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July 09, 2014

Observer first: Hayward to sign offer sheet with Charlotte Hornets

Gordon Hayward, the gifted small forward from the Utah Jazz, wants to be a Charlotte Hornet.

            The Observer learned first late Monday that Hayward will sign an offer sheet with the Hornets Thursday, once the NBA moratorium ends. Hayward is expected to sign a maximum deal, which would guarantee him $63 million over four years.

            The Jazz would have three days to match the Hornets’ offer, under NBA rules.

Posted by Observer Sports on July 9, 2014 at 01:42 AM | Permalink


No way is that guy worth the max.

Posted by: Alex | Jul 9, 2014 2:15:38 AM

Cue NASTAR. "They paid too much. WAH. What does this mean for MKG? WAH. The coach will quit. WAH. MJ is cheap. WAH.

CUE NASTAR II. "I could not have said it better myself, now off to my shift at Taco Bell"

Posted by: Sam | Jul 9, 2014 2:20:19 AM

Young wing players like this are rarely available. Like this move a lot. Strong core of young players on this team now if this gets done. The hive will be buzzing very soon!

Posted by: Hornet Matt | Jul 9, 2014 2:38:57 AM

This is big! Now if they can pull it off.

Posted by: James | Jul 9, 2014 3:02:27 AM

way too much for this guy, kind of a win-win. we either get the guy, or utah matches and we didn't overpay him.

the problem is.....when utah matches....we lose 3 critical days to move on to other options, aaaaand if stephenson is still available, he's going to want more money now because we were willing to give it to a guy he statistically outperformed last year on a wayyyyy better team. kills any chance of getting him in the 9-10 a year range.

ballsy move and yeah nastar is going to explode when he sees this. let the hypocritical commentary begin, errrrr continue.

Posted by: charlottean | Jul 9, 2014 3:53:13 AM

He played the sg 68 persent of the time this year. He and MKG will be on the court together. Think Cpt. Jack and crash Walace in their prime playing with Kemba and big Al. I'm on board.

Posted by: JayTee | Jul 9, 2014 5:47:27 AM

That is potentially a really good lineup. Like the versatility with Hayward and MKG out there. Al last year, Hayward this year. Not afraid to be aggressive. They like the guy and they went after him. As for Stevenson, dent, etc. you can't tell the Hornets who to like. Obviously Hayward was the target like Al last year. He played his bast basketball with Al. I like teaming them up again with a good coach and some solid young talent.

Posted by: Mike T. | Jul 9, 2014 6:30:57 AM

As for NASTAR. Could take his criticism more seriously if he actually had a position. For instance who did he want in the draft. What would have been the right number for McRoberts, which free agents should they pursue? Never has a direction, just criticism of whatever move they make. The latest one about drafting Vonleh being some sort of indictment of Zeller. You either know absolutely zero about this years draft or are just trolling. Take your pick. Neither is a very attractive option.

Posted by: Mike T. | Jul 9, 2014 6:37:42 AM

The Hornets would have to overpay on Gordon to have any shot at taking him away from the Jazz. Will be curious if they match, even with saying they would. Hornets are basically calling their bluff. Lots of money tied up in a guy for a team that's rebuilding. Now we can't that MJ and Cho aren't trying. I wouldn't be upset if Hayward is in a Hornets uniform. Would compliment Big Al and Kemba very well.

Posted by: PantherDave | Jul 9, 2014 7:17:36 AM

I would have to think Big Al wanted this to happen since they played together. He would know the value of Haywood. But in reality who else is out there. Did the current Hairston mess push this deal to max ???? Maybe they can now trade him for some more cap room.

Posted by: kelso | Jul 9, 2014 7:31:28 AM

While I like they're pursuing Hayward, I'm not sure he's worth $63MM over 4 years. Maybe $40MM over 4 years or $63MM over 6 years. Anyway, this is a business and any player has to do a money grab while they can. You never know if they'll have a severe injury or production drop off. They gotta get paid while they can. You can't really blame a player for parlaying one or two good seasons into a big money deal.

Posted by: Bob Loblaw | Jul 9, 2014 8:10:50 AM

He already turned down 48 over 4 from the Jazz. The Hornets had to swing for the fences, and they still might not get him IF the Jazz match. If the Jazz match they are going to look dumb for not giving him 13/p he was asking for a few months ago.

Posted by: Chris | Jul 9, 2014 8:25:31 AM

Seems a bit much for this guy, but players with his skillset in his position are few and far between.

Posted by: marty hurney | Jul 9, 2014 8:33:05 AM

Too much for a guy who has the same numbers as Josh. We are going to WAY overpay this kid. I say let it go and search for a better fit. He shot barely over 30% from 3 last year. That is horrible.

Posted by: Truth | Jul 9, 2014 8:33:34 AM

I am worried about the $15M per year but the length is perfect. And Hayward is a true 2 and shouldn't take any of MKG's minutes at the 3/SF to limit his progress. He is a perfect fit for our team and city. Big Al's dominance in the post, Kemba with the cross over penetration and Hayward with the ball distribution and spot up shooting can make this a DANGEROUS team people!

Posted by: my2centsworth | Jul 9, 2014 8:50:10 AM

@my2centsworth, I read recently (I don't remember if it was an ESPN article or a Bonnell article) that MKG only averaged 24 mins as a starter, so Hayward could still put in quality minutes there too with little to no impact to MKG.

Posted by: Bob Loblaw | Jul 9, 2014 8:58:41 AM

Geez, seems like you guys don't see what everyone else is getting. Is he going to be overpaid, YES. Everyone is a bit overpaid. It is what it is. McRoberts is getting overpaid. Ben Gordon is being WAY overpaid. And the list goes on, every year. The Jazz are basically wanting to let the market set the price for Hayward, and then match the offer and keep him. They are hoping that the best he gets is around what they wanted to pay him.....but Cho and Jordan just pushed all their chips to the center of the table and said "All In".

Posted by: DaveT | Jul 9, 2014 8:58:47 AM

@Marty hurney. His numbers were down because he was every teams primary focus on defense. Not being the number one option will give him more open looks. You get Josh's production from a wing player, making Zeller and MKG more effective.

Posted by: JayTee | Jul 9, 2014 9:09:58 AM

I understand the move and how he helps the team, but he's not worth that amount of money. Utah will match this offer and I'm hopeful we'll then pursue a sign and trade for Stephenson at about 11 per, sending Henderson to Indiana in exchange.

Posted by: Larry | Jul 9, 2014 9:16:43 AM

Lmfao . Hayward is not an Allstar . You only offer max money to allstars and only then to the proven ones . He took 16 shots a game last yr to average 16 points . There's not anyone in their fan base that believes he isn't being grossly overpaid . His PER IS 16 . He wanted out bc he didnt like Ty Corbin the coach . He was the first option and got exposed . He shoots 30% from the arc so how is that spreading the floor over Mkg ? His lateral agility , weakness and height will never let him stay in front of sgs so he's not realistically playing sg here and you know Clifford hates Mkg . He disappears in games and they hate that . He disappears bc he's weak and basically a spot up shooter . Small guys can defend him too which is why he disappears . His shooting has gone down each yr . W Favors and Burke and now Exum on the team , he won't even be their 3 best player on the team . Now other players including Kemba will demand more to stay or even come . I bet Jefferson orchestrated this which was as stupid as Mj and Cho in offering the max money . What a mess . Utah is reluctantly matching which only makes the Hornets look stupid . The celtics weren't doing this even tho he was considering them . Oh , did I forget to add that he's a league average defender ? Coupled w Kemba and Jefferson wo Mkg on the floor , watch the defensive stats slide . What does this say to a guy like Taylor ?

Posted by: Iron man | Jul 9, 2014 9:20:00 AM

Some of you don't know basketball very well. This is a great deal for Charlotte. They were gone over pay for whoever they signed because they're not a contender or in a big market. How do you think they signed Al Jefferson last year ? By overpaying what his market value was. Hayward is the perfect complement to Jefferson and Walker and especially MKG. His numbers slipped because he was on a horrible team and was the primary ball handler, shooter and passer. He led the Jazz in just about every statistical category. He was asked to do too much on a team with not enough. Now he has a post presence(again) and a point guard who can penetrate and dish and if the Hornets are really lucky a power forward that can stretch the defense, Hayward would be lethal if that happens. If I'm the Hornets now I'm sitting back and waiting for Cavaliers to part ways with Dion Waiters or I'm talking to the Kings about Derrick Williams.

Posted by: Dwayne | Jul 9, 2014 9:55:23 AM

Why are some fans so obsessed with NASTAR?
It's not about him, it's about the team.

I like Gordon Hayward, but not for a max contract. He's far from deserving that kind of pay rate.
It was obvious that the only way we can snatch him from Utah is by OVERPAYING.
This doesn't make overpaying the right thing to do.

I hope the Jazz won't blink first, and will match the offer sheet. Why?
So they'll be stuck with that super contract for the next 4 years, not us.

If they balk, it's for very good reason.

I would pursue Deng, who even at his ripe "old" age of 29 is still a better player overall than Hayward. And if Deng goes for a bigger name franchise, so be it. There are trades, and there is next off season too.

This an impatient move, for a very good, but not really elite player. He can score, but not at the level of 20+ ppg. Not even close. He doesn't have that "killer" instinct.
He used to shoot it really well, but his 3 points percentage declined seriously last season. How far? Below Kemba level...
He's a very good passer, which comes in handy after Josh turned his back on us.
And besides, he's just OK (not great) for rebounding, and much less of a defender than MKG or Jeff Taylor. So? Is this a MAX contract? Heck, no.

It's impatience, if not an outright desperate move, which was unnecessary. We're not in any "desperate" situation.

What could be dumber than this max offer?
Bringing in Marvin Williams at PF (as it's rumored now), when we have two very good young prospects to develop at this position.

Posted by: Sandy | Jul 9, 2014 9:59:44 AM

if we're being REALLY honest.....he's only a slight upgrade over henderson. i'll take hendo's defense and athleticism and mid range/post up game, and obviously i'd take haywards ball handling/passing/3 pt shooting/upside in his youth.

But when we're talking about henderson for 40 cents on the dollar......this is not a good VALUE upgrade.

and it's scary to think we sign marvin williams in addition to this. essentially making us the jazzcats. hard to imagine that moving us into contention without a MAJOR step up by hayward, mkg, zeller, and improvement by kemba in taking less shots and making a better clip of them.

but again.....if we're all being realistic.......utah is matching this and we're spinning our wheels. or we're going to get trade raped on a S&T in addition to the max instead of just signing stephenson outright for less and using henderson to swap for kevin martin in a package for kevin love.

Posted by: charlottean | Jul 9, 2014 10:03:19 AM

I dunno... I recall just about everyone complaining about the Big Al signing as if he couldn't possibly earn it and look what happened. There's no guarantee that Hayward would come close to earning a max, but there's something to say about coaching and chemistry. If you don't buy that, I feel like maybe you weren't paying attention to the Bobcats after the All Star break.

Posted by: seth | Jul 9, 2014 11:04:17 AM

He's young can score and we need what he offers. I am glad the Hornets are taking this risk with Hayward and not someone like Stephenson. This guy was THE guy for Utah and I think he would be even better here. That said, Utah matches that offer.

Posted by: Brian | Jul 9, 2014 11:12:19 AM

the reason I myself (can't speak for others) complained about the al signing was mostly because of the direction it sent us. I thought waiting 1 more year and grabbing another top pick in the draft (that actually sort of fell into our lap via miracle anyways) was more valuable than signing jefferson.

jefferson scoring and rebounding and not playing defense does not equate to him being worth a large salary slot. I would argue (and did last year) that we sort of had to spend the money anyways and still had max money this summer (which we do) so it really didn't hurt us outside of the lost draft pick (to chicago) and marginalizing of biz who i think could have had a major breakout rebound binge last year had he been given the minutes. he had some ridiculous preseason games.

but now the problem isn't the 13.5 that jefferson got for last year and this year.....it's what he's going to command when he opts out next summer. he's not a guy worthy of a max long term deal at that age and he's almost surely going to get it. the argument isn't that jefferson isn't worth big money somewhere. it's that he isn't a guy you build a small market team around if you want to compete for championships. playoffs? sure. 8 seed annually. but you can't build a contender around that guy, especially not at his age and previous health issues that won't get better with time.

he's an incredible offensive talent that just doesn't defend the paint the way you need to contend. pairing him with zeller should help. zeller SHOULD pick up some of that defense, but he'll have a hard time doing so while chasing 4s on the perimeter and in PnR.

the other question to ask is this: how many games did utah win with jefferson/hayward/williams AND millsap? so they're supposed to take up more cap space here and we're supposed to win more than that? that's what i don't buy.

stephenson being unrestricted and cheaper was the better move and then we could have turned around and made a godfather offer for love and had a legit contender.

Posted by: charlottean | Jul 9, 2014 11:26:27 AM

I just think Al ended up the boost we needed. He may not be the guy that teams could build around to be a true contender, but he added more than enough to draw interest from other FAs. He is exactly what we needed at the time and after his performance with the Cats, he became All NBA 3rd team, which isn't exactly something to scoff at. Also, I wasn't a huge fan of waiting it out through another horrendous season. Enough was enough, and they gave the fanbase and team something they really needed to make games worth going to again, which is arguably more important right now than winning a title.

Posted by: seth | Jul 9, 2014 11:38:23 AM

and that could prove true. trading him in a package for love and getting love to reup long term would make him above and beyond worth it.

him resigning for a BIG long term deal next summer and becoming dead weight would obviously move the discussion in another direction.

the fans didn't get appeased. the fans don't exist. this is a horrible sports town where people jump on and off the bandwagon and completely lack knowledge of sports. sacrificing long term gains for short term just to placate the fans just isn't worth it. we would have won mid 30's without al. maybe, just maybe near .500. probably around 36 wins. he didn't change the world, he just made it seem that way. clifford, too.

Posted by: charlottean | Jul 9, 2014 12:40:26 PM

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