On Wednesday night, the Utah Jazz made a qualifying offer to small forward Gordon Hayward. This move officially makes Hayward a restricted free agent.
The amount of money that the Jazz offered Hayward was not release by the Jazz as of last night.
According to Jonathan Rinehart, PR for the Utah Jazz, per the CBA, a team must tender a qualifying offer to a restricted free agent prior to June 30th to retain the right to match any offer that player receives during free agency.
The Utah Jazz front office has made it publicly known that they have every intention of bringing Hayward back to Salt Lake City. They have been vocal in letting us know how important Hayward is to the future of the Jazz franchise.
Now that the Jazz have done their part to match any offer, it will be interesting to see what kind of value Hayward has on the free agent market, especially in a market where players like LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony will be available.
Hayward averaged 16.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.2 assists in 77 games, all starts, with the Jazz last season. He had seven games with double-digit rebounds and six with double-digit assists. He scored more than 20 points in 22 games.
The free agency period begins on July 1st, and expect the Jazz front office to be calling Hayward’s agent quickly.