NBA

Gordon Hayward.

Report: Gordon Hayward set to opt out of Utah Jazz deal next summer

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Gordon Hayward has established himself as one of the best young two-way players in the league since he was drafted by the Utah Jazz ninth overall back in 2010.

Despite operating in a Western Conference that is full of elite wing players - typified by Kawhi Leonard - the 26-year-old has made a fine name for himself in the small market of Utah.

However, is his star beginning to shine too bright for the Jazz?

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According to a report by Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune, Hayward is expected to opt out of the final year of his contract next offseason - rejecting the $16.7 million player option for 2017-18 that he holds - and test unrestricted free agency.

Given the current landscape in the NBA, that can hardly come as a surprise. Franchise players all around the league are now picking up nearly $30 million a season and with the salary cap set to swell past $100 million in the 2017-18 campaign, there's clearly more for Hayward to make than the $16.7 million he is guaranteed staying put.

Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Lakers

The timing of Hayward’s foray could complicate matters for the Jazz. Rudy Gobert (restricted) and the newly-acquired George Hill (unrestricted) are also due for free agency in 2017, while Rodney Hood (restricted), Derrick Favors (unrestricted), and Dante Exum (restricted) will all become free agents the summer after that.

Utah could easily go from building nicely to starting from scratch.

Topics:
NBA
Western Conference
Gordon Hayward
Utah Jazz
Northwest Division
Rudy Gobert
Dante Exum

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