The Gordon Hayward era in Charlotte has begun.
Hayward played his first game as a member of the Hornets in the team's preseason opener Saturday, about two weeks after leaving the Boston Celtics via a sign-and-trade to ink a four-year, $120 million contract with Charlotte.
Hayward delivered a solid effort for his new club, tallying 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting with four rebounds, two assists and two turnovers in 20 minutes against the Toronto Raptors.
The 30-year-old's first bucket should look familiar to Celtics fans: a turnaround jumper in the paint.
Hayward went 1-for-2 from 3-point range and hit his lone three in the second quarter:
Fellow ex-Celtic Terry Rozier also set up Hayward for a dunk on a nifty bounce pass in transition:
Hayward's 11 points trailed only Miles Bridges for a team high and were the most among Hornets starters. The ex-Celtic should be Charlotte's No. 1 offensive option this season, and Saturday's game offered early evidence of what that may look like.
Still, Hayward may be upstaged on the buzz meter by rookie LaMelo Ball, who dazzled with a team-high four assists and made the play of the night with a behind-the-back pass during a fast break.
Charlotte may not be a playoff team (Toronto cruised to a 111-100 win) and may be paying Hayward more than he's worth, but Michael Jordan's club at least should be fun to watch this season.
As for Hayward's former club: The Celtics open their preseason Tuesday against the Philadelphia 76ers at 7:30 p.m. ET.