The Minnesota Timberwolves made another move on Tuesday, deciding to send former first round pick Lazar Hayward to the Oklahoma City Thunder and a pair of second round picks. The team also acquired veteran shooting guard Robert Vaden in the move, but Vaden was immediately released.
Hayward was one of the older rookies in the NBA last season as he began his career with the Timberwolves as a 24-year-old without any prior professional experience, but his advanced age wasn't quite enough to help him crack Kurt Rambis's rotation.
Hayward appeared in 42 games for the Timberwolves during his only season with Minnesota, averaging 3.8 points on 36 percent shooting during 10 minutes of court time per game. ESPN's John Hollinger summed up his deficiencies on Monday -- and there were a lot.
Hayward's 9.3 rebound rate is pretty impressive for a 6-6 forward, but that's about the end of the good news. Offensively, Hayward was bad from every spot on the floor; he shot only 56.8 percent at the rim, and didn't make more than a third of his tries any place else. He didn't draw fouls at a high rate or do anything as a ball handler to offset his putrid shooting.
The bigger surprise was his defensive struggles. Synergy's stats rated him the worst player on the team by a wide margin; according to 82games.com opposing small forwards had a 17.5 PER against him. Hayward had a rep as a tough defensive ace in college but was defending mostly 4s and 5s. Matched up against wings, his lateral quickness may be deficient.
Depending on how heavily protected the second round picks are, this may end up being a good deal for the Wolves. Hayward obviously wasn't in the team's future plans and second round picks in a deep draft certainly can't hurt.