Utah Jazz plan to make offer to Gordon Hayward as free agency frenzy begins
The Jazz were thought to be in the mindset of allowing the market to dictate Hayward’s salary, and other teams still could make a quick offer before Utah’s is delivered. Sources say multiple teams are considering throwing up to max deals in hopes of luring the versatile Butler product away from Utah.
“It’s safe to say Gordon will get very significant salary,” Lindsey said in April. “But we stand by our statement that we hope he’s a member of the Utah Jazz for the length of his career.”
The day after the season ended, Hayward said he’ll let the negotiations play out, but he reiterated that he’d be happy to continue his career in Utah.
That was also his message last fall even after the Jazz didn’t match his camp’s final proposal. His agent, Mark Bartelstein, denied that Hayward was asking for a max deal, which would be in the ballpark of five years, $85 million from Utah.
Because of the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, which favors players staying with original teams, other suitors are only able to offer Hayward up to about $63.5 million over four years.
“One thing that we want to make clear,” Lindsey has said, “Gordon Hayward is a valued member of the Utah Jazz.”
The Jazz also have to plan their salary structure with the thought of possibly offering contract extensions this summer to center Enes Kanter and shooting guard Alec Burks, both of whom are entering their fourth seasons.
Nothing is concrete — and quite possibly never will be — but some around the NBA wonder if the Jazz will try to emulate what they did last offseason by taking salary dumps from the likes of Houston (Jeremy Lin) or Chicago (Carlos Boozer).
Utah picked up two first-rounders (landing Hood with the 23rd pick), a pair of future second-round selections and cash for a similar deal with Golden State last summer when it took on the expiring contracts of Richard Jefferson, Andris Biedrins and Brandon Rush.
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