The deadline has come and gone and Gordon Hayward of the Utah Jazz and Eric Bledsoe of the Phoenix Suns, are without contract extensions to their rookie deals.
That means both of them, as well as Avery Bradley in Boston, will be restricted free agents next summer (any team can make an offer but the team they are on now has the right to match). A deep free agent class just got a little deeper.
All three of them are guys that their current teams said they wanted to keep, but the sides couldn’t agree on a price — that could be an expensive proposition now as all of those players have fans around the league. Teams trying to lure a restricted free agent tend to offer above the market value for a player to scare off the team who has the rights, that very well may be what happens here.
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Weeks ago the Jazz had seemed optimistic they could work out a deal with Hayward at first, but over the last 10 days reports had started to surface the two sides remained far apart. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports had the details on Hayward and Utah.
The sides never came close on a deal, remaining several million dollars apart, league sources told Yahoo. Hayward had been seeking a deal in the four-year, $50-million plus range, sources said.
The Jazz gave Derrick Favors four years, $47 million extension earlier this summer. There were reports they offered Hayward more or at least the same one, but apparently that was not enough.
The Suns traded Jared Dudley as part of a three-team deal to get Bledsoe to be part of their guard tandem of the future.