But Hayward's shooting percentages took a nosedive, dropping from 43.5 percent from the field and 41.5 percent from 3-point range in 2012-13 to 41.3 percent from the field and 30.4 percent — a startling 11.1 percent decline — from beyond the arc in 2013-14.
Some folks are quick to point out that the added pressure of playing for his next contract may have had a negative impact on Hayward's shooting last season.
Fact is, though, that his shooting numbers have declined every year he's been in the league.
And now he'll have the added pressure of trying to play up to that max-money contract and prove that he deserves it.
His agent, Mark Bartelstein, confirmed his client's deal on Saturday.
"Charlotte put a great presentation in front of him, as far as (owner) Michael Jordan and (general manager) Rich Cho and Steve Clifford; I mean they really just made a terrific impression," Bartelstein told USA Today Sports. "And you know, it's great to know the Jazz think so highly of Gordon that they want to match it. So I think it's a win-win, you know?
"Charlotte made an incredible impression on him, and that's why he signed with them, and it's always great to know that your team values you that they would match an offer like that. (Hayward is) very thankful to Charlotte and that won't be forgotten. For the Jazz, I think they made a strong statement about how they feel about Gordon and now he'll come and play his heart out for them as he always has."
"I think it's certainly a gigantic statement of how the Jazz value Gordon," Bartelstein told The Associated Press. "It's always a wonderful thing when your own organization values you so much that they'd match a contract like this. I think it makes a great statement to Gordon about how they feel about him and value him."
Or, in this case, overvalue him.
Heck, it's not like he's been a bust since he got here. Hayward, the ninth overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft, has averaged 12 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game over his first four NBA seasons.
And if they hadn't re-signed Hayward, who would the Jazz have gone after instead? It's not like Utah is a hot spot for big-name free agents to land. Maybe they felt like he was the best player they could hope to get.
Again, he's a nice player, a guy who'd be a solid, complimentary second- or third-best player on a lot of NBA teams.
But a max-money player?
Hopefully, over the next four years, Gordon Hayward will prove me wrong.
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