East Notes: Hornets, Gordon Hayward, Bucks, Joe Ingles, Pistons


Forward Gordon Hayward intends to make his return to the lineup Friday, agent Mark Bartelstein told Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. He has missed nine consecutive games and 17 of 20, as Woj noted.

This after being listed as week-to-week with a shoulder fracture back on Nov. 25.

Since 2017, when Hayward played for the Celtics, he has averaged less than 44 games a season.

In 11 appearances this year, Hayward has been his normally productive self — averaging 16.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.4 assists.

  • Coach Steve Clifford ripped the team’s defensive effort, saying it’s been a big part of their early-season struggles. We have that full post here


Forward Joe Ingles is targeting Monday as his return after missing the second half of last season and the start of this one with a torn ACL, per Wojnarowski.

Ingles, 35, is 6-foot-8 and averaged 7.2 points and 3.5 assists in 45 games with the Jazz last season. He was traded from the Jazz to the Trail Blazers in February, though never played a game in Portland.

He then signed a one-year deal with the Bucks, reportedly for $6.5 million, during the offseason. Milwaukee currently sits in first place in the Central Division and second in the Eastern Conference.


As expected, guard Cade Cunningham underwent season-ending shin surgery on Friday, the team announced. The procedure was performed “stabilize and promote complete healing of a left tibial stress fracture,” the team said.

Cunningham, 21, suffered the injury in a game against the Celtics on Nov. 9. He played 24 minutes before being forced to exit and hasn’t played or practiced since.

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, Cunningham came around nicely this season, averaging 19.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 6.0 assists, shooting 42 percent from the field, in 12 appearances.

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