Salt Lake City, UT, United States (4E Sports) – Forward Gordon Hayward will stay with the Utah Jazz after the team matched the Charlotte Hornets’ four-year, $63 million offer sheet to the restricted free agent.
“We’re extremely appreciative to Michael Jordan, Rich Cho, Steve Clifford and the Hornets for wanting Gordon and making Gordon feel like such a critical piece to the team they’re building,” said Mark Bartelstein, Hayward’s agent.
“It’s always a wonderful thing when your own organization values you so much that they’d match a contract like this. I think it makes a great statement to Gordon about how they feel about him and value him,” he added.
With the move, the Jazz fulfilled their earlier commitment that they intended to match any offers for the 24-year-old Hayward, who averaged career highs of 16.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.2 assists last season.
Earlier, the Jazz tried to negotiate a contract extension with Hayward but talks broke down last year. Hayward was reportedly seeking a four-year contract valued at $13 million annually while Utah were willing to pay $12 million annually.
The 6-foot-8 Hayward returns to a rebuilding Utah team that also features Trey Burke, Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter, Alec Burks and promising rookie Dante Exum.