Gordon Hayward Signs Maximum Offer Sheet with Charlotte Hornets

July 9th, 2014 | by Andy Larsen
Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Gordon Hayward’s getting paid.

Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer reported late Tuesday that Jazz wing Gordon Hayward will sign a offer sheet with the Charlotte Hornets. Terms of the sheet were later revealed by Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reports that the offer sheet is for the maximum salary: 4 years, $63 million. Wojnarowski further reported that the offer sheet is likely to include a player option for the 4th season, as well as a 15% trade kicker, the maximum percentage allowed by the league’s collective bargaining agreement.

Hayward can’t technically put pen to paper until July 10th, after the NBA’s moratorium is lifted. After that, the Utah Jazz will have 72 hours to choose to match the offer sheet, or allow Hayward to the Hornets. The Jazz have repeatedly made it known that they plan on matching any offer sheet to Gordon Hayward. That position was again reported by several sources 1 but time will tell if the Jazz do match the offer sheet.

Because Charlotte’s cap room is tied up until the Jazz match the contract, the Jazz will probably wait the full 72 hours until making the official announcement either way. Charlotte has been reported as a potential competitor for Jazz free agent forward Marvin Williams’ signature, and waiting to match would limit the amount of money Charlotte could offer Williams.

Charlotte is no stranger to signing Utah free agents. Last summer, Charlotte signed Al Jefferson to a 3 year, 41 million dollar contract. Jefferson flourished in Charlotte, making the All-NBA 3rd team as the result of stellar production, leading Charlotte to the playoffs.

Some further details on Hayward’s offer sheet, assuming the figures reported by Wojnarowski and others are true:

  • Hayward would receive $14,756,881 in year 1 of the deal, $15,420,940 in year 2, $16,085,000 in year 3, and $16,749,060 in year 4. 2
  • Should Hayward receive a player option as reported, his deal would be for 3 years, $46.25 million if he opted out of year 4.
  • After opting out prior to year 4, Hayward would be eligible to receive a higher maximum deal (for 30% of the cap level, rather than just 25%), since he would have 7 years of service time in the NBA. 3
  • Hayward would join 27 other current NBA players with a 15% trade kicker.
  • The trade kicker would mean Hayward would be due a 15% bonus 4 upon the completion of a trade sending Hayward to another team. That bonus would be paid for by the Jazz (or Hornets, if the Jazz choose not to match) under the new CBA.
  • However, that trade bonus cannot extend Hayward’s salary beyond the maximum player salary. In year 1, he would receive no bonus should a trade occur. In year 2-3, he would only be eligible to receive a bonus if the cap grew by more than the 4.5% raises Hayward is receiving in the offer sheet. In year 4, if he chose to opt in, he would be eligible to receive a trade kicker in the prorated amount of 15 percent multiplied by the $16.75M salary owed to him.5  This is different than years 1-3 because Hayward would, at that point, be a 7 year veteran, eligible to receive more money.
  • Hayward could choose to waive the trade bonus at any time if he chose to. He could conceivably do this in order to facilitate a trade.
  • If the Jazz match, Hayward must consent to any trade involving him for a period of 1 year. He could not be traded to Charlotte for 1 year, even if he wanted to be.

Over the past week, our Salt City Hoops team of writers have debated the wisdom of the Jazz matching a maximum salary offer for Gordon Hayward. Matt Pacenza argued that the Jazz shouldn’t match such a deal, while Dan Clayton argued that the Jazz should match, given Hayward’s expected level of improvement. On ESPN, Kevin Pelton also asserted that the Jazz should match the offer.

Andy Larsen

Andy Larsen

Andy Larsen is the Managing Editor of Salt City Hoops, the ESPN TrueHoop affiliate for the Utah Jazz. He also hosts a radio show of the same name every Saturday on 1280 AM.
Andy Larsen

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24 Comments

  1. Josh says:

    wow, what a great offer sheet for Gordon. I like the trade bonus and the player option for the 4th year, He can become an UFA in three years and can walk away from Utah.

    I don’t think the jazz want to match this offer, but I don’t think they have a choice. Gordon is not a max player. I don’t know who the Jazz would get to come to Utah. I like Ariza, Deng, Parsons, but I don’t think they are coming to Utah. We could get Evan Turner, PJ Tucker or Al-Farouq Aminu, but we might have to overpay them as well. We could give a lot of time to Hood.

    Let’s go with the 76ers rebuilding plan. Really suck for a couple of years(I mean 4-5 years) and stock up talent and assets. We are lottery bound next year and most likely for a couple of more years.

    It will also be interesting to see how Gordon went the RFA route what will Kanter and Burks do. Hayward is a good player that is not great. He works hard and doesn’t quit. His shot is inconsistent and he has proven to us that he is not a #1 option and a team leader.

    • Mewko says:

      Umm, eventually the 76ers ownership will get impatient, and see that they passed on a franchise player in the 2014 draft, and a couple other all stars. Sam Hinkie will be fired in the next 6 years. They did a season of tanking just to get Embiid, whose growth will probably be stunted. He’ll watch 65-ish games in a suit, probably 55 of them blowout losses. He’ll actually play in 17-ish games…………………………….as a bench warmer. Embiid will be an allstar reserve twice in his career, and never play a full season. He’s a college kid already getting brittle bones. That’s not what Philly intended to get after 65 losses. Now where will they get their franchise player?

      • Josh says:

        I think the 76ers will make the playoffs in the East in 3 years. Embiid was a gamble pick for sure, but it could payoff. They also have Noel as very nice backup plan. They will have
        MCW (Vasilije Micic)at point
        Kj Mcdaniels at SG most likely 2015 draft pick here
        Dario Saric at SF
        Young at PF another draft pick.
        Neal Embiid at center.
        Don’t get me wrong it has holes and they could be a bust, but I think they will make the Playoffs in the east in 3 years and could be a very good team for a long time.

  2. Dustin says:

    Please do NOT match this offer. Hayward is not anywhere close to being a max salary player. If the Jazz match this offer it’s going to be just as bad as when we signed Kirilenko to that big contract. Quit over paying these players just because they are white and we live in UTAH.

    • thatdoolinkid says:

      How many guys have we over-payed “because they are white and we live in UTAH”? AK47 was worth the deal when he signed it (look at his stats if you don’t believe it). Who has EVER been over-payed “because they are white and we live in UTAH”?

      Hayward’s deal won’t hurt us one bit. We can easily retain all our players during the life of his contract and get free agents we need. We won’t be contending for a title until at least the last year of his contract.

    • Erik says:

      When Kirilenko got the big contract, he was coming off a year where as a 22-year-old he was an All-Star, 2nd team All-defense who ranked in the top ten in the league in PER and Win Shares, top 5 in steals and blocks. That kind of player gets a max contract. Unfortunately for the Jazz, that was the best year he ever had, at 22.

  3. Spencer says:

    So, is it still possible to do a sign and trade? What about getting MCG back? I know he is not the offensive player that Hayward is, but he would be an even better fit on the roster. We have two athletic slashers, two Knock-down shooters a skilled offensive PG, we just need a defensive player who can guard LeBron/Durrant/Camelo/Parker etc. MCG would be a much lower salary as well. Any thoughts?

    I would think that the Jazz either match or get something back in return, and I think this idea is a real possibility.

    The truth is, Burke, Burks, and Exum constitute guys who play better with the ball in their hands, as does Hayward. Hood could be a high-level role player, but we could use another with elite defensive ability as much as we could use Hayward’s skillset.

    What do you think?

    • Josh says:

      doing a sign and trade only frees up more money for the Hornets, I doubt they would offer up MCG. Gerald Hendersen is more likely, since Gordon would eliminate a lot o this playing time anyway.

      • zach says:

        In this scenario it depends on how they want to use Hayward. GH is a 6’5″ 2-guard with 14 ppg in 32 min. MCG is a 6’7″ SF with 7 ppg in 24 min. MCG appears to be more replaceable, and if they play Hayward at the SF it makes sense to keep GH and trade MCG.

    • thatdoolinkid says:

      MCG would be a TERRIBLE fit. Most of our wing players aren’t good shooters and you now want to add a horrible shooter to that mix? No thank you.

      Hayward at least keeps the defense honest.

    • Clint Johnson says:

      The Hornets are clearly willing to overpay for Hayward. But that may be a very different thing from being willing to part with assets for the right to overpay him. I don’t think Vonleh will be on the table at all. Maybe MCG because of Hayward filling his slot and maybe Zeller because of Vonleh. Maybe. But I suspect they would have to believe Hayward will eventually be worthy of that max contract, and that’s being really optimistic.

  4. zach says:

    I am not sure of the S&T rules, but can we sign and trade for Vonleh? Remember he was predicted to go to the Jazz at 5, and if Orlando would have picked up Exum I think the jazz would have taken him. This still leaves the Jazz with a great player, cap room for Biedrins/Jefferson-type deals for future picks, and makes a solid core with money left over for Kanter and Burks. Vonleh is a top notch defender and a 3pt threat. This will take the ball away from Hayward and give to the rest of the team. Charlotte is win-now, the Jazz are not, so it helps both teams.

    Burke/Burkes/Exum – ball handlers/small wings
    Vonleh/Hood/Evans – wings
    Favors/Kanter/Gobert – bigs

  5. thatdoolinkid says:

    We should definitely match this offer.
    #1: We won’t be title contenders until the last year of his deal. In the meantime, we will still have plenty of capspace. It won’t be until the last year where problems could arise if Burks, Kanter, and Burke all get big extensions with Exum lined up for a big extension the next season. Likelyhood of this contract hurting us is probably 10%

    #2 Hayward is a good player.

    #3 Hayward likes playing in Utah.

    #3 Hayward will likely improve being allowed to play off the ball (remember all of the curls and spot-ups he had in his 2nd and 3rd year that he didn’t have last year?) and in an up-tempo system.

    #4 His 3pt percentage will increase. Remember his 1st year at Butler when he wasn’t “the man” he shot really good from 3. His second year at Butler he was poor from 3 when he took the role of “the man”. Hayward’s first 3 seasons with the Jazz he shot great from 3. His 4th season as “the man” he shot poorly. Coincidence? I think not.

    • zach says:

      Kanter and Burkes can sign extensions this offseason, otherwise at the end of next year it will be the same issue as Hayward this year. If they dont sign extensions the Jazz will extend qualifying offers and they will be restricted free agents and the Jazz will have to decide to match or note. Assuming they each get higher than market offers to try and pry them Utah they could each get 3yr/30mil or more. The Jazz would then have to choose one if any to match. Hayward with 15 mil, Favors with 12, there would be $35mil left for the team. Matching both would leave about 15 for the other 11 guys. So matching Hayward means loosing Kanter or Burks, maybe both. This is all speculation though.

      • thatdoolinkid says:

        What it means is the Jazz have to plan well on what to do with Kanter and Burks. Likelyhood is that one of them will not pan out anyway. They definitely should try and get a good extension with both of them this offseason and not let them hit RFA. If they don’t get a good extension then it is time to start shopping them and find a deal by the trade deadline.

        I definitely wouldn’t trade them until the deadline because I would want to see if they have developed into max level players, and both of their trade values is probably at an all-time low right now thanks to our previous coaching staff’s “development” program.

  6. thatdoolinkid says:

    For everyone freaking out about Hayward’s contract, this graphic should make you feel better.

    http://www.deseretnews.com/article/765656444/Graphic-What-would-happen-if-the-Jazz-match-Hornets-offer-to-Gordon-Hayward.html?pg=all

    • zach says:

      That is for this year. I dont think anybody is worried about their salary cap this year. If I had my choice I would pay Gordan the max, but pay him 20/18/12.5/12.5, we have the monehy this year to spend it it leaves future money for others. They have money this year, but the upcoming years when they have to choose this contract will make it harder. Ultimately I think the Jazz will match and it will likely turn out well. But remember the Jazz overpaid for Harpring and AK47, they had to trade a valuable young piece to move Harpring, and had to over pay AK47 for him to stay, so hopefully it is not the same issue. If you only look at the first year like this link is doing that is a poor metric to base matching a max salary.

  7. Josh says:

    I think we need to remember that this is really only a three year deal, unless he doesn’t develop. He is most likely opt out at the end of year three and want a new bigger contract.

    • Clint Johnson says:

      I think this is unlikely. Personally, I think he is far more likely to under-perform the contract than over-perform it or even justify the amount.

    • Aaron says:

      For him to get a bigger contract, he’d have to outplay this contract. As much as I like him, I think that’s unlikely. But we should all be cheering for it to happen, because that would mean he gets near superstar level and that we get deep into the playoffs.

  8. LKA says:

    Would not mind MKG and Vonlegh and a pick in a trade. This would leave money for both Kanter and Burks. But in the end it is up to the Jazz brass..

    • Aaron says:

      You’re completely nuts. Even if the Jazz had been open to a sign-and-trade, we would never get that kind of return.

  9. Paul Johnson says:

    Enter your comment here…

    By the nature of the RFA offer signed, it appears that Hayward is not all that excited to be back with the Jazz. Combine that with his poor reaction to pressure that we have seen thus far, and I think Hayward is going to have a miserable four years, if the Jazz match. He is likely to underperform and Jazz fans are not going to be very patient with him. By the end of his deal, he is likely to end up with the “bust” label.

    Contrast Hayward’s situation with Favor’s situation. Favors didn’t get greedy on his deal, and showed that he wanted to stay in Utah. Fans are going to give him a break, if his improvement is not dramatic. I think Favor’s situation is much more conducive to having a successful career than Hayward’s situation.

    I think I would rather see the Jazz sign all of Marvin Williams, Evan Turner and Al-Farouq Aminu for the same money as signing only Hayward. It is likely that a combination of any two of such players (or a combination of any one of those players and Rodney Hood) could give the Jazz the same production as Hayward for a lot less money. And they would all be more tradeable than Hayward.
    By the nature of the RFA offer signed, it appears that Hayward is not all that excited to be back with the Jazz. Combine that with his poor reaction to pressure that we have seen thus far, and I think Hayward is going to have a miserable four years, if the Jazz match. He is likely to underperform and Jazz fans are not going to be very patient with him. By the end of his deal, he is likely to end up with the “bust” label.

    Contrast Hayward’s situation with Favor’s situation. Favors didn’t get greedy on his deal, and showed that he wanted to stay in Utah. Fans are going to give him a break, if his improvement is not dramatic. I think Favor’s situation is much more conducive to having a successful career than Hayward’s situation.

    I think I would rather see the Jazz sign all of Marvin Williams, Evan Turner and Al-Farouq Aminu for the same money as signing only Hayward. It is likely that a combination of any two of such players (or a combination of any one of those players and Rodney Hood) could give the Jazz the same production as Hayward for a lot less money. And they would all be more tradeable than Hayward.

  10. Josh says:

    no sign and trade option now that he signed the offer sheet.

    I really think the Jazz will match the offer sheet, but I don’t like it. If we don’t sign the offer sheet, what is our plan B? Deng?, Ariza? Turner? Stephenson? We have not heard about any FA’s making visits to Utah. Not even conversations. I think Turner would be the only guy that would come to Utah anyway.

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