Utah Jazz shooting guard Gordon Hayward will sign a four-year, $63 million offer sheet with the Charlotte Hornets, the maximum the Hornets can offer, per Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski. Despite the high price, the Jazz are expected to match the offer.
Jazz prepared for possibility of max sheet for Hayward and remain unwavering about revelation it's coming: They plan to match and keep him.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 9, 2014
Gordon Hayward agreeing to a max deal w/ Hornets is a "non-issue for the Jazz," per a person with knowledge of situation. Utah will match.— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) July 9, 2014
Utah has three days from the moment the contract is officially signed to make its decision. Charlotte will formally make the offer when the moratorium ends on July 10, so Utah has until July 13 to make its decision. The Hornets made it difficult by including a player option after the third year and a trade kicker, but it sounds like the Jazz will match as they have maintained all along.
Hayward averaged 16.2 points, 5.1 rebouns and 5.2 assists per game in 77 games with the Jazz in 2013-2014, his fourth season in the NBA out of Butler. He struggled with taking on a larger role on a rebuilding Jazz club, but Utah has plenty of salary-cap flexibility and may not be able to afford taking a larger step back, even with 2013 and 2014 first-round picks Trey Burke and Dante Exum in the backcourt.
Hayward played his first three seasons with center Al Jefferson, now the center of attention in Charlotte and said to be a key part of the Hornets recruiting of Hayward, per Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer, who initially reported the offer sheet.