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Report: Cavaliers, wary of Jazz matching, reluctant to offer Gordon Hayward max contract

Jul 2, 2014, 10:00 PM EST

Utah Jazz v Cleveland Cavaliers Utah Jazz v Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavaliers are considering signing Gordon Hayward to a max-contract offer sheet.

The Jazz would get three days to match what projects to be a four-year, $63,011,880 contract. They’ve threatened to match any offer for Hayward, and that has Cleveland concerned.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

This is how the process works.

Now, the Cavaliers engage Utah about a sign-and-trade.

The Jazz might be amenable, because Hayward on a max contract is not a fantastic asset. Sure, he would still hold value – which is why Utah would probably match – but not as much as on the smaller contract the Jazz offered in the fall. If Cleveland offered enough in a sign-and-trade, that might change the equation toward Utah parting with Hayward.

The Cavaliers must also weight what assets they’d part with to ensure Hayward joins them.

If the teams reach an impasse, Cleveland then must decide about offering a max contract to Hayward anyway. Maybe, the Jazz are bluffing and wouldn’t match. At minimum, the Cavaliers must count on Utah taking three days – leaving Cleveland in a bind with Hayward absorbing so much cap room – before deciding.

The burden for the Cavaliers specifically could be even greater.

To create max room below the projected salary cap, Cleveland would need to waive Anderson Varejao, whose 2014-15 salary is guaranteed for just $4 million of $9,704,545. Varejao is still a productive player who could be valuable on the court to the Cavaliers or another team – or in a trade for a team intent on trimming salary.

By just waiving the fully unguaranteed contracts of Scotty Hopson and Matthew Dellavedova, the Cavaliers would come close to creating enough room for Hayward’s max, though. If the cap is a little higher than projected the projected $63.2 million – at least $64,196,487 to be exact – they could offer Hayward the max without waiving Varejao.

The exact cap will be set before it’s possible to sign Hayward to an official offer sheet, so the Cavaliers know what they’re getting into. But if they waive Varejao and Utah matches, they’d lose both players.

Meanwhile, the Jazz hope Cleveland just moves along to other targets. That way, Utah has a better chance of keeping Hayward for less than the max. It’s the whole point of the Jazz’s threats to match.

However, Utah will face other threats from  the Suns and Celtics.

Any team could offer Hayward a max offer sheet just to ensure the Jazz must pay him a high amount, limiting Utah’s ability to sign other players in the future. The downside is only the team that signs Hayward will have its cap tied up for three days, and the upside helps every team in the NBA outside the Jazz. It’s a free-rider problem.

At this point, the dalliance between the Cavs, Jazz and Hayward – and maybe Suns and Celtics – becomes an elaborate game of bluffing and posturing.

  1. tomshoe - Jul 2, 2014 at 10:06 PM

    A max for Gordon Hayward?

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    • jeffkx - Jul 2, 2014 at 10:11 PM

      Well done..

    • bkbell3 - Jul 2, 2014 at 11:28 PM

      very nice!

  2. jeffkx - Jul 2, 2014 at 10:13 PM

    For what it’s worth..Sam Amico has been pretty locked in since Chris Grant got fired/ David Griffin got hired..and he said the $63m figure is way overblown..

  3. seasickcecil - Jul 2, 2014 at 10:26 PM

    If the figure is correct that would be the Cavs biggest mistake since Larry Hughes.

    • jeffkx - Jul 2, 2014 at 10:36 PM

      Agreed. Cleveland was so pumped when we signed Hughes (myself included). 20 ppg, played defense..when a reporter asked Larry about his three point shooting (or lack thereof) Larry made a remark about how his defense would make up for it..and then in typical Cleveland fashion it blew up in our faces and two years later we traded him lol..

      • zerole00 - Jul 3, 2014 at 2:43 PM

        lol you don’t just luck into a moniker like “Factory of Sadness”

        It takes some (or lack thereof) hard work.

  4. saint1997 - Jul 2, 2014 at 10:43 PM

    Dion Waiters would be a good pickup for Jazz to pair with Exum. They’d have to move Burke but his stock has never really been higher, I think a sign and trade is a great move for both teams (Cleveland would be thrilled with Kyrie, Gordon and Wiggins)

    • unxpexted1 - Jul 3, 2014 at 9:12 AM

      I do think that is a very good complimentary backcourt, with all three players with different skillsets.

      Kyrie: ball handler, creator, playmaker
      Gordon: Shooter, and can create some himself
      Wiggins: Slasher and defender.

      NOt a bad trio at all.

      • saint1997 - Jul 4, 2014 at 1:38 AM

        And Kyrie is a great shooter to boot, so there is a great balance of shot creation, shooting, slashing and defence. Cavs should be looking for that above dreaming that LeBron will return

  5. enigma2742 - Jul 3, 2014 at 1:03 AM

    GORDON HAYWARD IS NOT WORTH ON AVERAGE15.8 MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR HE’S MORE LIKE 11-12 MILLION EVEN THAT COULD BE TO MUCH BUT IT WOULD SUFICE LOL

    • bball242322 - Jul 3, 2014 at 1:15 PM

      relax

    • saint1997 - Jul 4, 2014 at 1:38 AM

      Is your keyboard permanently on caps lock?

  6. lakerade - Jul 3, 2014 at 2:02 AM

    I’d rather have Chandler Parsons than Gordon Haywood, anyway.

  7. titansbro - Jul 3, 2014 at 6:40 AM

    What have they lost if Utah does match? Nothing. Offer it anyway. If they match you’ll be in the same place as you will be if you don’t make the offer.

    • therealhtj - Jul 3, 2014 at 9:11 AM

      Well you will be stuck paying a decent player max money. I guess if you’re Cleveland or Utah, you’ve got to do it since you’re not attracting quality free agents any other way.

      • titansbro - Jul 3, 2014 at 2:28 PM

        i think you missed my point, if utah matches then cleveland doesn’t get the player. that’s the same result as if you don’t offer it. you don’t get the player.

        it’s a totally different thing to say that he’s not worth a max deal. but if they think he is then they should offer it. either way, they should make the offer of whatever they’re willing to pay for him if they want him. the worth thing that can happen is utah matches & you don’t get him. same result as if you never make any offer.

  8. jimb031 - Jul 3, 2014 at 7:47 AM

    I don’t see why the cavs are hesitating.

    Get the guy you wanted for the price you wanted (easily would be one of the worst contracts in the league), or ruin the team who wont let him leave. Win-win for cavs.

  9. tonybot3 - Jul 3, 2014 at 6:51 PM

    Its no skin off the Cavs back if the Jazz match…. If they really wanted him, there’s zero reason not to make the offer.

    I think in reality, this whole thing was a smokescreen by the Cavs to rile up LeBron and see what he’s feeling.

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