This past off-season, Gordon Hayward had a chance to sign an extension with the Utah Jazz before the October 31st deadline. A deal could not be made and Hayward became a restricted free agent and has the opportunity to sign an offer sheet with any team that he chooses this upcoming off-season, which the Jazz will have the opportunity to match.
As confident as I am that he will go into the off-season with every intention to re-sign with the Jazz, there is still always that what if factor. What if management is thinking about life after Gordon Hayward? What if they are getting a sign from Hayward’s agent that he might not want to be back? What if Hayward is traded before the deadline? GM’s around the league love Hayward’s game and the Jazz could get a great deal out of trading him.
Boston and Phoenix are reportedly going to go after Hayward hard this off-season. What could you get from either of those teams if you traded him away? To me, Jeff Green is the only piece I would want from Boston and I wouldn’t be in love with it. Phoenix could send Goran Dragic but I don’t know how I would feel about paying Trey’s backup $7.5 million.
So that brings me to my next question. Why even trade him? This upcoming off-season, a team like Boston or Phoenix can try and sign him to an offer sheet for a max deal, however, the Jazz could match it and it would be at a cheaper price than if they would have signed him to a max deal on their own. Any team wanting to sign him can only sign him for 4 years and around $60 million. The Jazz are the only team that could sign him to a 5 year deal and around $78 million.
To me, trading or letting Hayward go could be putting this team into rebuild mode again. When Deron was in the final year of his contract and we wanted to get something back in return so we could rebuild, that made sense. Now after we have what seemingly looks like one piece to go before we are back out of rebuild mode, why would you trade one of the biggest pieces away?
I am pretty sure the Jazz could get a lot out of Hayward, but mainly draft picks. I know teams are going to go after him hard this off-season, but I am pretty confident the Jazz will match any offer sheet thrown at him. I still think Bill Simmons is dreaming if he thinks Gordon Hayward will be in a Celtics jersey next season.
Would you trade Gordon Hayward? And if so, what would you be looking for in return? Let me know in the comment section below! Also, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, @Purpleandblues1!