As it was first reported by Yahoo! Sports, Adrian Wojnarowski, Gordon Hayward and the Utah Jazz could not reach an agreement on a contract extension, and Hayward will become a restricted free agent on July 1, 2014.
Extension talks between Utah and Gordon Hayward are over, league sources tell Yahoo. Hayward will be a restricted free agent on July 1.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) November 1, 2013
So far, the reaction from Jazz fans has been mixed. Some fans don’t mind this, while others are outraged. I am a little more on the side of this not being a bad thing. Here is why I believe it could be good.
- Gordon Hayward will become a RESTRICTED free agent at seasons end. Key word being RESTRICTED. I fully believe that Jazz management will match any offer that is thrown at Hayward this summer.
- Hayward could have been wanting a more long term deal, which could be why there was not a signing. To sign Hayward to an extension, he would be able to sign a 4 year deal. Where as if he waits until next season, he can sign a new contract for 5 years.
- The Utah Jazz are the ONLY team in the NBA that can sign Hayward to a 5 year deal next season. Every other team in the NBA can only sign Hayward to a 4 year deal. The Jazz can use there designated player option on Hayward if they so choose. Meaning, if the Jazz use this, Hayward must be signed to a 5 year, max contract. They still, however, can sign him to a 5 year deal without it being a max contract.
- Best offer another team can make Hayward next season is a 4 year, $57 Million deal. Jazz can offer 4 year, $61 Million or 5 year, $79 Million. Either way, Jazz have the inside track to making sure Hayward comes back.
- Hayward has never been the #1 option in the offense. This is his first season to test that. If Hayward can not live up to the expectations that are being put on him, the Jazz made a smart decision by not overpaying him now.
- If Hayward lives up to the expectations of being a #1 option, then he deserves the max contract. Good to make him earn it.
- Portland is known for wanting to sign our restricted free agents. However, the Blazers current cap space for the ’14-’15 season makes it so they can not make an offer on Hayward.
- A report from Real GM stated that contract negotiations were weighing heavy on Hayward’s mind. Whether he was to sign or not, it takes a weight off of his shoulders, and will let him focus solely on helping this team improve.
Per Hayward’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, and reported by Jody Genessey of the Deseret News, Gordon wanted to express his gratitude to work with Jazz management on this. He couldn’t feel better about Utah. Also added, Hayward still has tremendous sense of loyalty to Utah. No one’s upset and this doesn’t change the way Gordon feels about the Jazz.
All in all, the two sides couldn’t complete a deal. This happens. It shouldn’t change the way we feel about Hayward. Gordon has said in every interview that he has had this past week, that he is leaving contract negotiations up to his agent. I believe this deal not getting done is more of the Jazz and Bartelstein not agreeing on a contract. If it was solely up to Hayward, I think he would sign a 4 year deal worth a 4 year endless supply of $5 foot long sandwiches from Subway. Gordon is still an huge part of this team and will be for many years to come.