hayward and reiterated that he will attempt to learn from the trade.

“I don’t think I read that one perfect, and I’m learning from that in terms of bringing somebody midseason and especially early on in the process for our team,” Presti said.

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