The Utah Jazz are a team that thrives off the play of their frontcourt. Their two starters, Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson, are two of the most efficient and talented big-men in the NBA. They also have guys like Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter, two of the best backup big-men in the league, coming off the bench.
However, when it comes to the Jazz’s backcourt, it’s somewhat of a crap-shoot with who is going to produce, especially with the injury to Mo Williams that has kept him sidelined for most of the season. Probably the most consistent guard for the Jazz this season has been 22-year old Gordon Hayward.
Hayward has quietly been incredibly productive for Utah. He’s averaged 18.8 points, four rebounds, 0.9 steals, 0.8 blocks and 3.4 assists per 36 minutes this season. Moreover, he’s also second on the Jazz in three-point percentage at 39.6 percent and has the highest Player Efficiency Rating among Utah guards at 17.19.
He does more than just put up statistics for the Jazz, though. Hayward also gives the Jazz palpable energy when he gets on the court. On both ends of the floor, Hayward knows how to use his length and sneaky athleticism to his advantage and in ways that make his team more effective.
Hayward will probably never be a superstar in the NBA, will probably never make an All-Star Game and definitely won’t ever have a statue made of him one day. However, his value for the Jazz is obvious. For a team that lacks consistent play on the perimeter, Hayward is their solution.