If Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors are worried about their contracts, it didn’t show Monday at the Utah Jazz’s annual preseason meeting with the media.
Hayward and Favors are eligible for extensions, but the two young players who are the foundation of the franchise shrugged off questions about their future.
“That’s why we hire agents, to figure that out,” said Hayward, whose primary concern currently is “to focus on being a better leader this year — a better basketball player — and helping us win games.”
“No, I’m not concerned about it,” he said. “That’s on the front office and my agent. They have to deal with it.”
As 2010 draft picks, the two forwards are eligible to become restricted free agents after this season if they don’t agreed to an extension with the Jazz.
In recent weeks, two other lottery picks from the 2010 NBA Draft signed monster extensions.
Indiana gave George Paul a five-year deal worth between $80 million and $90 million — possibly more if he reaches an escalator clause. In Sacramento, baggage-toting center DeMarcus Cousins agreed to a four-year extension worth $62 million.
“Yeah, it’s hard not to see them,” he said. “It’s on Twitter and people asked me questions about it. And good for them. [I] congratulate them.”
Hayward averaged 14.1 points, 3.1 rebounds and three assists last season. Favors averaged 9.4 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.7 blocked shots in only 23 minutes.
According to General Manager Dennis Lindsey, all sides have agreed not to comment on the situation.
“I’m going to stay true to our agreement — our gentleman’s agreement,” he said. “[But] both players, we think a lot of. The moves we made in the offseason will allow both players to expand their roles.
“You can assume we’re having active conversations. We’re hopeful we’ll reach a deal now. That’s what we’re hoping to do. There are some advantages to that.”
Asked about the extensions already given to Paul and Cousins, Lindsey said, “We know what’s going on around the league. Every team’s in a different position. But we would never comment on another team’s business.
“These are the 30 best teams, the 30 best coaches, the 30 best management-types in [basketball] and we respect every team and what they have to do.”
Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin does not expect Hayward or Favors to let their contracts situation impact their play on the court.
“Those things will work themselves out,” he said. “Hopefully we can get through [without] having it on their minds the entire time. It’s part of the business. You have to think about it. But the more you can get it out of your mind ... the better off you are.”
Meanwhile, Corbin is entering the final year of his contract.
He isn’t worried, however.
“I’m completely fine with where I am,” Corbin said. “I respect the organization’s side and my side in the negotiations. Things are going to get worked out. We just have to do our job and things will be fine.”