The Rise of Gordon Hayward
If you are like most NBA fans you probably have not paid much attention to the Utah Jazz or their best player Gordon Hayward, but if you have not been paying attention to Hayward you have been missing out on one of most interesting young players in the NBA.
Hayward was not picked to be an all-star this year, and rightly so, but his play has at times put him in the conversation. The depth in the western conference is also going to be a huge hindrance to Hayward making the team but the level of his play, if it continues into next season, will keep in the conversation.
This past off-season the Jazz signed Hayward to a four year sixty-three million dollar contract. A contract at the time that made a lot of Jazz fans nervous, but a contract Hayward is now looking like he was very deserving of. Hayward had struggled last season at times but did manage to post a respectable 16 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in 77 contests. For his career Hayward had averaged just under 13 points a game.
The Jazz had hoped that the money they invested in Hayward would pay off and thus far this season it has. Hayward is averaging a career best 19 points a game and since mid December has averaged over 20 a game. Hayward had a slow start to the season averaging just 12 points a game in October but since than has been able to average 19 plus points a game. In February he is averaging a career best 22 points a game.
As Hayward goes so go the Utah Jazz. For the season when the Jazz win Hayward averages nearly 22 points a game and in loses only 18. Few players in the NBA are as versatile as Hayward. He is one of only a few players in the NBA averaging over 15 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists.