NBA Rumors: Denver Nuggets could target Gordon Hayward after playoff failures

The Denver Nuggets could be eyeing a move for a veteran free agent wing.
Oklahoma City Thunder v Indiana Pacers
Oklahoma City Thunder v Indiana Pacers / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

NBA Rumors: The Denver Nuggets could look to target Gordon Hayward in free agency after faltering in the NBA Playoffs.

Even after losing in surprising fashion in the Western Conference Semifinals at the hands of the Minnesota Timberwolves, not all is lost for the Denver Nuggets. Even if defeat, you'd be hard-pressed to find any objective basketball fan who could confidently say that Denver's championship window is close. Because it's not.

The Western Conference is getting better as young teams are maturing at a rapid pace, but the Nuggets are going nowhere. At least not for now. The question for the Nuggets heading into the offseason is whether they can find the right help in the margins that can assist this team in reemerging as a favorite in the West next season again.

With the start of NBA free agency less than a month away, one veteran could already be on the minds of the Nuggets' decision-makers.

According to Nuggets reporter Harrison Wind, there are members of the organization who are fans of Gordon Hayward and, naturally, he could emerge as a potential free-agent target for Denver this summer. If Hayward is at a point in his career where he's ready to ring-chase, the Nuggets do make a ton of sense. Denver has a need on the wing and with the uncertainty that revolves around Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, this is a team that could lose some depth this offseason.

Why Gordon Hayward makes sense on paper for the Denver Nuggets

Finding value in free agency, perhaps targeting a veteran like Hayward, could help the Nuggets prepare for an uncertain offseason.

Hayward was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder at this past year's NBA Trade Deadline but the move didn't work out as greatly as perhaps either side thought it would. Hayward only played in seven playoff games for the Thunder, averaging less than seven minutes per contest.

Heading into the NBA offseason, Hayward is likely going to move on from Oklahoma City and will almost certainly be looking to catch on with a contending team that could give him a much more defined role than he had with the Thunder.

If the Nuggets could present him with a clear idea of what that could look like, Denver could certainly emerge as a contender that could appeal to Hayward as he prepares for free agency.

Before being traded to OKC, Hayward was averaging 15 points, five rebounds, and five assists on 47 percent shooting from the field and 36 percent shooting from 3-point range with the Charlotte Hornets. At 34 years old, there's reason to believe that Hayward still has something left in the tank to offer a contender.

The question is, will the Nuggets, without a ton of money to offer, be a real threat to sign Hayward in free agency this offseason?

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