Apr 6, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Utah Jazz guard Gordon Hayward (20) looks on against the Golden State Warriors during the first quarter at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Jazz 130-102. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Charlotte Hornets: Gordon Hayward Signs Max Offer Sheet

Give credit where credit is due: Michael Jordan has finally been making respectable moves as an NBA owner.

As The Charlotte Observer originally reported last night, Gordon Hayward has agreed to sign a max contract offer sheet with the Charlotte Hornets for four years and $63 million. The Utah Jazz will officially be on the clock and have three days to match Charlotte’s offer as soon as Hayward signs it on Thursday at 12:01 a.m. (when the free agent moratorium is lifted).

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Hornets have included a player option on the fourth year of the contract and a 15 percent trade kicker in an attempt to prevent the Jazz from wanting to match their max offer. However, throughout free agency, the Utah Jazz have stayed firm on their stance that they will match any contract offered to Hayward.

Last season with the Jazz, Hayward averaged 16.2 points, 5.2 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game. He only shot 30 percent from 3-point range, but at only 24 years old Hayward represents a young player on the rise whose two-way game is only starting to arrive.

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns were also interested in Hayward, but more than likely held out for a chance at LeBron James first.

Although there are legitimate concerns about signing a player like Hayward to a max offer sheet, it’s hard to fault Jordan and the Hornets too much here. Charlotte needs scoring on the perimeter and is weakest on the wings.

With Josh McRoberts departing for the Miami Heat, the Hornets need help at the forward position. Unless Cody Zeller and Noah Vonleh are ready to step up, the Hornets could use as much help from their small forward and power forward positions as possible.

Hayward isn’t the only Utah player Charlotte’s interested in, however. The Hornets have also looked into signing Marvin Williams to temporarily fill the void at the 4 spot, although this Hayward news will probably put those talks on hold for the time being.

With Al Jefferson in the middle, Kemba Walker at the point and Vonleh and P.J. Hairston added to the roster, the Hornets are starting to look like one of the East’s more promising teams for the future.

However, Hornets fans probably shouldn’t get too excited about adding Hayward to the mix. The Jazz fully intend to match the offer, especially after Hayward was obviously their best player last season.

A max contract for Hayward sounds better for the Hornets than it does for the Jazz, but don’t expect too much drama on this front. Then again, at least Michael Jordan and the Hornets kind of got 2014 free agency started for the time being.

Tags: Charlotte Hornets Gordon Hayward Gordon Hayward Signs Max Offer Sheet NBA Free Agency Utah Jazz

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