Cavs believed to be preparing a max offer sheet for restricted free agent Gordon Hayward, sources said. Yahoo reported he is visiting today— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) July 2, 2014
The Cleveland Cavaliers are hosting restricted free agent forward Gordon Hayward for a visit Wednesday and are preparing a huge offer sheet to try to pry him away from the Utah Jazz, sources told ESPN.com.
The Cavs, who have the ability to clear as much as $20 million in salary-cap space, are believed to be willing to start a deal at the maximum contract number of about $15 million per season.
The Cavs see Hayward as a compliment to young franchise cornerstones Kyrie Irving and No. 1 overall draft pick Andrew Wiggins.
The Cavs, who got a commitment from Irving to sign a five-year, $90 million extension earlier this week, see Wiggins as a shooting guard. Hayward would become the small forward.
The Cavs had been hoping to secure a meeting with LeBron James but haven't been unsuccessful and moved on to make Hayward their top few agent target.
Why this makes sense:
This makes total sense for the Cavs, and I wrote about it earlier here. I was not expecting the worst when I wrote about Hayward being in Cleveland earlier today, but this does change things. The Cavs have money and want to be good now. Getting Hayward on your club helps you be a good team. He'll be close to home and making a lot of money. The internet speeds in Cleveland are pretty fast, so he'll be fine. Just stay indoors.
Time for the Jazz to put their money where their mouth is:
Utah has suggested that they would match anything. If Hayward gets a max offer, and he signs it, it will be up to the Jazz to match it. It's simple. If not, we move in another direction.
I'm just not crazy about signing him to a max deal, and I am not alone. I do really like his game and appreciate what he does for the team on and off the court. Hopefully cooler heads will prevail and he doesn't sign an offer from the Cavaliers. But that doesn't make business sense at all for the young millionaire.