Tag Archives: Utah Jazz


There are various reports from ESPN.com and Yahoo Sports that the Cavaliers have interest in Utah Jazz small forward Gordon Hayward. How much interest is the big question?

Are the Cavs willing to go max dollars for a player who has never been an all-star and is considered good, but not great? The four year pro out of Butler is a restricted free agent, meaning the Jazz have the right to match any offer made to Hayward if they so choose.

Last season in Utah, the 6’8 – 220 pound Hayward saw his average increase for the fourth straight season to a career high 16.2ppg. He also averaged a career high in rebounds (5.1rpg) and assists (5.2apg). However his field goal percentage decreased for the fourth consecutive year, falling to career low 41 percent. His 3-point shooting has been up and down over his four years in the Association, and last year it reached an all-time low at just 30 percent.

In order to make Utah think twice about matching a contract offer for Hayward, G.M. David Griffin and the Cavaliers would have to start with an average salary of at least $10 million per season over four years. Realistically that contract would have to be even higher, more like a max deal in the neighborhood of $14 million per season over four years. If that number was thrown at the Jazz, they might not match, or they could then possibly talk to the Cavs about a sign and trade for the 24 year old former first round pick if they at least want to get something in return for him.

I personally don’t think Hayward is a $14 million dollar a year player. I like his game, but his shooting is too inconsistent for me. I wouldn’t offer more than $11 million per year on a 3-year deal with a club option for a fourth year. But those numbers probably won’t scare the Jazz enough to let him go or feel the need to trade him. So if you’re the Cavs you’re going to have to over pay Hayward in order to have any chance of getting him out of Utah.

The only way I do that if I’m Cleveland is, one, you know for sure LeBron James is not coming back this summer. Two, all of the other small forwards you covet have told you no or there is no chance of them coming to C’Town. And three, you really believe that Hayward could develop into an all-star caliber player at the small forward position.

If the answer to any of those is no, then I wouldn’t offer Hayward a max contract. Hayward is on my list of free agent targets this summer, but at my price and only after I’ve explored all my other options.

Stay tuned free agency in the NBA is just getting started!