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.
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