Guard-Forward Gordon Hayward will become a restricted free agent this offseason, meaning he can potentially end up on a different team by the start of next season. Hayward is still very young, and has a lot of good years ahead of him. He would be a very attractive option for the Los Angeles Lakers should they choose not to sign a star player.
Hayward is a versatile forward who brings a wide-spreading skill-set to the position. He is a very good ball-handler and is comfortable operating the offense. His shooting percentages did decrease last season, but he was also the focus of most defenses and had very little help on that side of the court. He is still a very good outside shooter and someone teams must pay special attention to. He has become a much better passer and averaged over five assists a game last year.
Hayward is a good rebounder from the forward position, and continues to get better every year. While not an outstanding defender, he is good enough to keep up with most players and will continue to get better. He is also a smart player, which helps him understand how to contribute to team defense.
Hayward may not be the best player in free agency, but he is certainly a good one. His shooting and ball-handling would instantly make the Lakers a more efficient offensive team, and help provide spacing on the court for their playmakers. He would not be as expensive as other free agents, but has the potential to become an All-Star in the league. He is still very young and has a lot of room to grow, and the Lakers should do what they can to convince him to come to Los Angeles.