By Sebastian Gonzalez on July 14, 2014
When the Charlotte Hornets offered Gordon Hayward a four-year max contract offer, few imagined the Utah Jazz actually matching the offer. The max is usually reserved for All-Star players. And while Hayward is a good player, he's no All-Star. Here are five reasons why the Jazz should have let Hayward go.
In a league where superstars are teaming up with each other to go for those coveted rings, the Utah Jazz are at a disadvantage with Hayward now. He's not the type of player who can call another superstar up and promise them rings if they join him in Utah. The Jazz have essentially chosen to go with their young talent, but that talent can't come up with a championship.
Last season, Gordon Hayward's shooting numbers fell at an alarming rate. He only shot 41 percent from the field and an even worse 30 percent from beyond the arc. Of course, that's due to the fact that he was Utah's main option last season, making defenses focus on him. With him being a max-contract player, it's going to take a miracle to get defenses off him and those numbers to go up.
Gordon Hayward just doesn't deserve the max. When Utah saw how much he was being offered, they should have just let him go. He's a good role player on a championship team, but teams don't give the max to a role player. He's still young at just 24, but few believe he can even be an All-Star in the West.
As we've come to see each and every year, defense wins championships. And the defense should always start with your max player. But Hayward is practically a ghost on defense. His defensive rating last year was amongst the worst in the league, and there's little chance of it getting better. While he's got the athletic tools to play better, the mentality isn't there.
The biggest problem with locking down Hayward for $ 16 million a year is the issues that Utah will have down the line. While they've got an interesting group of young talent, this contract means that they'll eventually have to let one of Trey Burke, Enes Kanter or Dante Exum go. And who knows if any of them can potentially be better than Hayward.
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