The Utah Jazz attempted to iron out a contract extension with Gordon Hayward earlier this season, but the two sides were unable to find a middle ground.
They’ll get another opportunity come this offseason, though, there may not be much negotiating involved.
Hayward is set to become a restricted free agent meaning the Jazz can match any contract offered to the young forward. Will they? Moke Hamilton of Basketball Insiders seems to believe so.
I’d be surprised if the Jazz let him walk away. With Trey Burke, Derrick Favors and Hayward, the Jazz at least have a nucleus that they can try to build around. Letting Hayward walk would be backwards for a team trying to build something.
Despite already being up for restricted free agency, Hayward is still just 23-years-old and has a bright future in the NBA.
There’s no doubt multiple teams will express interest in the former Butler product, but the Jazz will likely match any offer he receives. It’s possible teams may not even make an attempt knowing this, which will then force Hayward to either take the one-year qualifying offer or work on a long term deal with the Jazz.