Feb 8, 2014; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz shooting guard Gordon Hayward (20) defends against Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) during the second half at EnergySolutions Arena. The Jazz won 94-89. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Free Agency: Where does Gordon Hayward rank among free agent small forwards and shooting guards?

Utah Jazz restricted free agent, Gordon Hayward, hasn’t even started his first free agency rodeo, but there has been speculation since last October when he wasn’t signed to a contract extension on what teams he could attract this summer.

Hayward has many valued skills that NBA teams will want and will need. He has great size and length, he can score the basketball, he also is a great rebounder and passer. He has a lot of skills that seem to be worthy of a maximum contract. However, with this off season bringing big names onto the free agent market, does that effect what kind of offer Hayward will be receiving?

Since Hayward can really play either the shooting guard or small forward position on a team, he will be competing with some pretty tough competition in free agency. From just looking at the available free agents on the market, here are some names that could possibly effect Hayward’s offers.

Paul Pierce, Luol Deng, Chandler Parsons, Lance Stephenson, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Trevor Ariza, Danny Granger, Shawn Marion, Thabo Sefolosha, Dwyane Wade, Ray Allen, Evan Turner, Vince Carter, and Shaun Livingston.

Now, not all of those names are going to have much effect on Hayward. Guys like Granger are coming off a season where he wasn’t on the court enough to see much of a big contract offer. Guys like Marion, Allen, and Carter are good players, but are also getting older and could see maybe a one or two year deal. Also, guys like Sefolosha, Turner, Ariza, and Livingston are quality players, but are role players and not max contract players.

So really, the list of names that Hayward will be competing with is down to seven. If we were to rank them on how much they could see this off season, here is how I see it playing out.

1. LeBron James

2. Carmelo Anthony

3. Dwyane Wade

4. Paul Pierce

5. Chandler Parsons

6. Lance Stephenson

7. Luol Deng

It is up in the air where Hayward could fall into that mix. He should see more of an offer than Deng, but will probably fall right there next to Stephenson. However, Stephenson and Parsons could attract more offers than Hayward will. Both those players were extremely productive players on really good teams. Hayward was a productive player on a bad team. It will be interesting to see how that effects anything.

Teams like the Boston Celtics and the Phoenix Suns are rumored to be wanting to chase after Hayward, but the Suns are also rumored to be wanting to make a run at LeBron, which likely won’t be successful. The Suns do have a ton of assets that they can use to sign a max free agent, however.

Everyone will be waiting on what LeBron and Carmelo do, then the rest of the field will get their calls. Hayward will be in the mix with what Parsons and Stephenson see, but all in all, whatever the offer will be, expect him back in a Utah Jazz uniform next season.


Tags: Carmelo Anthony Chandler Parsons Danny Granger Dwyane Wade Evan Turner Gordon Hayward Lance Stephenson LeBron James Luol Deng NBA Free Agency Paul Pierce Ray Allen Shaun Livingston Shawn Marion Thabo Sefolosha Trevor Ariza Utah Jazz Vince Carter

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