On Tuesday, a GoFundMe drive was started to try to keep Gordon Hayward a member of the Utah Jazz beyond this summer.
On Wednesday, Hayward tried to redirect the effort to help raise money for cancer research in honor of a former college teammate.
A free agent on July 1, Hayward is a critical piece of the Jazz's future, but he will have the option to sign elsewhere. With that in mind, fan Garrett Jones on Tuesday set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds for renting a billboard in downtown Salt Lake City between Vivint Arena and Utah's practice facility with "Stayward" written on it, accompanied by an image of the All-Star small forward.
"Here in Utah, we've seen it too many times. Draft the good player, watch him become a great player, and then watch him leave in free agency," Jones wrote. "We as fans have been patient with this rebuild to get to this point. Hayward and (Rudy) Gobert are the core of what could be a great team in coming years. Let's show Gordon how much he means to this city and fan base."
As of noon on Wednesday, the fund had raised $1,275 of a stated goal of $5,000 to cover the cost of renting the billboard during the month of May.
Just over an hour before that, Hayward posted on his social media channels encouraging people to donate to a fund for cancer research that he has a close connection to.
One of his former college teammates at Butler, Erik Fromm, is aiming to raise $100,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in honor of his father, Leonard, and former Bulldog Andrew Smith, who died from cancer in 2016.
"I am running (to be the 2017 Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Man of the Year) in honor of two men in my life who I constantly try to live up to ...," Fromm wrote on the page. "I am running in hopes to find a cure to this terrible disease ... and I hope you all run with me. Thank you so much for your donation — none is too big or too small."