Reports: Hayward agrees to max offer sheet from Hornets

Gordon Hayward

The Hornets deal would pay Gordon Hayward an average $15.75 million a year.

The free-agent spending spree reached a new level of intrigue when the Hornets and Gordon Hayward agreed on a four-year contract worth a reported $63 million, a maximum deal that will severely test the long-standing Jazz promise to match any Hayward offer sheet.

The Charlotte Observer first reported the agreement, Yahoo! the financial details. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports has more here:

A player option for the fourth year of the deal and a 15 percent trade kicker are expected to be included in the offer sheet, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Both would be considered incentives to dissuade the Jazz from matching the sheet, but Utah officials have remained adamant they will match any sheet for Hayward – including a max offer.

Agent Mark Bartelstein aggressively courted the market for an offer sheet for Hayward, discussing deals with several teams – including Cleveland, Phoenix and Boston – but ultimately reached the deal with Charlotte on Tuesday. There was doubt within the league whether Bartelstein could secure a max offer for Hayward, but he found a willing suitor with the Hornets.

Charlotte is negotiating with free agent Marvin Williams to replace Josh McRoberts at power forward, but those talks could be on hold while Utah is working to match the offer sheet.

Hayward, 24, will sign the offer sheet when the free-agent moratorium is lifted on Thursday, and league rules will give Utah three days to make a decision on matching the deal.

Several other teams had called Utah to inquire about the possibility of sign-and-trade deals if they signed Hayward to an offer sheet, but Charlotte never did, sources tell Yahoo Sports. The Hornets are short of the kind of young frontline talent that would appeal to teams in such a deal.

The Hornets had made it an offseason priority to add scoring and especially on the wing, a primary reason they looked hard at two of the best shooters in the draft, Doug McDermott and Nik Stauskas, with the ninth pick in the draft before unexpectedly finding power forward Noah Vonleh still on the board. So the appeal of  the 24-year-old Hayward and his 16.2 points a game last season is obvious, even with the concern that his field-goal percentage has declined each of the last four seasons.

The 6-foot-8 Hayward is also a good passer from the front court and would address Charlotte’s hope of getting bigger.

The offer sheet can be signed as soon as the league-wide moratorium ends on Thursday. The Jazz would then have three days to decide whether to match it.

Based on past indications regarding Hayward, keeping him as part of the Jazz’s young core moving forward together would essentially be an automatic for Utah. The actual details when the contract came, though, could give the small-market front office pause. That’s especially true when considering the average of $15.75 million a season for a player with declining accuracy along with, according to Yahoo!, a trade kicker and an option for Hayward on the final season.

A year after Al Jefferson got three years and $40.5 million from Charlotte to leave the Utah front line as an unrestricted free agent — although the Jazz didn’t have nearly the long-term plan with Jefferson as they now do with Hayward — and decades after player Michael Jordan won back-to-back championships at Utah’s expense, owner Michael Jordan has come hard at the Jazz again.

48 Comments

  1. will says:

    not a max player. dont match it, jazz. let him go.

  2. Kathy the Jazz Fan says:

    The Jazz will match this. Hayward is our guy. We won’t give him to Michael Jordan’s pathetic team.

  3. Cory says:

    I am big Jazz fan and I like Hayward but he is not worth 15+ million I would let him go. Let the Bobcats watch the up’s and down’s that he has throughout a season. The reason that I think that Utah will match the contract is because Utah doesn’t have the night life that these players require to play basketball so no one wants to come to Utah if they are not be able to hang out in strip joints… 15million is hard price to pay to player that not the best player on the team… Sad to see go Hayward but if the Bobcats can you swallow that amount of money go get them…

  4. Eddy Griff says:

    Great move by hornets/bobcats. No he isnt a max player yet, but obviously they had to make an offer that the jazz would be hardpressed to match, and the way that deal is set up might just be it. If the jazz match it then possibly ariza or lance would be a nice pickup. Great pickup.

  5. OKC says:

    Hornets just offered a role player max lolz. I was really rooting for the Hornets and obviously the Big Al move was great, but this seems out of nowhere and seems more in character with the terrible decisions they have made in the past. If your a Hornets fan and you are telling yourself this is a good move, just think about 15+ mill of your 68 million dollar cap space being taken up every year by an above average SF.

  6. Carolina breed says:

    Great pick up for charlotte Hayward is not a max player yet but the question is can he be? He is only 24 and has ample time to improve his game to all star level. Plus he doesn’t have to be the mean focus of the team right now something Utah was asking of him so his number will increase. Worst case he will end up a great role shooter that could net you at least 3 threes a game and at least 15 ppg. I think its a great move. lance would have been a dumb move he is undersized and even tho he is a two way players his attitude kills the chance to have him as a key free agent.

  7. Erlo says:

    MJ making horrible decisions as always. Dude, go golf or something you are not needed in the NBA anymore. Why does this guy still have a job?

    • Rome says:

      Erlo you’re an idiot! MJ didn’t make this descision. Cho has more control over basketball operations, MJ gave that to him. & this is not a bad deal. People said the same thing about Big Al & that has worked out pretty good. So why don’t you go read a book “or something you are not” educated enough to talk about the NBA.

  8. pokie says:

    I don’t think Hayward is a max guy yet. Nice player. Room to grow. But not a max guy. If I was a soon to be first round draft pick, I sign with his agent.

  9. Good Move says:

    People are reacting poorly to this move. Think about it this way: Jordan offers Hayward a max level contract with the idea that Utah feels almost obligated to match his offer, thus depleting Utah’s cap space. Chess pieces people. If Utah doesn’t match the offer then the Hornets have a player that in the East could be an all star. Remember: the West is a much harder place to play and he’s only 24. Good move (not even a Hornets fan).

  10. TaDarien White says:

    Utah will match that.

  11. TheKush says:

    I don’t about this one! Hayward is a good athletic player but Hayword a “Max” Player? I think MJ got this one wrong!

  12. harrythehawk says:

    I think this is great for Charlotte. But I don’t think he’s worth the money he will get, so Utah should not match the offer. Utah has been a bad team for way too long. What are they doing to improve?

  13. Tom says:

    Hard to shoot a good % on recent Utah teams, once his usage and minutes go down a bit he’ll shoot much better. Hayward can certainly play well enough to earn the contract alongside Kemba and big Al.

  14. UGOD30 says:

    So what is Kemba, Jefferson and Kidd gilchrist worth once they become FA next year? MJ better pray Utah matches this offer or he is going to lose his young core. C’mon MJ just when I thought you were moving forward with this team. Small market teams should never over pay like this.

  15. Uriah says:

    Ok now I understand why lance Stephenson wouldn’t accept the pacers offer. 15 million for a guy that has never seen an all star game or the playoffs. The real winner here is lance and parsons. Gordon is not even the 2nd best player on that team and will be the highest paid.

    • asdf says:

      He has seen the playoffs.

      And id rather sign this guy than knucklehead stepheson, god knows how he will act when he makes alot of money.

  16. UGOD30 says:

    WOW 15 million for a non all star. C’mon MJ this has disaster written all over it. So what is Kemba, Jefferson and Kidd gilchrist worth once they become FA next year? MJ better pray Utah matches this or he is going to lose this young core.

  17. TrueBBallFan says:

    This was a great move by Jordan. Charlotte is a small market team so it is very hard to attract talent without going a little bit over true market value. This possible addition improves their stock from last year and gives the a viable third option, so expect Haywood’s +/- and shooting percentage to improve. It also will take some of the pressure off of big Al and Kemba because there is now a viable scoring option o the wing. For a team that was once bottom feeders, this move at least shows Jordan’s commitment to win and improve. Not to mention his improvement as a NBA executive.

    • DRAGONFORMVP says:

      but they will either loss alot of ok pieces to keep their three together or loss Kidd-gilchrist next year if he signs thou i think kidd is a bit overated by some peoples standards anyhow..

  18. Bai Jo says:

    Huge gamble lots of money (too much) BUT for an up and coming team in the east probably not a bad decision. They are already at playoff level and Hayward is an upgrade. Dude could be an all star in the east… Hornets better hope so cause that’s Chandler Parsons money!

  19. Big Al says:

    Hayward does a Rashard, probably the highest dollar/talent guy right now.

  20. Carlo says:

    Let me see… He’s paid far more than ANY Spurs’ player (and I’m just mentioning the reigning team).
    I know he’s good but… Hell!

  21. kobeballhog says:

    This is a joke. Now tge hornets will be stucked with these out of this world contracts

  22. jumppong says:

    nah this is a nice move for the hornets and jordan he’s the best option in the free agent do you think lebron would come to hornets? hayward pair with kemba this would be the splash brothers of the east. hornets are in the right direction if they get hayward.

  23. Jelani says:

    What a great signing! Wow, star of the Jazz Gordon Hayward is now with the buzz with his former teammate. Wow.

  24. DenH says:

    has anyone considered the fact that maybe jordan is simply baiting the jazz??? they said they would match any offer months ago… now its time for them to put their money where their mouth is.. if it does go ahead, i love the move, hayward is not a no 1 option and wouldnt be expected to do so in charlotte.. he can depend on jefferson down low and kemba at the point.. go hornets (celtics fan)

  25. saad0105050 says:

    Hayward is good, but definitely not worth the contract.

  26. Joe says:

    Yeah as a jazz fan I was hoping to keep him. but no, not for that money. he proved he is not a go to guy, he is a role player. and role players dont get max deals. see ya gordon.

  27. Kendrick says:

    Hornets? Who’s that aren’t they pelicans now

  28. WHATT THEE??? says:

    There has to be something behind the offer,
    Maybe Hayward is gonna slide some cash under the table to Jordan since Utah is gonna match the offer.
    But if Utah doesn`t match it and Jordan end up signing Hayward with that kind of price….

    Jordan officially lost his mind.

  29. I cannot believe this……..investing in the future of the organization is a good move, but this is a very bad decision.
    Totally agree with previous comments. Big chance that it will be a top. 5 worst contract ever.

    Gordon Hayward is not a game changer!

  30. Jimmy says:

    Maybe the Hornets staff got toooooo hype, lol.

  31. Madly Eccentric says:

    I remember the Kwame Brown affair and the Jerry stackhouse / Rip Hamilton incident at the Wizard.
    Haywrd? Really, Mike?

  32. Not 3,4,5,6,7 Just TWO!!!! says:

    Hahaha 15.7M thats ridiculous Bosh is willing to take a paycut up to 15M and in San Antonio Duncan=10M and Parker a perrenial ALL STAR /MVP candidate receives 12.5M …….How come Please someone Explain…

  33. underdog says:

    What a storyline lol.. Michael Jordan still giving the Jazz problems. Now the Jazz are in a no-win situation. If the Jazz matches, they will have Hayward’s bad contract, if they don’t, they will lose a young piece essential to them. haha..

  34. AK47 says:

    I think this is a good sign for Charlotte. I’ve been a big fan of both of this teams, I think Utah will have a hard time thinking about this because they don’t want to let him go, but at a price like that.. I think it’s too hefty for them.

    I am a really big fan of Gordon Hayward’s game, he’s a great athlete, his shooting % may have dropped down, but he always gives it his all when he plays. And, his all around game is just amazing. Charlotte will have an upgrade when they did get him, you put him at the 2 spot and you’ll have better scoring than Gerald Henderson.

    But, I really want him to stay at Utah, and I want Charlotte to improve too :)

  35. As a Jazz fan, I like Gordy BUT he is not worth of that max contract. If he emerged like Paul George yes he is worth it but then again, he didn’t. His field goal percentage declined through the years, also crumbles during crunch time.

    Let him walk away period. Promises are meant to be broken anyways.

    Kanter-Favors-Hood-Exum-Burke will be our new core!

  36. Trevor says:

    His not worth a max, period

    • Sheldawg says:

      I hate to see him go, but he isn’t worth the max. Have fun Hayward. Please oh please Jazz don’t be dumb, remember Kirilenko?

  37. Adrian89 says:

    Worst conract ever !! Jordan should leave that business he is terrible president…

    • underdog says:

      Jazz will have to decide though. If the Jazz bites, they will have that bad contract, and Jordan will have screwed the Jazz one again haha..

    • Hmm says:

      No he is not, Big Al was great move, but MJ know this what it takes to become some one who can relly on teammates, and that THE point. He(Jordan) took one year off to be better shoter, but want to help Jefferson on flor soner than letter, sure MKG can and propably will improve alas Hayward can make upgarde.
      BTW there some movies on net explaining why MKG has problem shoting(his elbow),
      so he can work on it, becose he is smart kid and can learn :)

    • Rico says:

      Jordan is the owner. :)

    • Norm says:

      From a long time Jazz Fan. Haywood not worth 15 mil. Carmello yes. Move on and let him go.