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.
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.
Gordon Hayward dunks on Giannis Antetokounmpo, Thon Maker (videos)
The Lakers took on the salary of Jose Calderon this year so they could get a couple second-round picks from the Bulls (Chicago got him from New York in the Derrick Rose trade), but even with the previous regime in Los Angeles the aging point guard was never part of the future.
Sources told ESPN that it’s not yet a certainty Calderon will secure his release from the Lakers in the coming days, but the sides are indeed discussing the options as Wednesday’s playoff eligibility deadline nears….
Sources say that Calderon, if he winds up hitting the open market, would instantly become a target for both the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets.
Cleveland may also have interest if their plan to land Deron Williams when he is bought out by Dallas goes awry.
Calderon, 35, was not part of the Lakers’ regular rotation, playing in just 24 games. He can still knock down a shot if he has space and can set his feet, and he still has a high hoops IQ and can see the floor, but his athleticism has faded, and that can leave him exposed. Particularly on defense.
Players are being waived now so they clear in time for teams to sign them by March 1, after that said players are not eligible for playoff rosters.
There are better players to hit the waiver wire in the coming days — D-Will, Andrew Bogut, Matt Barnes — but Calderon is going to land somewhere. He’d be a solid third point guard and veteran presence for a playoff run.
Marquese Chriss blocks Bobby Portis, who gets testy (video)
The time off during the All-Star break did Dwyane Wade some good.
The Bulls guard turned back the clock on Friday night, leading the Bulls with 23 points and topping it off with this dunk that proved to be the dagger, sealing a Chicago win. The Suns were convinced Wade was going to run the shot clock way down before making his move and they lollygagged into position — so he just blew past everyone for the poster slam.