Hugh Carey, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — As expected, the Utah Jazz extended a qualifying offer to Gordon Hayward for the 2014-15 season.
The transaction ensures that Hayward will be a restricted free agent come July 1, a move that will allow Utah the first right of refusal on any offer that might come the small forward's way next month.
Although other teams very well could try to lure the versatile 6-8 wing away from Utah, Jazz management has made it clear that Hayward remains in the organization's long-term plans.
Most recently, Jazz vice president of player personnel Walt Perrin scoffed when asked if the team was looking for a possible replacement for Hayward in this draft.
“Nope,” Perrin said. “That doesn’t come into our thinking because we think we’re going to have Gordon with us next year.”
The recently married 24-year-old is coming off his best all-around season in Utah, having averaged 16.2 points, 5.2 assists and 5.1 rebounds in his first crack at being the go-to man in the NBA.
The former Butler star and the Jazz were not able to come to terms on a contract extension before the beginning of the 2013-14 season, but it's expected that will happen this offseason.
If Hayward doesn't get a new deal from Utah or another team, he's set to earn $4.7 million in his fifth season.
- Live streams: 4A & 5A baseball tournament...
- Looking back: Ray Harroun wins 1st...
- Westbrook, Thunder put Warriors on brink of...
- 'Lost my way': Murray pushed to 5 sets again...
- USMNT: RSL's Beckerman starts, Timbers' Nagbe...
- Ex-MLB hurler winds up for Vermont governor...
- Coach Steve Kerr: Warriors on brink but ready...
- San Jose Sharks head to 1st Cup final after...
- Morning links: Broncos like Devontae... 68
- Brad Rock: BYU-Utah hoops are back... 51
- Rivalry renewed: BYU, Utah agree to a... 49
- Brad Rock: This is the Big 12 —of... 41
- Morning links: BYU shirt summits Mt.... 37
- Why can't we be friends? BYU-Utah fans... 31
- Rose excited for near future stability,... 21
- Column: Baylor should pull plug on its... 19