Utah’s Gordon Hayward is the current holder of the “most underrated player in the NBA.” At least by casual fans. This guy can do a little bit of everything, he’s a borderline All-NBA player.
He showed it on this play. As the Lakers’ defense parted like the Red Sea, Hayward attacked the rim with a quick enough move. Julius Randle made the right move and tried to slide over and defend the rim, but Gordon just takes the contact in stride and slams it down over him. The Jazz went on to win the game 102-100 thanks to a Joe Ingles three.
Hayward will exercise his player option this summer and become probably the best player on the free agent market (of guys who teams think they can get, Stephen Curry isn’t leaving Golden State for example). Boston, with Hayward’s college coach Brad Stevens will come calling, but the Jazz will pay whatever it takes to keep him and he likes it in Salt Lake City. It’s going to be an interesting summer in Utah.