Report: Jazz pulled out of Kyle Lowry discussions before losing Gordon Hayward
Before they lost Gordon Hayward to the Boston Celtics in free agency during the summer of 2017, the Utah Jazz spoke extensively to Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry and his representatives about bringing the All-Star guard to the team, according to Andy Larsen and Eric Walden of the Salt Lake Tribune.
Kyle Lowry was an unrestricted free agent at the time, and the Jazz were interested in pairing him with Gordon Hayward and center Rudy Gobert.
Utah ended up not signing Lowry because he would have commanded a max contract, and the franchise was trying to save as much money as possible so they could retain Hayward.
Two days later, the Jazz traded for Ricky Rubio, but he wasn’t the only point guard the Jazz were considering. Besides the incumbent starter, George Hill, according to multiple Tribune sources, the Jazz spoke extensively to Toronto point guard Kyle Lowry’s representatives about bringing the All-Star point guard to Utah. After those discussions, the Jazz felt confident about their ability to land Lowry, but chose to pull out of any potential deal because signing Lowry would have required cap space earmarked for the Hayward. Lowry signed a new deal with the Raptors on July 3.
Kyle Lowry signed a three-year, $90 million deal to stay in Toronto, while Gordon Hayward inked a four-year, $128 million deal with the Celtics. Utah wound up with Ricky Rubio as their starting point guard.
It sounds like the Jazz got screwed over by Gordon Hayward. Had they known Hayward was going to leave for Boston, Utah could have signed Kyle Lowry, who is a big upgrade from Ricky Rubio.
Luckily, the selection of Donovan Mitchell and his quick rise to superstardom eases the sting of what happened that summer.