NEW YORK — Gordon Hayward's first trip to Salt Lake City was memorable, to say the least, ending with a trip to the Final Four. However, that wasn't the only thing Hayward remembered from his trip out to Utah.
"It looked like it had some good skiing spots," Hayward said.
So when Hayward, an avid skier, returned to Utah to work out with the Jazz on June 6, he mentioned to the Jazz executives about wanting to hit the slopes.
"I talked to the front office about that, and they said, 'We're putting that in the contract. No skiing, if we were to draft you,' " Hayward said.
With the way Hayward plays on the court in Utah, it's no surprise that the team would be wary of losing its possible draftee to a skiing injury.
Hayward led Butler to victories over Syracuse and Kansas State in Salt Lake City and was named the West Region's Most Valuable Player after averaging 19.5 points per game in the two contests.3 comments on this story
"First time I had been there was when I went with Butler, and it was a good little city," Hayward said. "I like playing there and shooting there."
When he returned for his workout with the team in June, it was more of the same from Hayward.
"I have some good memories there, and the workout went well," Hayward said. "It was one of those 'wow' moments because you look around and all of those guys are projected to go first round."
Hayward is one of those projected first-round picks, and he might just have a chance to make a few more "wow" moments in Utah of his own — just not on the slopes of the Wasatch Mountains.