Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Why Is There So Much Hatred for Gordon Hayward?


Gordon Hayward recently signed a max offer sheet with the Hornets. There has been a lot of animosity towards Hayward by Jazz fans this offseason, but why is there so much hatred for Gordon Hayward? Wouldn’t any of us take do the same thing if we were in a similar situation?

Just put yourself in his position of the past year. You are a member of an organization. You are relatively new to that organization and because you are new you had no say in how much you made during your first four years. When looking at your salary compared to others in the organization you are underpaid. People are being signed for more money than you each year and they are lower performers. You recognize that with your youth and versatility in being able to do multiple jobs well that you deserve more than what you have received.

Now the time comes when you can begin to negotiate for a new contract. In the negotiations you have a few choices. You can sign for less than what you think you should receive, or you can take a chance on yourself and possibly receive a higher contract at the end of the year. However, if you take that risk and don’t perform or something happens so that you are unable to work, you risk having to sign a lower contract.

You decide to take a risk on yourself. During the year some aspects of your performance suffer as you become, for the first time, the go to person for your “office.” However, because you are now the top dog other areas of your performance improve. The year ends and the time to sign a new contract begins. Because you did not sign the contract with your current “office” you have the opportunity to explore the other “offices” around the organization. You can sign a contract with other offices, but your original office has the chance to match that contract, thus keeping you where you’ve been all along.

Now an office comes to you and says they will offer you the maximum amount of money you can take. What are you supposed to do? You take the money every time. You took the risk on yourself and it paid off. You are not going to take the risk and then come back and say “oh no, I couldn’t possibly take that much money. I need to sign for much less to help out my office that could have signed me for less last year, but decided not to.” NO! that would be ludicrous to not sign the offer sheet.

For some reason though if we do it then it is ok, but as soon as someone from a sports team we are a fan of we are in an uproar. Is Gordon Hayward worth a max contract? No, he is not, but it is not his fault someone offered him a max deal. I just do not understand what Jazz fans expected of him. Is it because he is an NBA player and he would have been making millions of dollars each year regardless? Maybe, but the industry standards for the NBA are different than the standards for the rest of the world. NBA players are paid a lot of money, you can’t then expect him to sign for less because he has the skills to be in a high paying profession. If you were in the position to take a big pay raise, or a bigger pay raise, you would choose the bigger pay raise every time. Why then is there so much hatred for Gordon Hayward when he just did the same thing you would have done?

Tags: Gordon Hayward NBA Free Agency Utah Jazz

  • ScotsJazzFanIn London

    The simple fact is that Gordon Hayward as this organization currently stands is the Utah Jazz best most complete player. And has been for some time. Yes his stats took a tumble last year when he was asked to take on a bigger role…had he played with a starting caliber PG at the start of the season he may not have had to change his role and be such a big facilitator for others. He may have been able to continue to play as a Small Forward/Shooting Guard like he had done so previously instead of taking on the additional role of Point Forward alongside the Small Forward/Shooting Guard role he was expected to play as the situation permitted. Selflessly accepting that role and responsibility allowed other members of the team better looks but ultimately added an extra burden to his own game. Yes his shooting went down last season, partly because of his increased responsibilities, but also partly because the team last season lacked real threatening scorers. A lot of his shots were taken with little time left on the shot clock. Hayward benefits when the ball moves quickly, the Jazz operated the slowest offense on the NBA, and way too often the Jazz looked at him to throw up a shot late in the shot clock because there were few other options as the defences were set.

    He hasn’t shown that he is worth a max contract yet, but at this time he is the most likely to get to all star status in this team as it is currently set soonest. Yes Exum might well have a higher ceiling, but at this moment he is unknown conundrum in the NBA world, he still has to show what he can do amongst the big boys. Hayward has actually shown the ability to run, block, steal, rebound, assist and shoot. On another roster, with more scoring options within it he may already have reached the status of all star. Hayward has grown up in this environment without having a good solid PG to play under. Yes he had a few months with Deron, but in a situation where the team was capitulating. Devin came in and didn’t do as expected, Mo came through and sat out injured much of the time, Trey was a rookie that was thrust to a big role because, JL III wasn’t going to cut it. You could say Hayward’s game willingness to take on a point forward role allowed Trey more time to settle in. The truth is the Jazz team of the last few years has lacked real depth and a playing style that would suit Hayward’s game to show off all his talents sufficiently. The offense has been awful for years. The ball stagnates, players don’t move. Its been ugly to watch. Favors, Hayward, and Exum should all be able to run and take advantage of a quicker ball in seasons to come. A quicker moving offense should put defences on the the backfoot and allow players like Hayward, and Exum to grow into better looking players going forward, and show that they deserve the contracts that ultimately they are going to get.

    Favors, despite his $50m contract still hasn’t developed an offensive game that scares defenses. Whereas there are teams out that are looking at what Hayward does and sees enough in his game to go above and beyond that contract given to Favors last year.

    • Olivier Batiste

      I compare Gordon to Nico Batum, the french player from Blazers. They both are good basketball players, with high lvl basket IQ, great D, and great athletic capacities. In my mind a 48-50m$ contract for 4 years is reasonable for this type of players.

      With this behavior (and profesionnals act more & more like this) Hayward has shown that Utah is not his priority : a team with a bigger check could get him. That’s clear and simple.

      • Brandon Dennis

        Behavior like what? Why in the world would he not accept a max contract?
        So if Hayward was to show that Utah was his priority he would have what, signed for the league minimum? The NBA is a business. Just because fans view it as entertainment does not mean that it is any less the livelihood of the players. If someone came to you and offered you a huge bump in salary for doing the exact same job, you would also take it, so don’t criticize the man for doing what 99.9% of all of us would do because it was the best decision for him.

    • IDJazzman

      A good and complete assessment. Many fans, for one reason or another, do not understand how Hayward’s game and the offensive schemes were at odds. Hayward is very good at delivering the ball where it needs to be, especially in a full motion offense, which the Jazz absolutely did not have. You Favors assessment is spot on. Love Favors, but he has to develop a 10-12 foot jump shot that is accurate, or it’s going to be a real problem on the offensive end.

  • IDJazzman

    Brandon, I think there is a lot more love out there for Hayward than hate, among Jazz fans. Many of these blogs are filled with a cesspool of hate mongers and they are just more vocal than the rest of us. Many are trying to compare this contact to AK47′s contract, not even close. This contract will not cripple the Jazz and they still have plenty of freedom to even do a trade by absorbing a one year contract from another team, as you mentioned earlier.

    • tck62

      I think he’s confusing hate with people simply thinking he’s getting overpaid.

      • IDJazzman

        I think you are right, although a few can’t help but spew hatred. Just their personality.

  • polljc

    As for his pursuing free agency, the Jazz turned down his $53 million offer last year. Be mad at the front office for wasting 10 million, not Hayward. This could have been averted. The Jazz brain trust rolled the dice and it backfired. All that said, the $63 mil max won’t hurt the Jazz now at all and not likely in the long run.

  • ScotsJazzFanIn London

    Interesting that Chandler Parsons is signing an offer sheet at Dallas for 3 years and $46m. Thats a deal that is similar to what Hayward is going to get thanks to Charlotte, only Hayward is looking at an extra year. Thats two different teams comparing both players at a similar level.