The Utah Jazz heading into the 2013-2014 NBA season aren’t a team many people are high on, for this year at least. They have a lot of talented young pieces in tow that could comprise a quality playoff team in the future, but those pieces still need more experience in the NBA and time to mesh before they can accomplish something of any kind of magnitude, or so it seems.
Derrick Favors is certainly one of those young pieces that the Jazz want around for the future, which would be why the Jazz signed him to a four-year, $49 million extension not long ago. However, the Jazz don’t seem like they are going to stop with Favors in terms of giving extensions to their young players.
According to a report from ESPN’s Marc Stein, there are strong rumors flying that the Jazz are working to extend wing Gordon Hayward. In addition, Royce Young of CBS Sports’ Eye On Basketball has heard that the deal may be worth even more than the extension that Utah just gave out to Favors.
Last season Hayward had his best year as a pro and showed a ton of potential. In 72 games he averaged 14.1 points, three assists, 3.1 rebounds and 0.8 steals in 29.2 minutes per game while shooting 43.5 percent from the floor and 41.5 percent from three. There’s no doubt that Hayward has a versatile offensive game, but he’s also a solid defender that has the ability to defend at both wing positions. He can make a difference on both ends of the floor and, at 23 years old and after just three years in the league, is still growing.
Extending Hayward is a wise move by the Jazz. Not only as he already proven to be productive in his short time in the league, but he should be even more productive as he becomes a larger part in the Jazz’s offense this season after the departures of Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap. I wouldn’t give him much more than Favors received, but locking him up is certainly the right decision by the organization.