The Charlotte Hornets announced Monday afternoon that SF Gordon Hayward will remain sidelined for the NBA play-in tournament game vs. the Indiana Pacers due to a sprained foot. The No. 10 seed Hornets head to Indiana to face the No. 9 seed Pacers in a one-game playoff to see who will compete for the 8-seed in the Eastern Conference. Hayward has been sidelined since April 2 due to the injury. The game is on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. ET on TNT.
The Hornets say Gordon Hayward (sprained foot) is out for Tuesday's play-in game at Indiana.— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) May 17, 2021
Hayward was a consistent scoring presence for the Hornets this season, averaging 19.6 points per game before being suffering the injury. He was a rare free agent acquisition for Charlotte in the offseason, inking a four-year, $120 million deal in the sign-and-trade agreement. The Hornets aren’t favored in the play-in tournament against the Pacers to begin with and Hayward’s absence will further hurt their chances. Indiana is -3.5 on the spread at home and Charlotte is +128 on the moneyline on DraftKings Sportsbook.
With Hayward officially out, expect Jalen McDaniels to continue to get playing time. He’s averaging 27.6 minutes per game since Hayward’s injury and is putting up 10.5 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. At $8,100, he could offer some value for production in the Showdown contest on DraftKings. Malik Monk has been working his way back from an absence and could see additional minutes as well, making him another value play at $2,700 in the Showdown. The Hornets will still lean on LaMelo Ball, Miles Bridges and Terry Rozier for the majority of their offense, so all three players should get a boost with Hayward out.