Jazz moving on from Hayward, but timing is ‘problematic’
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH—Utah Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey hasn’t spoken with Gordon Hayward since the All-Star announced he was heading to the Boston Celtics. The two have texted back and forth, however.
Lindsey wouldn’t lament Hayward’s choice to take Boston’s $128 million offer, understanding that it’s a personal decision that was made. But the process has left the Jazz in a bit of a bind. There were contingency plans in place in case Hayward left, but most available marquee players had made their decisions before Tuesday.
“Timing has been problematic,” Lindsey said Wednesday. “It’s time for us to pivot. It’s time for us to move on. We like our young group and we think we’re going to keep the defensive integrity.
“There’s not as many prospects left on the board because of the timing. So we’ll take a look at it, prospects at every level.”
Things took a bizarre turn Tuesday as early reports had Hayward going to Boston, but his agent later put out a statement that the decision had not been made. Hours later, it was announced through a Hayward-written post on The Players’ Tribune .
Lindsey declined to address the way it was handled or the way he was informed.
“There’s probably a few adjectives there,” Lindsey said. “That may be a conversation for a later date.”
The Jazz are losing 21.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game and their lone All-Star that helped return the team to the playoffs for the first time since 2012.
“Certainly we will miss Gordon and his many contributions to our team, but I always tell our players that ‘adversity is opportunity in disguise,'” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said in a statement. “This is one of those moments and we need to live those words. We have a roster of young, talented and resilient players. I am confident that together we will accept this challenge while continuing to strive toward our goal of individual and collective improvement.
“To further lament Gordon’s departure does not honor the commitment we have to our current players.”