This was always expected.
Since long before free agency began the Utah Jazz said they would match any offer for small forward Gordon Hayward. The Charlotte Hornets saw Hayward as a good fit and decided to test the theory with a max contract offer of four years, $63 million.
Good to their word, the Jazz have told the Hornets they will match, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
Other sources have since confirmed this report, including Sam Amick of the USA Today who spoke with Hayward’s agent.
Hayward’s deal has a player option in the fourth year as well as a 15 percent trade kicker (if he gets traded his salary jumps that much).
Hayward averaged 16.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.4 steals per game last season, he can get you points in the paint or with his jumper, he can create shots, is a good defender, and is fairly efficient. He’s good at a lot of things, great at none of them. He didn’t make the leap some expected last season and he looks like the kind of player who will make a good second or third option who can fit in a variety of systems but he can’t be the leader of an offense.
You can say this is not a max guy, but the fact is Utah is not bringing in a max-caliber free agent. They have to keep the guys they have that they like and for good reason they like Hayward. He can be part of the future for Utah.
And will be for the next few years at least.