The Phoenix Suns main target in this offseason is LeBron James and/or Carmelo Anthony but if they missed out on one or both their apparent Plan B is to get Gordon Hayward the rising star from the Utah Jazz.
“The 6-foot-8 restricted free agent is expected to receive a significant contract offer, possibly upwards to a max deal, from the Phoenix Suns this coming week, according to sources,” reports the Deseret News on Sunday.
The Jazz however plan to keep 24-year-old Hayward, who is a restricted free agent (RFA). An RFA can sign a contract with any team but the original team—in this case, Utah—can match any offer to retain him from their team.
The versatile wingman averaged 16.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.2 assists in starting 77 games for the Jazz which finished a lowly 25-57 in 2013-2014 one of the worst records in the regular season.
Entering his fourth year in the league, Hayward will have new and promising teammates in Australian Dante Exum, the 5th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft and the Rodney Hood, the 23rd overall pick if he returns to the Jazz
However, if the Suns indeed steal Hayward away, he’ll be joining Phoenix’s power backcourt of Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe, who is expected to re-sign with Phoenix in this offseason.
Other teams that are interested in Hayward’s services are the Boston Celtics and Charlotte Hornets, both of which have the cap space to chase a free agent of the small forward’s caliber and contract demand which is possibly worth the max.