Cavs Hesitate To Make Offer To Gordon Hayward

THURSDAY, 9:42am: The possibility remains that the Cavs will eventually extend an offer to Hayward, Amick writes.

WEDNESDAY, 9:53pm: The Cavs won’t give Hayward an offer sheet, a source tells Sam Amick of USA Today.  Cleveland likes the 23-year-old, but they believe that Utah will match any offer and they don’t want to tie up their cap space.  Their reluctance to bind their flexibility may or may not be related to their hopes of signing LeBron James.

7:45pm: The Cavs’ belief that the Jazz will match any offer sheet for Hayward is strongly discouraging Cleveland from extending one, league sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter).

3:49pm: The Cavs are undecided about a max offer to Hayward, writes Terry Pluto of the Plain Dealer, who believes a sign-and-trade is a more likely scenario, pointing to Utah’s predraft trade talk with Cleveland as having established a familiarity between the respective front offices.

2:40pm: A source close to the Cavs tells Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio that the details of the team’s meeting with Hayward have been “greatly exaggerated” (Twitter link).

1:10pm: Some sources give Marc Stein of different figures, but most tell him that the Jazz have been willing to give Hayward four years and $48MM while he’s been seeking four years at $52MM (Twitter link). Previous reports indicated the Jazz were willing to go above that four-year, $48MM amount during extension talks this fall.

12:38pm: The Jazz remain intent on matching any offer to Hayward, as Jody Genessy of the Deseret News hears (Twitter link).

12:04pm: The Cavs are believed to be readying a max offer sheet to present to Gordon Hayward during his visit with the team today, reports Brian Windhorst of (Twitter link). The Jazz have been steadfast that they’ll match any offer, but it appears Cleveland is prepared to test their resolve.

There was reportedly mutual interest between the C’s, who employ Hayward’s college coach, and the 24-year-old swingman, though Boston’s agreement with Avery Bradley might alter that equation. The Suns apparently have had interest in a deal at least approaching the max, and the Hornets reportedly like Hayward, too. Still, the Cavs have targeted Hayward for months, according to Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal (Twitter link), and they have no shortage of cap flexibility to accommodate Hayward’s max, which would be roughly 25% of the salary cap.

The Jazz and Hayward reportedly discussed an extension last fall worth more than the four years, $48MM that Derrick Favors agreed to take in his extension. There’s probably about a $2MM difference in between the average annual value of Favors’ deal and the starting salary in a max deal for Hayward, but a max deal would entail raises of 4.5% if Hayward signed with another team and 7.5% if Hayward re-signed with the Jazz.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the Jazz are content to have the Cavs sign Hayward to the offer sheet and match, since the max deal Utah could give him, which entails larger raises and a fifth year, would be larger. The Jazz would have three days to match should the Cavs sign the Mark Bartelstein client to the offer sheet when they’re eligible to do so after the July moratorium is over.

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