And neither of these guys even went to UNC!

Typically frugal owner Michael Jordan is opening up the bank for former Brad Stevens' college star Gordon Hayward.
Restricted free agent Gordon Hayward has agreed to a four-year, $63 million maximum contract offer sheet with the Charlotte Hornets, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

A player option for the fourth year of the deal and a 15 percent trade kicker are expected to be included in the offer sheet, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Both would be considered incentives to dissuade the Jazz from matching the sheet, but Utah officials have remained adamant they will match any sheet for Hayward – including a max offer.

Agent Mark Bartelstein aggressively courted the market for an offer sheet for Hayward, discussing deals with several teams – including Cleveland, Phoenix and Boston – but ultimately reached the deal with Charlotte on Tuesday.

$16 million a year is a ton of money to pay Hayward, but you have to ante up if you want to bring in star players. Now it will be up to the 24 year old Hayward to prove that he is a star. Between this signing and the drafting of Vonleh, the Hornets have had a nice Summer. Of course, I expect the Jazz to match, so those great Summer memories will fade soon.

I know a lot of people will argue that Hayward isn't worth that much, but if you're going to overpay, it's better to do it on stars than on role players. For comparisons sake, Hayward will make about as much as Brandon Bass and Jeff Green make combined. The Celtics are paying role players Green, Bass, Gerald Wallace, and Avery Bradley a whopping $34 million this year (a few million more than the Hornets would be paying Hayward and Jefferson).

So while the contract number is high, I can understand why the Hornets made the offer and I'll also understand it when the Jazz likely match. The fact that neither Charlotte nor Utah are markets that attract the LeBron's or Carmelo's of free agency makes it even more sensible for them to not penny pinch when a possible star free agent is on the market. It was always a pretty big long shot for Hayward to end up a Celtic. Today ends that long shot. But who knows, he's young enough that possibly down the road he might reuinite with Stevens in Boston.

JR 7/09/2014 02:59:00 AM Edit
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