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The Miami Heat have surfaced as a real threat to land Utah Jazz small forward Gordon Hayward, according to a report from ESPN.
Free Agency Scuttle: Volume is rising on the whispers that the team worrying Utah in Gordon Hayward's free agency is Miami as much as Boston
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 9, 2017
Hayward has a player option on his contract believed to be worth around $16.7 million. Should he decline, he will move into free-agency. Until the ESPN report, the Jazz and Boston Celtics were expected to be a two-team race for the Jazz All-Star.
Per Hoops Rumors: “The Jazz remain the odds-on favorite to re-sign Hayward, since they can go over the cap to lock him up, and can offer him more years and more money than any other suitor. But if Utah is reluctant to put a full five-year max on the table, or if Hayward is looking for a change of scenery, the Heat would be an interesting option. The state of Florida doesn’t have an income tax, and Miami is certainly more of a free agent destination than Salt Lake City, though Hayward has roots in Utah.”
Hayward, 27, averaged 21.9 points and 5.4 rebounds in 73 games this past season.