Despite having the most memorable Jazz season in the post-Jerry Sloan era, Utah’s cache has been cut in half with the departure of Gordon Hayward. But it didn’t have to be this way, and it’s partially the organization’s fault that it is.
In the summer of 2014, the Jazz had the chance to offer Hayward five-year, $80 million max deal in free agency after they failed to agree to terms on an extension for the swingman’s services earlier that fall. Instead, the Jazz opted to let Hayward test the market.
That’s where things went down hill.
Yes, the Jazz went about things the right way. They built their team up through the draft and hired the perfect coach for their talent. But part of Hayward’s sudden departure has to fall on them. They could easily have, at least, one more season of Hayward in Utah. Now? We’ll never know what this team could’ve truly become.
The Jazz didn’t know what they had in Hayward
At the start of the 2013-14 season, the Jazz opened contract extension talks with Hayward — just as any team would do with a soon-to-be restricted free agent. To that point, Hayward was closer to a prospect than an All-Star. He increased his scoring load from 5.4 points to
Article source: https://www.sbnation.com/2017/7/5/15923694/gordon-hayward-celtics-jazz-nba-free-agency-2017
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