The Cleveland Cavaliers appear ready to do whatever it takes to make significant upgrades this offseason. They already signed Kyrie Irving to a huge extension, and now appear to have their sights set on signing restricted free agent Gordon Hayward away from the Utah Jazz.
According to Brian Wondhurst of ESPN, the Cavaliers are preparing a max offer sheet for Hayward, and could be putting together language that could make matching the offer impossible for the Jazz.
Cavs believed to be preparing a max offer sheet for restricted free agent Gordon Hayward, sources said. Yahoo reported he is visiting today
— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) July 2, 2014
The Jazz are believed to be willing to match any offer sheet that Hayward receives, which seems to be put the Cavaliers in a losing position. Even if they do somehow put together an offer that Utah simply can’t match, it would likely be a deal that doesn’t make sense from a financial standpoint.
By signing Hayward to a max offer, the Cavaliers would essentially be blowing the remaining cap space they have available. While adding him to the mix would give them an upgrade over small forward Alonzo Gee, he simply isn’t worth max money. Hayward made only $3.45 million last year with the Jazz, and while he’s definitely a promising, up-and-coming NBA talent, he isn’t yet at max level of production.
Simply put, they’d be grossly overpaying to get Hayward.
More than likely, the Jazz will find a way to keep Hayward in Utah anyway. Even if nothing comes of the Cavaliers’ offer, their willingness to put all of their eggs in the Hayward basket is only going to heighten the demands of other free agents.
It’s a lose-lose for the Cavaliers, but they must be used to it at this point.