Gordon Hayward

Northwest Notes: Kanter, Chandler, Hayward, NBA Draft

Enes Kanter‘s current situation with Turkey makes the Thunder center a problematic asset to trade, Berry Trammel of The Oklahoman writes. Kanter returned to the United States earlier this week after he was detained in Romania following the revocation of his passport by his native country.

Kanter has been outspoken against Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and earlier today, it was announced that a warrant for his arrest was issued in his homeland. Kanter was accused of belonging to a “terror group” which could be related to his past support of Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen.

This is all part of Trammel’s point: Kanter — while not ideal for today’s style of play — is still a capable player who can help a team but his political issues make him a potential liability. The 6’11”, 245-pound Kanter posted serviceable totals of 14.3 PPG and 6.7 RPG in 72 games on a Thunder team that was led by possible 2016/17 NBA MVP Russell Westbrook.

Yet, an arrest warrant in a country considered a U.S. ally off the court and an unconventional skill set on the court could make Kanter a tough sell this offseason.

Here are additional notes around the Northwest Division:

  • Also from The Oklahoman, Brett Dawson examines the Thunder’s options as the NBA Draft approaches next month. Oklahoma City owns the No.21 overall pick in a deep draft class but will have several options; with Westbrook on board, Dawson says one direction team could go in is acquiring a talented veteran to pair with the Thunder superstar.
  • Jazz forward Gordon Hayward will have a big choice this offseason: re-sign with the Jazz or pursue his self-admitted goal of winning a championship elsewhere. As Kincade Upstill of Deseret News writes, Hayward has been a fixture of Utah’s success and a huge reason why the team reached the second round of the playoffs this season. His teammates, the team, and the fans want him to return — and the Jazz can offer him the most significant dollars. However, it will ultimately be up to Hayward where he wants to be next season.
  • Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler has parted ways with the Jay-Z-led Roc Nation and will be represented by Excel Sports moving forward, according to ESPN’s Chris Haynes (link via Twitter).
  • Trail Blazers reserve Pat Connaughton may be hanging up sneakers for cleats as the former fourth round pick in the 2014 MLB Draft could pursue a professional baseball career, Molly Blue of The Oregonian writes. Connaughton averaged 2.5 PPG as a backup point guard last season and if his NBA dream doesn’t show promise, he could change professions. The 24-year-old has been clocked at 90 mph on the diamond and the Orioles, the team that drafted him, would be happy to help him with the transition.

Northwest Notes: Jazz, Westbrook, Collison

The biggest priority for the Jazz this summer will be retaining their players, an Associated Press report says. General manager Dennis Lindsey is aware of the challenge and accepts it head on.

Player retention would be the next step,” Lindsey said, before expanding with ways that the Jazz can improve upon this year’s success. “Player development. A strategic add that can complement the group where there’s just a really good fit. Whether that fit is mentality, experience or skill-set.

At the top of Lindsey’s list of players to retain will be All-Star forward Gordon Hayward. Though the Butler alum just missed out on an All-NBA selection – and the resulting financial reward – the Jazz can still make a solid case to convince the forward to return to the team that drafted and developed him.

Point guard George Hill is another body that Lindsey will look to keep in town over the offseason. Hill will be an unrestricted free agent after his one season with the Jazz and will likely generate considerable interest coming off a career year.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • The Thunder will look to extend point guard Russell Westbrook‘s contract this summer and can do so with the Designated Veteran Player Extension. Per Bobby Marks of the Vertical, even though Westbrook renegotiated his existing contract prior to the new CBA, he’s been deemed eligible by the league to ink a five-year deal worth as much as $207MM this summer.
  • Veteran Nick Collison isn’t finished playing in the NBA and will look to come to terms with the Thunder for 2017/18, Fred Katz of the Norman Transcript writes. Despite the big man’s loyalty to the franchise that drafted him 2003, there’s no guarantee that he’ll be back with Oklahoma City if another organization offers a more appealing role.
  • If the Jazz are able to bring Gordon Hayward and George Hill back this summer, two players that may be sacrificed for financial reasons are Derrick Favors and Alec Burks, Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post suggests.

Celtics To Prioritize Gordon Hayward In Free Agency

The Celtics have the assets to pull off a trade for a star this summer, though the team is focusing its attention on the free agent market with the hopes landing Gordon Hayward, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports (video link). Wojnarowski notes that Boston could have a better idea of where it stands with Hayward leading up to the draft.

Hayward didn’t make an All-NBA team, which means he won’t be eligible for the new designated player extension. That marginalizes the advantage that the Jazz have in re-signing the 27-year-old and it could open the door for another team to pry him from Utah. Celtics coach Brad Stevens recruited and coached Hayward at Butler University prior to making the jump to the professional ranks.

Boston has just under $62MM in guaranteed salary on the books next season against a projected $101MM salary cap. However, that total doesn’t include a $7MM+ cap hold for the No. 1 overall pick or a $7.7MM+ cap hold for restricted free agent Kelly Olynyk, so the team may have to get creative to open up space for a maximum salary contract.

No Paul George, Gordon Hayward On All-NBA Teams

The NBA has officially announced its All-NBA teams for the 2016/17 season, and neither Paul George nor Gordon Hayward is among the 15 players honored. That’s big news for both players and their teams, since they’ll be ineligible for the Designated Veteran Extension, reducing the amount of money the Pacers and Jazz – respectively – could offer their star forwards in contract extensions this offseason.

Here are this year’s All-NBA teams:

All-NBA First Team

All-NBA Second Team

All-NBA Third Team

Based on this year’s All-NBA voting results, Wall is now eligible to sign a Designated Veteran Extension this summer, while Leonard is eligible to sign one next summer. Harden, Westbrook, and Curry are also eligible to sign DVEs this summer, as Bobby Marks of The Vertical notes (via Twitter).

Those Designated Veteran Extensions – which are dependent on a player making an All-NBA team in the year before he signs an extension, or in two of the previous three years – apply to players finishing up their rookie scale extensions. They allow a player re-signing with his own team to earn up to 35% of the salary cap, rather than just 30%. So, if we assume a $101MM salary cap for 2017/18, a player like Curry could sign a new Warriors contract with a starting salary of $35.35MM, instead of $30.3MM.

The Pacers and Jazz will still be able to offer George and Hayward larger and longer contracts than any other team, but the advantage won’t be as significant as it would have been if those players had earned All-NBA spots. Teams can offer their own Bird-rights free agents up to five years (instead of four) and 8% raises (instead of 5%).

Hayward figures to opt out of his contract and become a free agent this summer, while George is expected to reach free agency in 2018. George could still become eligible for the DVE in ’18 if the Pacers hang onto him through next season and he earns All-NBA honors a year from now. However, there’s no guarantee that Indiana will be willing to take that risk.

As for the rest of the All-NBA votes, there weren’t any major surprises, particularly on the first two teams. Perhaps the biggest surprise, in a year which was dominated by four clear-cut MVP candidates, is that Harden was the only player who received 100 out of 100 possible First Team votes. Westbrook and James received 99 apiece, while Leonard received 96.

Note: Hoops Rumors readers voted last month on All-NBA teams, and our squads looked awfully close to the official ones, with a couple notable exceptions. You can check out the results of our voting right here.

Northwest Notes: Hayward, Jazz, OKC, Gibson

Jazz small forward Gordon Hayward has earned a max contract, according to Randy Hollis of The Deseret News. Hollis admits that he had been wrong about Hayward and hopes that Hayward elects to return to the Jazz in free agency in a fascinating piece that touts the budding star’s basketball brilliance.

Let’s round up a few more notes from around the Northwest…

  • Alec Burks has had a difficult past few years as a result of injury, but he’s poised for a comeback, reports Mike Sorensen of The Deseret News. “It’s frustrating,” Burke said to Sorensen. “My (latest) injury was way more serious than I thought. But I’m a soldier and I learned a lot about my body and the game of basketball during the time out.”
  • While Trey Lyles suffered through a disappointing sophomore campaign, Jazz coach Quin Snyder is certainly not giving up on his forward, per Randy Hollis of The Deseret News. “I think, for Trey, like a lot of young players, it’s more about him taking stock and looking at the year, figuring out he can use it to improve,” Snyder said. “Sometimes you have to go through some things like that in order to get a good gauge on where you are. I expect Trey to have a terrific summer and look forward to him leveraging some of that adversity to make himself a better player.”
  • Taj Gibson would love to return to the Thunder, but he will have many suitors, writes Erik Horne of NewsOK.com. Horne’s piece discusses Gibson’s success in Oklahoma City after being traded from Chicago and names the power forward as likely the team’s best option in free agency.
  • Although the Thunder are locked into the 21st overall pick in the draft, Tuesday night’s lottery may very well have implications for the team, as the draft ordering could affect which players are available on the trade market, writes Brett Dawson of NewsOK.com.
  • Marcus Smart, who played his college ball at Oklahoma State, would fit in very well with the Thunder, writes Berry Tramel of NewsOK.com. Smart remains under contract with Boston for one more year.

Jazz Notes: Hayward, Hill, Diaw, Ingles

After being swept by the Warriors in the Western Conference semifinals, the Jazz enter the offseason with one major question: Will Gordon Hayward be in Utah next season and beyond? Speaking to the media at the Jazz’s end-of-season media press conference, the former first-round pick from 2010 had nothing but the highest of praises for the team, Ryan McDonald of Deseret News Sports writes.

“It’s been so much fun for me here in Utah and growing up here, starting a family, growing from a basketball standpoint, growing from just a man standpoint,” Hayward said. “I have nothing but love for everybody in Utah.”

At 27 years old, coming off a season in which he set career-highs in PPG (21.9) and RPG (4.7), and made his first All-Star team, the Butler University product will have no shortage of potential suitors. Teammates like budding star Rudy Gobert expressed kind sentiments, telling the media that he “don’t want to see him leave because he’s a big part of what we’ve been building.” Per Jody Genessy of the Deseret News, Jazz guard George Hill expressed the belief that Hayward’s “heart is here in Utah.”

From enduring a 25-win season in 2013 to eliminating the Clippers in the playoffs this season, Hayward was a major part of making Utah a contending team. However, the 6’8″, 225-pound forward says he hasn’t given much thought to his future.

Here is additional news surrounding the Jazz:

  • Hill, who is a free agent himself this offseason, expressed his desire to remain in Utah. The 31-year-old averaged 16.9 PPG and 4.1 APG in 49 regular season contests for a Jazz team that went 51-31, good for fifth place in the West. Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune noted that Hill’s family will play a role in his free agency decision but the veteran feels the Jazz have “more than enough” to compete with the team’s current core (Twitter links).
  • Boris Diaw, the seasoned veteran who provided a spark off the bench, is also uncertain about a return next season. The Jazz hold an option on the 35-year-old France native, who he indicated his desire to return next season, per Genessy (via Twitter). “I’d like to be back here, but I’d definitely understand any choice that they make,” he said.
  • Joe Ingles, a restricted free agent this offseason, may have the upper-hand on his teammates in regards to a return. The Jazz can match any offer he receives — and both parties have a mutual interest in a reunion, Jones reports (via Twitter). Andy Larsen of Salt City Hoops quoted Ingles, who said all of Utah’s impending free agents want to return (via Twitter).

Jazz Notes: Hayward, Hill, Lindsey, Cavanaugh

Tonight, the Jazz begin their second-round matchup with Golden State. While Utah prepares for a difficult challenge against the heavily favored Warriors, there are other team-centric happenings worthy of monitoring. Stay current below:

  • The Jazz’s first-round ousting of the Clippers could have a positive effect on the team’s chance of retaining key free agents Gordon Hayward and George Hill beyond this offseason, reports Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports. Earlier in his career, the 27-year-old cornerstone of the franchise, Hayward, had entertained notions of taking his talents elsewhere. Now that the Jazz have advanced to the second round for the first time since 2010, Amick believes Hayward is convinced that the Jazz can build a contender and wishes to stick around to help make that happen.
  • Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey turned down other GM offers before accepting Utah’s, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports. Prior to accepting the Jazz’ top job, Lindsey had been the assistant general manager for the Spurs. During Lindsey’s conversation with The Vertical on Sunday, he said that he accepted Utah’s offer because the vision of the Jazz’s ownership group reminded him of that of the Spurs.
  • According to J. Michael of CSN Mid-Atlantic, George Washington University’s departing star Tyler Cavanaugh worked out for the Jazz over the weekend. As a senior, Cavanaugh led the Colonials with 18.3 PPG and 8.4 RPG, while shooting 40.9% from deep. The 6’9″ forward spent his first two college campaigns with Wake Forest before transferring to George Washington. Cavanaugh also had a pre-draft workout lined up with the Spurs, among other teams.

And-Ones: All-NBA Teams, Hayward, Kobe

The All-NBA teams were scheduled to be announced during the league’s inaugural award show on June 26th. However, because the selections may impact teams’ offseason plans, the league will unveil the winners in the weeks leading up to the draft, as Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post writes.

The newly created Designated Player Exception drove the change. Being selected on an All-NBA is a criterion for the massive extension and players such as Paul George and Gordon Hayward will be eligible for as much as $70MM more in an extension should they make one of the three teams.

The early unveiling arguably helps the Pacers the most. If PG13 lands on one of the teams, Indiana will have the inside track to signing him long-term as soon as this summer. If he doesn’t earn one of the spots, the organization can begin to seriously consider whether or not it should deal the small forward. George has long been linked to the Lakers and the Pacers may look to deal him rather than see him leave for L.A. without receiving any compensation in return.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Several NBA executives told Mitch Lawrence of Sporting News that they would choose Hayward over George if both were available to sign with their team. None of the executives said Hayward was the superior player based on talent alone, though they chose the Jazz star because he doesn’t come with the baggage that George comes with.
  • Kobe Bryant doesn’t miss playing the game of basketball, as he discussed on recent episode of Good Morning America (h/t James Dator of SB Nation). “No, I don’t,” Bryant said about missing the sport. “No, it’s crazy but I started playing when I was 2, and so after playing for 20 years in the league — what I have now is, everything I’ve learned from the game I carry with me to this day. So, the game’s never truly left me.”
  • Team USA announced who will be on the committees for the country’s men’s and women’s teams. Jerry Colangelo will continue to be the managing director of the Men’s National Team, while director Carol Callan will head the Woman’s National Team. Each committee will have an athlete representative. Shane Battier will serve as the men’s representative and Katie Smith will be the woman’s representative.

Heat Notes: J. Johnson, Waiters, Cap Space, Whiteside

Using their cap space to keep their own free agents is a better option for the Heat than chasing Gordon Hayward or Blake Griffin, argues Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. Miami will have about $37MM to spend this summer if it declines a $6.3MM option on Wayne Ellington. Issuing a max contract of more than $30MM would severely cut into that total and make it impossible for the team to re-sign James Johnson and Dion Waiters. The Heat may try to trade Josh McRoberts, who is expected to exercise a player option worth a little more than $6MM, but Winderman doesn’t expect them to find any takers. He recommends using that $37MM to keep Johnson, Waiters, Ellington and Willie Reed.

There’s more news out of Miami:

  • The Heat’s decisions this summer will shape their roster for the next few years, Winderman writes in a separate piece. If Johnson and Waiters both sign three- or four-year deals, they will join Hassan Whiteside, Goran Dragic and Tyler Johnson, who are all under contract through 2019/20. Those three already take up $62.7MM of Miami’s cap room for 2018/19, when the cap is projected at $102MM. Even assuming team-friendly contracts for James Johnson and Waiters at a combined $28MM, the Heat would be at $90.7MM, without considering $5.2MM cap holds for Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson. Miami’s front office will have to decide soon if that core is worth locking up the salary cap for the next three seasons.
  • Despite recent comments from team president Pat Riley expressing loyalty to his players, the Heat would be willing to trade anyone on the roster, Winderman states in another column. The writer adds that Riley handled his press conference much better than Knicks president Phil Jackson did, but notes that if Dwyane Wade was allowed to leave last summer, then anyone is expendable.
  • After giving Whiteside a four-year, $98MM deal a year ago, the Heat want him to become a better low-post scorer, Winderman relays in another story. Whiteside continues to be among the league’s best rebounders and shot blockers, but the organization wants him to expand his offensive game and become a “championship” center. “Once you feed him that, he may be able to go there,” Riley said, “but you have to put him in that position. I think he has the ability to put up bigger numbers.”

And-Ones: DVP Exception, Stern, BWB

It hasn’t been decided if the All-NBA teams will be announced during the league’s first ever award show on June 26 but regardless of when the teams are revealed they’ll have an impact on two pending free agents, John Smallwood of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes.

Neither Blake Griffin nor Gordon Hayward will win the MVP of Defensive Player of the Year award, Smallwood writes, but the two will be in contention to land a spot among the three year-end teams. This year, that’s more important than ever.

Thanks to the new collective bargaining agreement, players whose portfolios boast particular impressive accolades will be eligible for more money in the form of the Designated Veteran Exception.

Another player that will be impacted by the new exception is Stephen Curry  but since the MVP clause covers anybody who won that award in the previous three seasons, his is already locked in.

It’s unclear how exactly the formal announcements will unfold but even without the drama of a formal award show, this year’s revelations will be more dramatic than any we’ve seen previously.

There’s more from around the league:

  • Though he’s no longer the commissioner of the NBA, David Stern is still very much involved with the league and the sport of basketball, Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press writes. The article discusses some of the 74-year-old’s latest endeavors.
  • For the first time ever, Basketball Without Borders is setting up camp in Israel, E. Carchia of Sportando writes. BWB has reached 134 countries and territories since 2001.
  • The NBDL Player of the Year is former Cavaliers training camp invitee John Holland, the Cleveland D-League affiliate announced in an official press release. The guard averaged 22.9 points per game for the Canton Charge.
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