The Bafflement Report: New Ideas for Gordon Hayward

Trey Burke isn't good.

Harsh, right? Perhaps. However, the last time I began The Bafflement Report claiming that a player wasn't good, Alec Burks decided that he is freaking awesome and baffled me. Let that be the case again. In the meantime, check out his game logs and look for just-above-goose-egg statuses in multiple games and in multiple categories against legitimate NBA point guards.

Mr. Burke doesn't know how to play really well on a nightly basis and the only games where he plays well seem to be against lower-level point guards. However, I'll give it to Trey that when it comes to the final 5 minutes of games he's particularly awesome.

Right now, Trey can't guard anybody, has a hard time shooting the ball, has only slightly improved getting into the paint, and for the most part has been outmatched by every other starting point guard in the NBA. So, let's objectively state (and by objectively I mean without any raw data or advanced data to back it up) that Trey Burke may be the point guard of our future but that for now he's not a top-30 PG in the NBA.

If I were the new head coach of the Utah Jazz (Lord, let there be a new coach for the Utah Jazz), my starting point guard would be Gordon Hayward.


1. Gordon Hayward's awful shooting percentages are directly related to him being a number one option when it doesn't fit his basketball skills.

2. He's our best ball-handler and assist man. Running an offense through him to score has not rendered the results desired, unless you're the Jazz brass and this was your idea to get him cheaper in the off-season (while the rest of the NBA is dying to have him and use him properly).

3. Captain America's length is bothersome to true PGs and (as far as I can honestly tell) Trey Burke won't ever be what we want him to be for us).

4. Moving him to PG would automatically put Alec Burks into the starting lineup and allow us to start the SF we should presumably draft with our first lottery pick.

Multiple teams have found success with by playing a guy like Gordon Hayward at PG. Look at what the Chicago Bulls did with Ron Harper, Scottie Pippen, Michael Jordan. The player I see Hayward to be most like is Pippen, a guy whose shot wasn't entirely reliable but can go off on any given night, preferred the full court to to the half-court offense, gave smaller ball-handlers fits because of his length, and was a tremendous complementary piece rather than a number one option.

Hayward fits much of the bill with room to grow. He's not Scottie Pippen but there are similarities in their stat lines.

Scottie, in his fourth year, averaged 18 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists being the number two option on a team that won 61 games. Hayward is having teams focus hard on him, almost entirely on him, and is averaging 16 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists on a team that is basically the W-L inverse of that Bulls squad.

It would be refreshing to see a coach really try to implement the point forward idea and I think it would be best for the Jazz team moving forward, well, at least until Trey figures out how to play professional basketball.

Thoughts. Opinions. Knock-knock jokes.

All comments are the opinion of the commenter and not necessarily that of SLC Dunk or SB Nation.