Salt Lake City, UT - The Utah Jazz and Gordon Hayward have been engaged in contract extension talks for the last month, and it sounds as if the two sides are getting close to reaching an agreement. According to Marc Stein of ESPN, the Jazz and Hayward are expected to agree on a contract extension with $50 million or more. Hayward has quietly become one of the cornerstones of that franchise, and has a very bright future ahead of him in Utah.
Hayward averaged 14.1 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per contest last season with the Jazz, and improved in almost every aspect of his game. He’s not the most athletic player, but he’s gotten a lot quicker and is still able to jump with opposing players. Standing at 6’8″ he’s shown the ability to handle the basketball better than most small forwards as well.
While some may question whether or not Hayward is worth a deal as big as the one that is being discussed, the answer is very easily yes. Utah is in full rebuilding mode and Hayward (age 23) fits that bill perfectly as well. Hayward can score the basketball, but one of the most underrated aspects of his game is his ability to make plays for his teammates. He’s very deceptive at getting to the rim and he’s a great finisher as well.
If the Utah Jazz are unable to reach an extension deal with Hayward, then there will be plenty of teams lining up to give him a contract. He’s one of the more coveted young players in the league and has “star” potential as well. Assuming he continues working hard on his game, he’s going to be something very special for the Jazz in the future.