Gordon Hayward: Second-year Utah Jazz swingman shows plenty of promise

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  • bb12345678910111213141516171819 sltribune, utah
    Jan. 12, 2012 9:55 p.m.

    Hayward seems like a cross between Hornacek and Kirlinko. He has some of Kirlinko's abilities in filling the stat sheet, although not to that extreme and also has Hornacek's court vision and ability to shoot, just not to that extreme either.

  • Kakashi Tokyo, Japan
    Dec. 14, 2011 3:27 a.m.

    you can compare Hayward to Kobe on the facial features...Hayward looks like a white Kobe Bryant...seriously...when i saw his video on youtube when he decided to play starcraft...i noticed how some of their features are similar...Gordon Hayward may not be a scorer like KD or Kobe...but there is a certain player who i personally think is better than them...playing wise...and that guy is the closest i can compare Hayward to...and that guy is Manu Ginobili...he doesnt put up 40 a night...but what he does in the court is awesome...and that's how Hayward is...people think that just because you hit 80 the last night and averaged 35 a game means you are the best...winning without the need to do those things and just playing great overall basketball on both ends of the court...hitting timely baskets...running screens dishing out..making great shot selection...is what makes a player great...right now Hayward is on the verge on becoming a bigger version of Manu Ginobili

  • Jody Genessy
    Dec. 13, 2011 9:10 p.m.

    Redcliffs, just to clarify: Nobody compared Hayward to Kobe. Bryant complimented Gordon, saying he's like Hornacek but better. And Earl Watson compared Hayward's potential path of improvement to Durant's. He did not say they will both end up being equally talented - just that Watson has hopes that Hayward's progression will happen at a similar rate.

  • redcliffs Ivins, Utah
    Dec. 13, 2011 8:54 p.m.

    Holy Cow, where was I when they were passing out the rose colored glasses? Look, the Jazz have what look to be some very good young players but to start comparing Hayward to Kobe and Durrant is a little over the top. I consider myself as big a Jazz fan as they come and I'm very excited to get this season started but the Jazz are at least a year or 2 from making the playoffs IMHO. I'm fearful most of you will become overly depressed if the Jazz don't challenge for the title and have half the players on the all star team. We need to be patient and enjoy watching this team mature and get better, but just don't expect too much too soon.

  • shaybo Richfield, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 8:29 p.m.

    Never has a Jazz player played the kind of defense on Kobe as in that last game against the Lakers. His 3 point shooting kept improving until he was at the top of the NBA by the end of the season. In the last few games of the season nearly every time he drove to the basket something good happened.

    The Jazz did absolutely nothing to improve their outside shooting in the off season, so it's imperative Hayward is in the lineup most of the time. I guess they think Josh Howard is the answer with his 24% from 3.

  • WhatsInItForMe Orem, Utah
    Dec. 13, 2011 4:46 p.m.

    Just like with Stockton and Malone, fans booed when they were selected, too. Just like them, I think Hayward is going to become an All-Star player many times during his career, and do so with the same humility Stockton did.

  • Jazz Source Alpine, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 3:44 p.m.

    Sure KD made alot of points his rookie season...that is because he played close to 40 minutes a night and they were losing almost every game and they knew KD was the future so he had a green light any time any where without consequence.

    KD shot a horrible % his first season. Horrible. He made alot of bad decisions and took even more horrible shots. KD is fast, lean, and athletic. I'm not sure Hayward will be the scorer KD is but Hayward has some of the same abilities and even a lesser version of KD would be awesome.

    Hayward is very smart and showed quick progression toward the end of last season. I believe that bodes well.

  • Basketballogy Orem, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 2:53 p.m.

    I worry about people encouraging Hayward to "be more aggressive."

    What they are really saying is they want Hayward to look for his own shot more, which could be a really bad idea. He'll do that at times, when the game requires it to help his team win, but he certainly doesn't want to be a Kevin Durrant.

    I watched Hayward at Butler, and Hayward is more a Lamar Odom, Scottie Pippen or Toni Kucok in mentality, and messing with that could well mess with what makes this kid special.

    As I watched fans (and writers) whine about the Jazz not choosing a big with the 9th selection in the 2010 draft, I thought, "Wow, some people have minds like cement: all mixed up and permanently set."

    Jazz fans MISTAKENLY believe they lost to the Lakers in the 2010 playoffs because the Jazz lacked size. However, against the Jazz that series, Pau Gasol averaged 23.5 points, and Andrew Bynum averaged 7.8 points.

    That√Ęs not exactly domination.

    Besides, like the Jazz, the 2010 Boston Celtics also lacked size up front, yet the undersized 2010 Celtics took the Lakers to the very brink before losing in game 7.

    The real problem in the 2010 playoffs was Jazz guards wouldn't play defense.

    Before playing the Jazz, the Lakers played the Thunder, where Kobe averaged 23.5 points on 40.8% shooting.

    Against the Jazz? Bryant averaged 32.0 points on 52.3% shooting, and averaged nearly 6 assists per game as well.

    And Kobe wasn't the only Lakers guard enjoying the picnic of matching up against Deron Williams and Kyle Korver. Lakers guards Derek Fisher, Shannon Brown and Jordan Farmar all enjoyed big games against the Jazz.

    So in the 2010 draft, Kevin O'Conner got Gordon Hayward, a guy who's not likely to let that happen again.

    The Jazz drafted to solve their real problems, not the ones their fans perceived to be the problem.

    I was and still am juiced to have Hayward on the Jazz, and frankly I love the young bigs we have all over that roster. With a veteran point guard (or two) watching over them I think this year's Jazz are going to be my favorite in years.

  • Jody Genessy
    Dec. 13, 2011 2:01 p.m.


  • LAJazzFan Los Angeles, CA
    Dec. 13, 2011 1:48 p.m.

    All this article was missing was- Can I get a hallelujah!

    I like the kid for his humility and intelligence. Hopefully, his play at the end of the season was a sign of things to come. However, this article set the bar impossibly high for the kid.

  • Shawnm750 West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 1:27 p.m.

    I think this year has the potential to be a breakout year for the Jazz...or another disappointment. I'm inclined to believe the former, merely because a lot of the drama that surrounded the team last year will not be a factor this year. We've got a new coach, some promising new talent, and a new approach to the game. It sounds like a lot of our guys have made good use of the extra-long off season, unlike the Derek Fisher's who've spent their break trying to inflate their salaries even more.

  • Anonymous Infinity American Fork, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 11:52 a.m.

    I agree that Gordon Hayward can be an effective offensive player. But remember, someone has to score for teams, even mediocre teams, such as the Jazz are at the moment. No disrepect to the Jazz franchise; and I am a Jazz fan. I'm just trying to be realistic, visa vie the prominent teams that are always in the mix for a title drive each season. The small market or mid level market teams are hard pressed to maintain their rosters when they draft superior players, such as a Kevin Durrant in OKC (always will be Seattle for me). I didn't consider the tandem of Willliams and Boozer could ever reach the plateau of Malone and Stockton when the Jazz had that two year run for the title. The current collection of players will be hard pressed to make the playoffs. And David Stern is apparently bent on manipulating the trades to attempt to moderate the aggressive big franchises from robbing the small market teams, and restock their title aspiration talent laden rosters. The owners of no chance franchises have made their case to curtail this reverse robin hood process that has dominated the league in recent years of free agency.

  • Captain L Provo, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 11:27 a.m.

    I love Haywards game, he has a complete game and plays smart. I hope he starts at the 2 and then if Burks proves worthy Gordon can move to the 3, his best position is the 2 however. Can't wait to see how all these young players look this yr. I hope CJ shows he can be consistent and plays better. I hope Paul gets some time at the 3, same with Evans, we need some size and length at the 3. Burks has a ton of talent but how soon he will force himself into the starting lineup or get major minutes is unknown. Favors may have the most potential and I hope he shows it sooner rather than later. Kanter is a hard worker and has alot of skills to go along with his size so although it probably won't happen at the start of the season, I see Kanter getting better and better and more & more minutes as the season progresses.

  • scalman Temecula, CA
    Dec. 13, 2011 9:05 a.m.

    I've been waiting for an article on Gordon. Good to hear he's stronger after the summer. It will be interesting when the Jazz meet the Lakers. Kobe doesn't like to be shown up by anyone, but Gordon did not gloat after their last meeting. I remember when Kirilenko was put on Kobe one time and made Kobe look foolish a bit...and Kobe came back the next time Kirilenko guarded him and lit him up. Thing is, watching Kobe is usually exciting, sometimes off the charts exciting (I imagine) if you are a Lakers fan. Well, Gordon is exciting too...he does so many things well and can be explosive, too.

  • JFFR Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 9:00 a.m.

    Did Earl Watson just compare Hawyard to KD?


    I respected Watson's basketball IQ, now I'm not so sure.

    KD averaged 20ppg his rookie year. His second year 25 ppg, his third year he got the scoring title and his fourth year people were debating whether or not he was the best basketball player in the world.

    Hayward might be an all-star someday. There is a difference between an all-star and a super-star.

    Don't get me wrong, I love Hayward. He is suprisingly athletic. He blocks shots with the opposite hand and it looks strangely natural. He's got tons of potential but I'm really confused as to why KD is mentioned in the same sentence.

    P.S. Last year KD said something like "Why isn't Hayward starting? I love that guy's game!"

    Both KD and Hayward are top notch guys! Respectable role models in a league that needs them!

  • Motappin Sandy, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 8:27 a.m.

    I love Gordon. He's gonna be a star, but he seems to be cut from the John Stockton mold. Hopefully that hard-working, humble attitude means the Jazz can hold onto him for a very long time. He should be a BIG part of the future of this team. How fun to watch! Stick around Gordon...get your own statue out front.

  • Doug10 Roosevelt, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 8:01 a.m.

    Hayward is fun to watch because of his high basketball IQ and his willingness to share the ball.

    When Ronnie PRice brings the ball up the court the rest of the team stops moving and running as everyone in the building knew Ronnie was going to shoot it.

    Hayward seems to have made the progress the team was expecting from CJ. If Hayward continues to progress and his confidence grows that would make CJ tradeable.

    Great to see a good kid make it in the league, also good to see the fans rally behind him. Between his ball handling and Burk the ned for a third pg may be less than in the past.

  • nottyou Riverton, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 7:49 a.m.

    Hayward isn't showing promise...he's already realized it. How often does he have to keep earning that recognition?

  • ThatsSoUtah Fredericksburg, VA
    Dec. 13, 2011 6:43 a.m.

    The season opener against the Lakers could be very telling. Maybe Hayward and Kobe will have a bit of a rivalry develop which could be fun for fans. More likely though, it will encourage Kobe to recruit Hayward to the Lakers in a few years.

  • Magna Ute Fan Magna, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 5:52 a.m.

    The lockout had me really bummed about missing Hayward, Favors, Evans, Kanter, and Burkes. I am really excited to see some more improvement from Gordon.

    Go Jazz!

  • rvalens2 Burley, ID
    Dec. 13, 2011 1:39 a.m.

    I'm sky-high on this kid. He shows the kind of spunk that has already made him a fan favorite. Watching Gordon cause Kobe all kinds of fits at the end of the last season put a smile on face.

    Rejoice Jazz fans, the future looks bright.