As we all know, Gordon Hayward’s contract he signed in summer of 2014 gives him a player option to opt out of his contract in his final year and become and un-restricted free agent. This means Hayward will have the ability to sign with whichever teams he wants.
The question floating around in Jazz nation is, “Should the Jazz trade Hayward before his player option is available in 2017?”. Hayward has made improvements to his game each year he has been in the league, and some may call him the best player on the Jazz. But would he be worth the contract he will be demanding in summer of 2017? With the salary cap growing, Hayward could demand a contract in the range of 30+ million per year. That’s a lot of money!
Can Hayward be replaced?
Hayward finished the 2015-2016 season averaging just under 20 PPG, 5 RPG, and 3.7 APG. Those are all around good numbers. But imagine what we could get for a Hayward. Possibly a couple 1st round picks, or a first round pick and a really high quality player. And do we really need Hayward? With how deep our team has gotten lately, I feel like we could easily replace him with either Trey Lyles, Alec Burks, or even Joe Johnson and be fine.
Jazz will be ok if they lose Hayward
Yes Hayward is a great player, I’m not denying that. But I think with the amount of money he will be demanding because of the growing cap space, the Jazz should be open to the idea of possibly trading Hayward if the right trade presents itself to us. I would be sad to see Hayward go, but it would be better if we got something in return for him before we see him leave for more money elsewhere. I say we should field offers for Hayward at some point this season and see what we could potentially get in return for him. I doubt he will stay with Utah unless we make a run in the playoffs and can pay him what he wants. He is obviously going to test the waters and see what he can get, why can’t we do the same?