Gordon Hayward – 3.64
The “Baby-Faced Bulldog”.
“With the ninth overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, the Utah Jazz select Gordon Hayward,” Commissioner David Stern announces one night in late June.
At first, my reaction was one of an immersible, intriguing confusion. I hadn’t reached my full-blown ‘draft fever’ until the 2011 draft, so, consequently, I hadn’t followed the 2010 draft much.
Although, I did know who Gordon Hayward was.
He nearly led his Butler Bulldogs–or Butler “Under”-dogs–past the infamous Duke Blue Devils; which is quite an amazing feat. Even considering that he barely missed that last ‘half-court heave’ in desperation to win the game, Gordon Hayward was the unvoiced leader of Butler’s squad.
Knowing that, I had a strong sense of giddiness over the Jazz’s ninth overall pick.
The Jazz’s 10th-best player, Gordon Hayward, floats to the surface with a 3.64 rating. He showed some insane flashes of how good he can be–mostly in games against the Lakers, Nuggets, and Pacers–in his rookie debut.
After leading the Jazz past the Lakers twice in the preseason, Gordon Hayward went on to fiercely dunk on Paul George of Indiana, utterly shut down Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers, dunk on the entire Lakers defense, chase down both Chris Paul and Jamal Crawford to hammer-block their shots off the backboard, and end the season by posting a season- and career-high of 32 points to lead Utah past the Denver Nuggets in an end-of-season debut.
A great aspect of the Gordon Hayward saga is that Kevin O’Connor has repeatedly said that Gordon Hayward is an untouchable–meaning that he will not, under any circumstances, be traded or discussed in trades. Meaning, of course, that Hayward is an integral part of Utah’s future and will play a part in major decisions moving forward; and, if we’re going to treat him like a franchise player, let’s hope that he’ll become a franchise player.
Does anyone doubt that he will?
I can’t wait to see the level of play Gordon brings to the table in 2011-12!
Stay tuned to Purple and Blues for the more player rankings, the latest on the NBA, and all things Utah Jazz!
Purple and Blues | A Utah Jazz Site