The Charlotte Hornets announced today that the team has extended an offer sheet to restricted free-agent forward Gordon Hayward. The deal is believed to be for four years and worth $63 million. The Jazz will have until 9:59 p.m. mountain time Sunday night to match.
Hayward will earn $14.8 million in the first year in the contract, increasing annually.
The Jazz are expected to match the offer.
The 6-8 Hayward saw action in 77 games for the Jazz last year, averaging career highs of 16.2 points, 5.2 assists, 5.1 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 36.4 minutes. But he shot a career-low 41 percent from the field.
Hayward led the Jazz in scoring and minutes played, ranked second in assists and was tied for third in rebounds.
Hayward took visits to Cleveland and Charlotte once free agency began last Tuesday, but Michael Jordan's Hornets made an aggressive push this week to secure a commitment from Hayward, who previously played alongside star Charlotte center Al Jefferson in Utah.
The Jazz could have kept Hayward off the open market had they negotiated a contract extension with the versatile swingman back in October, but talks broke down, with Hayward reportedly seeking a four-year contract valued at $13 million annually and Utah reportedly holding firm at $12 million annually.
The ninth overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, Hayward has played in 287 games during his four-year career, all with the Jazz. He has career averages of 12.0 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 28.4 minutes, with shooting percentages of .436 from the field (1171-2684), .365 from beyond the three-point line (277-759) and .813 from the free-throw line (816-1004). He has scored in double figures 174 times, including 45 games of 20 points or more and four games of 30 points or more.
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