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ESPN’s Marc Stein reported Thursday the Miami Heat intend to pursue Utah Jazz star forward Gordon Hayward when free agency starts on July 1.
Rumblings have swirled around for a few months regarding Miami’s interest in Hayward, but Stein’s latest report reveals the Jazz view the Heat as “no less a threat” to sign him than the Boston Celtics.
Hayward and the Celtics have been linked together in free agency rumors for much of the past two seasons because of his close-knit relationship with college head coach Brad Stevens, who mentored him for two years at Butler, where the pair reached the National Championship game in 2010.
Miami or Boston can offer Hayward a maximum deal worth an estimated $133 Mil. over four years.
The Jazz can offer Hayward a five-year deal worth an estimated $180 Mil., which could prove to be the difference in his ultimate decision.
Stein also writes the Heat are expected to pursue Blake Griffin this summer, but any acquisition of either of their All-Star targets could impact the ability to re-sign Dion Waiters or James Johnson.