Jul 30, 2014, 9:18 AM EST
In the first year alone of his new contract, Hayward will make more than he has in his entire career to date. This deal sets him up to lead a young Utah team through rebuilding and back to the playoffs.
A max contract, especially when two teams agree the player is worthy, comes with a lot of pressure – or at least it can.
Hayward isn’t feeling it.
“For me, I don’t think I have to live up to anything now,” he said. “They paid me what they wanted to pay me, and let’s go from there.”
“Oh, man. No pressure now,” Hayward said of his own game. “The pressure is trying to win. That’s the pressure.”
At first blush, this seems wrong. The spotlight will be on Hayward like never before. As a young player on a team that never won a playoff game, Hayward had room to grow in relative anonymity.
Now, the spotlight will shine brighter, and critics will become less forgiving.
However, in the most direct sense, the pressure is off. Of the $62,965,420 Hayward is owed over the next four years, $62,965,420 is guaranteed. He can let his career crumble and still be set financially for life.
That isn’t pressure.
Now, the Jazz obviously hope Hayward remains motivated, and I think he will. His third contract could be even more lucrative if he does. And as he says, there’s a pride in trying to win.
But Hayward always had that. A max contract, for better or worse, doesn’t change anything in that regard.
Mar 6, 2015, 3:10 AM EST
Westbrook is still a machine
Mar 6, 2015, 12:53 AM EST
This hurts the Blazers guard depth.
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Mar 6, 2015, 12:00 AM EST
James hints at retaliation.
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Pacers’ David West made the assertion after Denver fired head coach Brian Shaw.
Mar 5, 2015, 10:00 PM EST
Ibaka comes up with a massive rejection.
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Gasol is too skilled.
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We all saw it at the time, but the league confirmed the missed call the next day.
Mar 5, 2015, 7:00 PM EST
Hamilton was a piece in the Goran Dragic trade.
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Dragic has praise for the Suns organization.
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The NBA wants to raise it to 20.
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Westbrook has had four consecutive triple-doubles.
Steve Kerr on MVP race: “If Daryl Morey wants to run his own one-man campaign for James Harden, he can do that”
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Mar 5, 2015, 2:31 PM EST
Dispute reportedly over terms of second season
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Sager will be on the sidelines for Thursday night’s Bulls-Thunder matchup.
Mar 5, 2015, 1:26 PM EST
Bulls guard pledges money to school
Mar 5, 2015, 12:53 PM EST
Warriors guard shows up Bucks
Mar 5, 2015, 12:11 PM EST
Nine players have ended a day leading the NBA in points per game this season
Mar 5, 2015, 11:41 AM EST
Suns wing might be NBA’s best dunker
Mar 5, 2015, 11:04 AM EST
Chris Paul frantically tries to get Jordan’s attention
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