On Monday, the Charlotte Hornets lost Josh McRoberts to the Miami Heat in what should turn out to be a crazy free agent period. By Wednesday, The Charlotte Observer’s Rick Bonnell reported that Gordon Hayward agreed to a four-year $63 million offer sheet with the Hornets.
Once that agreement is signed, the Utah Jazz will have three days to match the offer. Hayward, entering his fifth season in the NBA is trending upward. In his first four seasons, Gordon Hayward’s scoring average has increased.
As a rookie, Hayward averaged 5.4 points per game. He was all the way up to 16.2 points in 2014. Unfortunately, Hayward’s three point shooting has not blossomed like the rest of his game. As the production increased from beyond the arc, the level of marksmanship has dwindled. Gordon Hayward was a paltry 30 percent from three point range last season.
If Charlotte is looking for a long range bomber, they may have to wait for that part of his game to form. However, Hayward has a beautiful all around game, in which he averaged over five rebounds and assists.
Once the contract is signed on July 10, the Jazz will have a big decision to make. Prior to the deal, Utah stated that they would match any offer. How willing are they to go above and beyond what many in the NBA think he’s worth?
There’s no question that this move is based on forecasting Gordon Hayward’s potential. If he keeps blossoming into the player that earns a max deal, we’ll be looking at a guy that could be averaging over 20 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists in the near future.
Hayward is 24 years old and entering his prime. With Utah moving in a different direction, it would be nice to have a mainstay for the future, but what price are they willing to pay?
The Charlotte Hornets were swept by the Heat in the first round of the Eastern conference playoffs. Adding Hayward doesn’t provide much playoff experience, but he did see postseason action in 2012.
The Cleveland Cavaliers were interested in Hayward during the early portion of the free agency period. His signing would have made it nearly impossible for Lebron James to come back to Cleveland. Now Cleveland is free to hope and dream until James makes a decision.
For more sports news, check out Top 10+1 Sports Blog. If you liked this article, click the Subscribe button to receive email updates when a new article is published. Follow William on Facebook and Twitter. Find more by William on his music and sports page. Submit your mailbag questions via Tumblr.