The Utah Jazz have been resolute in consistently saying that the plan is to match any offer that Gordon Hayward might receive this summer as a restricted free agent — including those tendered at the maximum level allowed.
Talk like that can often scare other teams away from actually making the offer, since once it’s signed those dollars tied to it can’t be used to go after anyone else while the team that holds the player’s rights takes its time in debating whether or not to match.
But for a team like the Cavaliers, who don’t exactly have anywhere close to star-level free agents lining up there to sign, it’s a risk worth taking. And Hayward may be similarly willing to force his current team’s hand.
From Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
Utah RFA Gordon Hayward is meeting with Cavaliers officials in Cleveland today, sources tell Yahoo. Offer sheet could be forthcoming.
And from Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com:
Cavs believed to be preparing a max offer sheet for restricted free agent Gordon Hayward, sources said. Yahoo reported he is visiting today
The Suns and the Celtics have also expressed interest, but it appears as though things are getting serious with the Cavaliers.
Utah likely was hoping to get Hayward at a number less than the max, maybe in the neighborhood of $12 million a season. But once he signs that offer sheet, the Jazz won’t have a choice. A full max for Hayward would be five years, $85 million in Utah, and four years, $63 million anywhere else.
Teams like the Jazz need to overpay for star talent, and Hayward’s overall game may dictate they do just that.
NEW YORK (AP) — Craig Sager’s fight with leukemia will prevent the basketball sideline reporter form covering the Rio Olympics for NBC.
NBC said Thursday in a statement that the 65-year-old Sager is preparing for a third bone marrow transplant at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Sager was first diagnosed with leukemia in 2014 and announced in March that he was no longer in remission.
The Rio Games would have been Sager’s fifth Olympics.
Sager has worked for Turner Sports for 34 years. At the ESPY Awards this month, Vice President Joe Biden presented Sager with the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance.
With so much focus in recent weeks being on NBA players speaking out on social issues, it’s worth remembering that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been one of the most vocal athletes in America on these things for decades. The Hall of Fame and all-time leading scorer in NBA history addressed the Democratic National Convention on Thursday evening, urging voters to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, and opened his remarks by introducing himself as Michael Jordan, because “Donald Trump couldn’t tell the difference.”
You can watch the video of his speech below:
In the weeks since Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors, we have yet to hear Russell Westbrook speak on his former teammate’s decision. This week, ESPN.com’s Royce Young indicated in a podcast interview that Durant was telling Westbrook and others in the days leading up to his decision that he was coming back to Oklahoma City. He later walked back his report, saying he misspoke. On Thursday, Durant himself told The Vertical‘s Shams Charania that he never said any such thing, or misled Westbrook or anyone else about his intentions.
“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.
“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
So that settles that.