Jazz match offer for Hayward


The Sports Network

Salt Lake City, UT (SportsNetwork.com) - Gordon Heyward will be staying with the Utah Jazz after the team decided to match the offer sheet the restricted free agent swingman received from the Charlotte Hornets.

Though terms of the contract were not disclosed by the Jazz, reports earlier in the week stated that Heyward signed a four-year, $63 million pact with the Hornets.

The move enabled the Jazz to retain their leading scorer from last season, who established career-best averages of 16.2 points, 5.2 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game.

"As we have said since the start of last season, we have always seen Gordon Hayward as a significant part of the future of the Utah Jazz," said Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey. "Gordon is a young, multi-faceted player and a high-character individual who we are pleased will remain a member of the Jazz for many years to come."

Since being taken by the Jazz with the ninth overall pick of the 2010 NBA Draft, Hayward has improved his numbers in each of his first four seasons. The 24-year-old became only the second player in franchise history to average at least 16 points, five rebounds and five assists in a single campaign in 2013-14, joining Hall of Famer Pete Maravich.

The 6-foot-8 wing averaged 14.1 points in a sixth-man role in 2012-13, then started all 77 games he appeared in last season. Hayward did shoot a career- low 30.4 percent from 3-point range this past year, but owns a 36.5 lifetime success rate from beyond the arc.

"I am excited to have the opportunity to coach Gordon," said new Jazz head coach Quin Snyder. "He is a talented and versatile player, and will play an integral role in our effort to build the Utah Jazz into a championship-caliber team. We look forward to seeing him continue to develop as a leader on our team."

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