Miami’s Pitch To Gordon Hayward Includes A Giant Banner, And It Might Be Working

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The Miami Heat got the first meeting with Gordon Hayward as NBA free agency opened early Saturday morning, and they led with a strong visual to push the small forward to sign in Miami.

Heat executives made the most of Hayward’s first foray into free agency, mocking up banners complete with Hayward in a Heat jersey that they showed off along with other Heat players near American Airlines Arena in Miami.

Miami is doing more than just a bit of photoshop work to convince Hayward to join the Heat. Reporters covering the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas say Miami had a bare bones staff in place there on Saturday because its coaching staff is, well, busy trying to convince Hayward to play for the Heat.

Early returns say the strategy is working. Hayward reportedly likes package Miami can offer, which starts with its lifestyle. He’s also apparently a fan of Heat coach Erik Spoelstra.

With Hayward it looks like free agency will be more of a marathon than a sprint. But it looks like Miami got out of the starting blocks clean on Day One.