Is Gordon Hayward worth a contract that’ll pay him $63 million over the course of four years? Probably not, but for a team like the Charlotte Hornets, that’s the type of money a player of Hayward’s quality would earn.
The Hornets aren’t a hot free agency destination, so they have to overpay for most of the free agents they’ll be trying to sign. In past years, the team’s brass didn’t like to use the overpay method, but the Hornets have proven that they’re willing to spend money in order to win in recent years.
On Tuesday, the Hornets and Hayward agreed to a four-year, $63 million offer sheet. Of course the Utah Jazz will match the offer sheet, but this shows where the Hornets are willing to go. They know that the top-tier guys aren’t trying to sign in Charlotte, so if they give the second-tier guys above-market value money, then they have a better opportunity to sign them.
The Hornets gave Hayward’s former teammate Al Jefferson a pretty big contract last offseason that many people considered an overpay. Jefferson’s $41 million over three years was truly a bargain as he became the heart and soul of the team last year. While Jefferson was the Hornets’ best player on the team and would still be even with the addition of Hayward, the Hornets offered Hayward a bigger contract.
Even though the Hornets ultimately won’t have Hayward on their roster next season, this offer will perhaps persuade others to come to Charlotte if they are is looking for a big payday. I’m looking at you, Lance Stephenson.