gordon hayward
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Report: Jazz ‘highly unlikely’ to trade Gordon Hayward despite rumors of unrest

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A couple years ago, the Jazz were one of the youngest teams of all-time.

Now, they’re ready to blossom.

Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors are forces inside. Gordon Hayward has become a near-All-Star. Rodney Hood has quietly developed into one of the NBA’s most intriguing players. Dante Exum returns from injury, and Alec Burks and Trey Lyles have shown promise while already contributing. George Hill, Boris Diaw and Joe Johnson are veteran reinforcements.

It’s all there — for now.

Hayward threatens to be tricky.

Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders:

There were rumors around the draft that Hayward would welcome a trade, but Jazz sources downplayed any reported unhappiness. Still, there is a real risk that Hayward could walk next July.

Jazz sources said it’s highly unlikely the team even considers a trade for Hayward

The Jazz can downplay Hayward’s unhappiness when talking to reporters or teams trying to poach him. But they’ve got to be honest with themselves, especially because Hayward can — and almost certainly will — opt out next summer to become an unrestricted free agent.

Hayward is just 26 and already extremely productive. With teams playing smaller, there’s a shortage of quality wings. He’ll have multiple great — probably max — offers.

Remember, Hayward has never picked the Jazz. They drafted him in 2010. As a restricted free agent in 2014, he signed an offer sheet with the Hornets that Utah matched.

The Jazz are positioned to make noise this season. Trading Hayward could interrupt a rewarding year. But losing him for nothing this summer could disrupt several seasons of success.

There’s a lot to weigh as Utah determines whether this stance is just posturing or one the team will hold.

Adrian Wojnarowski: Knicks firing David Fizdale ‘inevitable’

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Knicks president Steve Mills is reportedly laying the groundwork to fire coach David Fizdale.

One step: Mills and general manager Scott Perry addressing the media after Sunday’s loss to the Cavaliers while Fizdale was still in the locker room. Mills and Perry stressed that the team wasn’t meeting expectations, seemingly a veiled shot at the coach.

Adrian Wojnarowski on ESPN:

The dismissal of David Fizdale is inevitable, and there was, I think, a bond broken between management and their head coach with how they handled things after that loss Sunday night.

Coaches are hired to be fired, but this sounds far more urgent than that.

As long as Fizdale has his job, he has a chance to save it. If the Knicks start playing better, they could keep him.

But that seems unlikely with this underwhelming roster.

Which is why New York is reportedly also considering a front-office change.

Austin Rivers calls for Doc Rivers to get technical foul (video)

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When Doc Rivers coached Austin Rivers on the Clippers, accusations of favoritism ran rampant. Playing with the Rockets against the Clippers tonight, Austin showed where his loyalties lie.

Not with his father.

The Clippers were letting the game (an eventual 102-93 Houston win) get away from them when Doc argued a call. Austin stood nearby and urged the referee to call a technical foul. The official eventually obliged and ejected Doc.

That’s when Austin really hammed it up – waving off Doc then making the call-me gesture. The disrespect!

Ja Morant hits game-winner in Grizzlies-Hornets (video)

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Grizzlies rookie Ja Morant has had a game-saving block and game-winning assist.

Now, he has the glory of a game-winning shot.

Morant sealed the Memphis’ 119-117 win over the Hornets with a driving scoop in the final second tonight. He led Memphis with 23 points and 11 assists.

P.J. Tucker misses open fastbreak layup, trips on stanchion (video)

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I want to give P.J. Tucker a break. He’s the Rockets’ most (only?) reliable defender. He has such a heavy burden covering for James Harden, Russell Westbrook and just generally undersized lineups.

But this missed layup was so bad. And that stumble over the stanchion really seals the goof.