The Utah Jazz have had a pretty successful season, regardless of what happens in the NBA Playoffs. They won their division. They won over 50 games. And they did both while experiencing so many, many injuries. That’s amazing. Furthermore, Gordon Hayward was an All-Star, and recognized as one of the best forwards in the game. He has received a lot of praise around the league for his individual play, leadership, and given a lot of credit for the team success this year. Of course, Rudy Gobert is a beast who should win some individual accolades this year as well. But Hayward is the face of this franchise. He’s been marketed as such for the last four years, mind you.
But for all the team and individual successes for Utah and Hayward, is this the end? He can opt out of the final year of his contract (Player’s Option) and become a Free Agent this summer. And with what the cap space looks like, it’s likely to be the case.
The fear is that he’s going to bolt. And I don’t know if he’s the type of guy to run. He is the type of guy to be strategic and get what he wants though - like signing the offer sheet with the Charlotte Hornets for the Jazz to match a few seasons ago. We’ve been subjected to Bill Simmons, of The Ringer, basically willing that fiction into reality all season long.
Hope he’s wrong, he’s wrong about a lot of stuff, so it may work in our favor.
And while I’m not Gordon, I do know a little about this team. And I’d rather play on a team where Rudy Gobert is on my side instead of playing on a team where he’s against me.
But that’s just me.
Hayward is regarded as a star. He’s made more money already than he can ever spend, and he’s going to get a max contract this July. The only thing he doesn’t have is winning. And this team, under Dennis Lindsey / Quin Snyder, has really turned the corner. Like I said, they won their division, won over 50 games, and are still so young.
If the Jazz flop in the playoffs does that give Hayward pause? If the Jazz do well, is that a lock to retain him? Both premises may not be entirely valid. But what do you think?
Do the Jazz need a strong playoff showing in order to keep Gordon Hayward?
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