Gordon Hayward became a rich man over this summer. After a bidding war between the Utah Jazz and Charlotte Hornets, Hayward was able to secure four $63 million max contract to return to the Jazz. Some may think the Jazz overpaid for Hayward, but here is a look at what he brings to the table.
Hayward is a long, lengthy small forward with a lot of talent and ability that really started to show last season. In his fourth season in the NBA, Hayward averaged 16.2 points per game along with five rebounds and five assists — not too shabby. That being said, he is only going to get better.
At 6-foot-8, Hayward has a multitude of skills including passing, shooting and ball handling abilities that are unique for a player of his size. He handles like a point guard with great vision, hitting his teammates with crisp fundamental passes. Along with his above average passing skills, he is able to handle the ball like a point guard and is sometimes utilized as a point forward.
On top of great ball handling and passing ability, Hayward is a smart and efficient scorer who is only going to get better with time. Last year, he flashed everything from smooth pull up jumpers, rangy three point shooting, step back jumpers, and the ability to isolate and attack the rim.
Although some may judge the Jazz for investing so much money in a player who has yet to prove himself in the league, I believe they made a gut decision, and a good one at that. Hayward is just starting to scratch the surface of his potential. If he continues to progress, he will more than live up to his big contract. Until then, Jazz fans must be patient.