Gordon Hayward has entered free agency. He is not going to waste any time. Hayward is already set to explore his options with a future team. The Miami Heat might be pleased to know that they are on his list of teams to meet with.
Miami is actually the very first team he plans to meet with. His free agent tour will be kicking off Saturday with the Heat, according to ESPN. They will get a shot at pitching their best case to Gordon Hayward.
It could get competitive for a chance at landing Hayward on their team. Miami is not the only team interested in Hayward. There are a couple of other teams standing in line, just waiting. It is going to be a busy weekend for Hayward to say the least.
On Sunday, Hayward will be traveling to meet with Utah on Monday. After that, he will be meeting with the Celtics. Utah is not worried about the threat that Miami or Boston poses at all. Boston’s interest might come from Brad Stevens, on Boston’s bench, who is Hayward’s former college coach.
Utah might have the correct numbers to offer Hayward. In a five-year deal, they could offer as much as $180 million. Hayward might finally be getting paid like an All-Star. It remains to be seen from which team.
His free agency tour could turn out to be a bidding war. That would work out greatly for Hayward. Hayward is coming off one of the best seasons of his career. Spending last season with the Jazz, Hayward revealed his true value. He is great asset.
Last season he appeared in 73 games for the Jazz. He drained 21 points a game for the Jazz. His numbers were up nearly six points from his career average of 15 points a game. If the Jazz want to keep him on their team, with his shooting improving, there might not be a better reason to maintain him at all costs.
The 27-year-old is at the peak of his career. Spending a total of seven seasons wearing the Jazz uniform, last year marked the first time that Hayward shot over 20 points per game. It would only make sense for Utah to make sure there is an eighth season.
With the hard work of Hayward, the Jazz are coming off a strong season. Utah was no losing team, they were a winning one. They wrapped up their 16-17 campaign on a high note as the fifth place team of the Western Conference, with a record of 51-31.
They made a playoff appearance, despite it being brief. Utah was one of many teams to fall victim to the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors ended the Jazz’s season in the conference semi finals, sweeping them in four games.
Can the Jazz make a conference finals appearance next year? Is it likely the Jazz will keep Gordon Hayward? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Commentary by Cody Macleod