In 2011, the Utah Jazz had a dilemma: What to do with their superstar? Deron Williams was 1 1/2 years away from unrestricted free agency. Do the Jazz ride it out and hope to sign him in the offseason or trade him so they won’t lose him for nothing? The Utah Jazz VP of Basketball Operations Kevin O’Conner decided to trade Williams to the Nets for Derrick Favors, a 2011 first-round pick (Enes Kanter, third overall) and Devin Harris. This started the rebuild.
Fast-forward to 2017. The Jazz were once again faced with the same dilemma: Do they gamble on their star player re-signing or trade him to get something of value in return. This time, the Jazz organization decided to gamble. They felt comfortable enough with Gordon Hayward to make this choice, but eventually, teams have to chance it. NBA teams can’t just draft and develop players, and then trade them the moment they are scared their homegrown star could leave.
Why do the Jazz feel so comfortable in their ability to re-sign Hayward? The first reason is money. In the NBA’s new collective bargaining agreement, teams can offer homegrown talent significantly more money. Also, any player who makes an All-NBA Team can receive a super max deal only from the team that drafted him. So, unlike last year when Kevin Durant didn’t have to sacrifice much money to leave OKC for Golden State, Hayward would have to sacrifice a ton of bags with dollar signs on them to leave Utah.
Since Hayward didn’t make an All-NBA Team, he is not eligible for the super max deal worth five years, $220 million. Now, he most likely will opt out of his contract and be able to sign a new deal worth $180 million over five years. But if Hayward decides to leave for another team, the most he can sign for is a four-year deal worth $133…