Despite drafting Andrew Wiggins last week, the Cleveland Cavaliers aren’t done shoring up their wing rotation. According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the Cavs are preparing a maximum contract offer to restricted free agent Gordon Hayward.
Cavs believed to be preparing a max offer sheet for restricted free agent Gordon Hayward, sources said. Yahoo reported he is visiting today
— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) July 2, 2014
Despite the Utah Jazz’s plans to match any offer for Hayward, news broke yesterday that Cleveland was considering offering him a “big offer sheet.” A maximum contract is certainly that.
On the surface, Hayward has the tools to justify such a lofty price tag. He has elite size for a wing, is a gifted athlete, multi-skilled offensive player, and committed, sometimes disruptive defender. In many ways he’s the prototypical NBA wing. There’s one big thing holding him back, though – Hayward isn’t the shooter his form or reputation suggests. He shot a dismal 30.4 percent from three-point range last season. And though past performance suggests he’ll do better going forward, that number is still major cause for concern if you’re giving Hayward maximum money.
The Cavs have been deficient enough on the perimeter since LeBron James left four years ago that it’s easy to understand their zeal for Hayward, though. He’ll get better as he ages and would surely be more comfortable on offense playing with talents like Kyrie Irving and Wiggins as opposed to the roster surrounding him in Utah last year.
But if the Jazz are to be believed, projecting Hayward as a Cavalier is moot. Utah has the right to match Cleveland’s offer and bring him back in the fold. We’ll see if the Jazz stay true to their word despite Hayward receiving such a lucrative payday.
*Statistical support for this post provided by nba.com/stats.
Will Utah matched Cleveland’s offer for Hayward?
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