For most Utah Jazz fans, the fact that restricted free agent, Gordon Hayward, is being talked about in a max contract has them a little worried. For the most part, fans don’t believe that Hayward is worthy of a max contract. However, there are quite a few teams in the NBA that feel completely different.
Hayward has been in touch with several teams, including the Boston Celtics, Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers, Charlotte Hornets, and as of last night the Dallas Mavericks. All those teams consider Hayward to be worthy of the 4-year, $63 million offer sheet that they can sign him to. However, only one of those teams has tried to push a bit for it.
Last week, Hayward was in Cleveland meeting with the Cavaliers. It was reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, that the Cavaliers were preparing a max offer sheet for Hayward to sign. Later that night, the Cavaliers were rumored to be “weary” of offering Hayward any kind of a contract because of the Jazz saying they would match the offer. Now, there is another report that says Cleveland had another option for Utah, but the Jazz want none of it.
Report by Yahoo Sports:
The Cleveland Cavaliers are shopping Jarrett Jack‘s contract with a future draft pick to move closer to freeing a full maximum contract slot to offer LeBron James, league sources said. If the Cavaliers lose out on James, they’re still considering a max-level offer sheet on Utah restricted free agent Gordon Hayward, sources said. The Cavaliers want to engage the Jazz on a sign-and-trade for Hayward, but Utah has shown no inclination to do anything with Cleveland but unblinkingly match an offer sheet and keep Hayward, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
This report is yet another validation for fans that the Jazz plan on keeping Hayward in a Jazz uniform for a long time. Hayward may not be worthy of a max contract right now, but Hayward is a gifted player. He will earn the contract that he signs, he just needs time and fan support to get to that level.