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Jazz GM: Retaining Gordon Hayward is priority for Utah

gordon hayward

Gordon Hayward may not have been named to an All-NBA team, but he’s still one of the few franchise players in the association. Yet, that exclusion could end up playing a pivotal role in Hayward possibly leaving the franchise that drafted him.

With the offseason nearing rapidly, Utah Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey is franticly working to keep his team’s cornerstone player. From KSL.com’s Andy Larsen:

“Every fiber of our collective being and soul of the Utah Jazz want him back,” Lindsey said. “We think it’s a great fit.”

Doing so just become a whole lot tougher, though.

By not making one of the league’s All-NBA teams, Hayward does not qualify for a super max extension. That evens the playing field for Gordon’s services, as the Jazz can no longer offer him a considerably higher deal. Utah can still offer an extra year, but the competition is much closer.

It’s believed that the Boston Celtics will make a significant run at Hayward. Their head coach, Brad Stevens, has a great relationship with Gordon from their time at Butler.

Lindsey is banking on the relationship the organization has fostered with Hayward during his tenure in Utah as a deciding factor.

More from Larsen:

The Jazz, though, hope that money isn’t the only advantage that the Jazz have. “The day-to-day selling and internal negotiation is a lot more important than balloons, pompoms and ceremonial stuff,” Lindsey said. Lindsey cited Hayward’s relationships with Johnnie Bryant, Quin Snyder and the rest of the Jazz’s staff that allowed him to improve into the All-Star player he was this season.

If the Jazz are able to retain Hayward, they can continue their ascension to becoming a perennial Western Conference contender. Without him, it might be awhile before they recover.

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