When everyone was waking up on Wednesday morning, there were reports about Lance Stephenson and the Indiana Pacers at an “impasse”, because the offer the Pacers were giving him didn’t seem like enough.
Reportedly, the Pacers offered Stephenson a contract for 5-years, $44 million. A contract like that would average out to roughly $8.8 million per year. However, as I said above, Stephenson thinks he needs more than that. Reports also state that most “experts” expected Stephenson to be in the ball park of 4-years, $50 million. That would average out to roughly $12.5 million per year.
Stephenson is coming off a great year, where he led the league in the most triple-doubles. During this past season, Stephenson put up averages of 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game. A lot of people have looked at Stephenson’s game and compared him and Gordon Hayward together. Hayward just wrapped up a year in which he averaged 16.2 points, 5.2 assists, and 5.1 rebounds per game.
If the Utah Jazz were wanting to make an offer to Hayward, would it be similar to the one that Stephenson received from the Pacers, or the one that most “experts” feel what he should get?
If Hayward, a restricted free agent, signs a max contract with another team, it would be roughly 4-years, $62 million. The first year of the deal, Hayward would be making a little over $14 million. The Jazz have already been rumored to say that they will match any contract offer that Hayward signs this off season.
To me, Stephenson and Hayward could be in the same ball park contract wise. Both players are coming off great years, and even though I feel Hayward is the better player, more teams seemingly saw Stephenson more due to Indiana getting a little more coverage.
If Hayward signs a 4-year, $50 million deal with another team, and the Jazz match that, it would be a fantastic deal for Utah. The Jazz would be spending a little less money than what they were expecting, and they keep more room and flexibility in their pursuit of another free agent.
The rumor from most media outlets, is that the Jazz were going to give Hayward an offer within the first couple days of free agency. As of yesterday, teams like the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics could be ready to make some kind of an offer to Hayward as well. We could see something happening here shortly, and it’ll be interesting to see what other teams feel is Hayward’s net worth.