3 Thunder players that must see more action during final stretch of season

Oklahoma City Thunder v San Antonio Spurs
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3. Gordon Hayward

Acquired at this year's deadline, the idea behind trading for a guy like Gordon Hayward was that he would provide a three-level scoring boost behind the likes of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Chet Holmgren, and Jalen Williams while also adding ample postseason expertise to this young and rather inexperienced core.

Fast forward nearly a month into his tenure out in the 73102, however, and we find the forward struggling tremendously in virtually all aspects of his game, which has some fans worrying about his potential to serve as a difference-maker come the postseason.

What must not be forgotten is the fact that any player who has been traded will need time to get adjusted to their new surroundings, teammates, and coaching schemes. Though things have been ugly to this point, seven games is far from being a large enough sample size for onlookers to establish any sort of strong conviction.

While he may no longer be the All-Star he once was, Hayward is still a quality player in this league who can create offensive opportunities both for himself as well as for others.

Prior to being traded to OKC, the veteran found himself posting impressive all-around averages of 14.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.1 steals, and half a block while shooting 46.8 percent from the floor and 36.1 percent from deep through 25 games played with the Hornets.

There is hope yet that Hayward can tap back into his pre-deadline level of play, and getting him both more minutes and touches during these final stages of the regular season could be a great way for him to get into a rhythm ahead of the playoffs.