Now that Utah Jazz small forward Gordon Hayward will be making $63 million over the next four years, one would think he’d be feeling a little pressure to live up to his approximately 400 percent raise. Well, as it turns out the 24-year-old claims to not feel any pressure at all with the new contract in place according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
Hayward says in the article that he’s not worried about living up to the contract and that he is just worried about winning more games with the Jazz. Both good and bad can be taken from Hayward’s comments regarding the contract.
The good is that if he truly isn’t worried about living up to the contract then he probably won’t be pressing as much as he did last year when he shot career lows of 41 percent from the field and 30 percent from three-point range. This should allow him to play looser and in turn hit shots at a higher rate. With that, Hayward will likely help the Jazz win more games as he so desperately wants to happen.
The bad that comes from this is he very well could be trying to say the right things and really is feeling the pressure, which will again result in some of the same struggles that were present during the 2013-14 campaign. Also, some fans may take Hayward’s comments the wrong way and think that by saying there’s “no pressure” that he isn’t as invested as he should be. In other words, he’s just happy to have been paid.
In reality, the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. It’s highly unlikely that Hayward feels no pressure as he claims, but he probably isn’t nearly as distracted as he was last season trying to maximize a lucrative contract. Either way, Hayward is the only one who knows what kind of pressure his contract places on him, and he’s the one who has to deal with it on a day-to-day basis. Jazz fans just have to hope that the pressure doesn’t become a problem with his production.