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Report: Gordon Hayward, Jazz remain far apart in contract talks with deadline approaching

Oct 26, 2013, 9:30 PM EDT

Gordon Hayward AP

The deadline for teams to agree to contract extensions with players in the final year of their rookie contracts is Oct. 31, and Gordon Hayward is someone that the Jazz would like to lock up with a long-term deal before that date passes.

Utah already signed big man Derrick Favors to an extension worth $49 million over four years, and Hayward is reportedly in line to receive an even larger deal than that.

But just how large appears to be a sticking point, and the sides remain far apart on an agreement with only five days left to get something done.

From Sam Amick of USA Today:

… as Hayward continues to showcase his under-appreciated skills during the preseason, and as it seems more apparent that his fanbase extends beyond the Jazz and to the league at large, the chance remains that he may not agree to an extension and will instead choose to be a highly sought-after restricted free agent next summer.

A person with knowledge of the talks said the two sides were not close to a deal as of Saturday afternoon, though that doesn’t mean one may not eventually get done. The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because of the private nature of the talks.

The question the Jazz are likely asking themselves regarding Hayward is, will his offensive production continue to increase in a rebuilding situation when he’s their primary scorer?

Last season, Hayward was fourth on the team in usage rate behind Al Jefferson, Mo Williams, and Paul Millsap. This season, there’s a strong chance that Hayward will top that list. If he can produce as the team’s main all-around threat, he’d be worth the kind of contract that he’s reportedly seeking.

Consider this: Over his last five preseason games, Hayward has averaged 18 points, 4.8 rebounds, and five assists per contest. It’s obviously only the preseason, and that fact certainly doesn’t help the extremely small sample size. But if he could manage to replicate those numbers over the course of the regular season, we’re talking about an elite NBA talent — only LeBron James, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade managed to meet or exceed all three of those thresholds last season.

The Jazz have a big decision to make, and they’d like to get a bit of a bargain by signing Hayward before he has a complete breakout season. But even if they can’t get something done before the deadline, Utah will retain Hayward’s right as a restricted free agent next summer. The team will just have to hope that by then, Hayward hasn’t played his way into an offer of a max deal from someone else.

  1. avb530 - Oct 26, 2013 at 10:39 PM

    Hayward’s a great talent but what has he done in the league to earn more than Favors? He deserves the same as Favors at best – 4 years $49 million.

    Favors is a defensive and rebounding monster in the making who has even added a nice mid-range jumper. Hayward isn’t a great shooter, ball handler, rebounder, passer, defender, or anything else. He’s just decent at everything.

    Per 36 mins 2012-2013 season:
    Favors – 17 pts 4 reb 4 ast 44% FGs
    Hayward 15 pts 11 reb 2.6 blk 48% FGs

    Both players are going to get better but Hayward being forced into a bigger role doesn’t mean he’s worth more than 12 million a season. He’ll be forced to jack up more shots that’s it. Favors has accomplished much more in his short time in the league and its not even close.

    In the end if Hayward is demanding anything more than 12 million, which is very generous, they should let him walk. These massive contracts based on “potential” can ruin teams’ futures. Just ask the Warriors and Andris Biedrins.

    • avb530 - Oct 26, 2013 at 10:40 PM

      Hayward’s numbers are first, then Favors.

  2. thomaskouns - Oct 26, 2013 at 11:02 PM

    He’s good but not 13 mil good. That being said, neither are a lot of other guys at that salary.

    • redbaronx - Oct 27, 2013 at 7:36 PM

      @thomaskouns – Sometimes teams need to know when to walk away from a guy. That seems to be the case here. Teams that make the mistake of overpaying for a player risk condemning themselves to mediocrity.

  3. yousername1512 - Oct 27, 2013 at 12:17 AM


    • 00maltliquor - Oct 27, 2013 at 2:49 AM

      …**clap, clap, clap-clap-clap** OV-ER RA-TED **clap, clap, CLAP-CLAP-CLAP** OV-ER RA-TED………….

  4. saint1997 - Oct 27, 2013 at 1:36 AM

    Does anyone else get the impression from interviews etc. the Gordon Hayward is extraordinarily arrogant?

  5. cbrown386 - Oct 27, 2013 at 2:31 AM

    The kid is going to get a big payday, but he is far from a franchise changing star. His stats are solid, absolutely, but he doesn’t have the type of game changing effect of LeBron James, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade. Would be an excellent wing player for 8-9 million and a star beside him, but giving him big money will be a big mistake for someone.

    • 00maltliquor - Oct 27, 2013 at 2:46 AM


    • casualcommenter - Oct 27, 2013 at 11:21 AM

      I think of him as very similar to Luol Deng.

      Good player? Absolutely.
      A great player to have as your third best player on a championship team? No doubt.

      But are you going to win a championship with him as your best or second best player? No.

      Hayward is a good shooter, defender, and secondary ballhandler, but he doesn’t have the destructive effect on defenses that true stars do. I wouldn’t go much higher than the numbers they’re throwing out because there’s a huge risk this becomes a Deng-like situation where a team regrets overpaying a good but not great player.

  6. 00maltliquor - Oct 27, 2013 at 2:53 AM

    Man I hope he doesn’t hit the open market. He seems like the type of player my Lakers (Jim) would go after when we realize all the good FA’s are going to stay home.

  7. davidly - Oct 27, 2013 at 5:03 AM

    The inevitable observations regarding whether or not a player is worth a certain amount of money is instructive:

    – On the one hand, you could always make the argument that a player is worth whatever someone is willing to pay him, period.

    – On the other hand, those of us who have grown into responsible adulthood watching the price of our groceries climb while having our own earning ability stagnate know the bite of that which economists refer to as “inflation”.

    – Back on the first hand, basketball players are hardly a life sustaining need on par with food and water.

    So, ultimately, I think what the machinations of bargaining agreements and solutions towards inter-league parity demonstrate is that no matter how much a capitalist billionaire might sometimes feel the pressure to give in to his own avarice, at the end of the day, nobody presented in the big picture on the front page of the sports page is starving one iota.

    We–the editorial we–can moan about overpaid laborers all we want, but as long as we acquiesce to–or indeed, insist upon–“market forces” or “a governing regulator” or any combination thereof, we will toil under the influence of those for whom nothing is ever a zero sum game.

    • kb2408 - Oct 27, 2013 at 2:51 PM

      Bring it down a notch or two. This is a sports blog not a college course on economics.

      • davidly - Oct 27, 2013 at 6:40 PM

        Blow me. How’s that for bringing it down a notch or two.

  8. psubeerman21 - Oct 27, 2013 at 5:57 AM

    Not sure what the big deal is. He isn’t going anywhere, since he will be restricted anyway. Maybe you get a bargain and save a few bucks, sure. But there is an equal chance he will underwhelm and you will end up overpaying. I say let it ride the rest of the year and, if you feel inclined, match any qualifing offer he gets.

  9. kb2408 - Oct 27, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    Utah better pray that Trey becomes a star. Because the other core players on the Jazz (Hayward and Favors), will only be borderline all-stars throughout their careers.

  10. metalhead65 - Oct 27, 2013 at 7:32 PM

    he is worth whatever somebody is willing to pay him. he obviously thinks somebody will pay him what he wants if the jazz don’t and somebody probably will. that does not make him a bad guy but a smart one. if he signs a under market deal that allows the jazz to over pay somebody else so of course he wants to get as much as he can. he is young enough he wants to make as much as he can before takes less to sign with a winner and if you were in his shoes you would do the same thing.

  11. xli2006 - Oct 27, 2013 at 10:52 PM

    Decent young player and as high a charcter guy as you can get in the NBA… but looking at a $50 Million + deal??? That seems extremely steep for him.

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