Home » Blog » Utah Likely to Match Any Offer Sheet Hayward Signs

Utah Likely to Match Any Offer Sheet Hayward Signs

Gordon Hayward is one of the mysteries of this year’s NBA free agent market. The Utah Jazz forward visited the Cleveland Cavaliers and rumors have circulated since then that Cleveland will give Heyward an offer sheet for the maximum.

However, the Cavs might be hesitant to do so knowing that Utah likely would match any offer sheet Hayward is given since he is a restricted free agent.

Nevertheless, the latest rumors have Cleveland preparing the offer sheet and once presented will put the Jazz on a 72 hour clock to match or lose the talented Hayward.

There is another reason why Cleveland has not yet given Hayward an offer sheet. The Cavs might doubt whether he is worth that.

Hayward has been in the NBA four seasons and has been able to prove how productive of a player he can be, especially if he were to have more talented players playing around him.

Hayward is versatility with a capital “V.” the 6-foot-8 swingman was one of just five NBA players to average at least 16 points, 5 boards and 5 assists per game during this past season.

Others on that list include Kevin Durant who averaged 32 points, 7.4 boards and 5.5 assists to lead the list. Second was LeBron James, then Russell Westbrook, Hayward and Michael Carter-Williams.

Hayward was sixth amongst NBA forwards in drives each game with 5.4, second in number of assist opportunities with 11.2, third in assists with 5.2 and fourth in assist percentage at .237.

Hayward’s numbers increased a great deal from his third season to his fourth. Much of that was due to the fact Utah started the season without a true point guard and their rookie Trey Burke was injured. Therefore, Hayward became the team’s floor general.

If Hayward stays with the Jazz, he would become less of the floor general and hand that over to Burke as well as Dante Exum the teams first round pick from Australia. If he goes to Cleveland, Kyrie Irving will be making passes to him, rather than him making them to Irving.

Rumors have the Boston Celtics in the mix and that would reunite him with his former head coach at Butler Brad Stevens.

If he played in Boston, he would have to playmakers – Rajon Rondo and Marcus Smart – ahead of him in the role. If he signed and played for the Phoenix Suns the same would happen if they retain Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic whom are both free agents.

To date, the greatest attribute Hayward has is his shooting. Hayward’s percentage has dipped as the seasons have passed, but that often is the case when a player’s overall role is increased on a team, especially when they are still maturing into a top player.

On defense, Hayward has good size, good lateral quickness, good athleticism and can guard any of the three positions on the perimeter. He hustles, as he has become known for having a great chase-down block.

Time will tell in which city Hayward will play next season, but if I were a betting man, my money would be squarely behind him remaining with the Utah Jazz.

  • 100%