Northwest Rumors: Hayward, Rubio, Saunders

Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey isn’t promising that restricted free agent Gordon Hayward will be back with the team, but Lindsey said Thursday that he wants to have Hayward remain in Utah for the rest of his career, observes Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune. Hayward’s teammates are confident he’ll stay with the Jazz, though Hayward didn’t offer much in the way of hints.

“Utah has been great for me,” Hayward said. “But it’s a business.”

Hayward and the Jazz have nonetheless indicated plenty of mutual interest, as I detailed when I examined the small forward’s free agent stock. Here’s more from around the Northwest Division:

  • Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune expects Ricky Rubio and agent Dan Fegan to ask for an extension that’s closer to the maximum, with an average annual value probably in the neighborhood of $15.5MM, than to Stephen Curry‘s four-year, $44MM deal.
  • The sale of the Bucks will likely be a boon to Wolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders, as Zgoda writes in the same piece. Saunders’ share of the Wolves will be 6% by the end of his five-year contract, and if the $550MM price of the Bucks dictates the value of the Minnesota franchise, Saunders’ stake will be worth about $33MM.
  • The NBA has approved the sale of a minority stake in the Thunder to Tulsa energy company executive George B. Kaiser, the team announced in a press release. It’s the portion of the team that fellow energy executive Tom L. Ward had owned. Kaiser’s net worth is $10.1 billion, according to Minority owner G. Jeffrey Records also transferred some, but not all, of his share to others within the ownership group.
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