Gordon Hayward signed his offer sheet with the Hornets, the team announced early Thursday. The Jazz will now have until the end of Sunday (9:59 p.m. MDT) to match the offer worth about $63 million over four years.
This means the possibility of a sign-and-trade is dead, as it could have only been completed before an offer sheet was signed.
That, however, was never really an option for the Jazz, who appear set to match. Expect them to use all of their time in doing so, as it will tie up nearly $15 million of Charlotte’s cap space during that time.
If there was a standout player in Thursday’s scrimmage, it was rookie small forward Rodney Hood.
The former Duke star — in his first real exposure to Jazz fans — showed an all-around game that left many salivating. He made 3-pointers. He hit mid-range jumpers. He got to the rim off the dribble. He finished deftly in transition.
Hood looked comfortable in his new surroundings, dominating the second quarter of the scrimmage on the offensive end.
He was also one of the players whom coach Quin Snyder singled out for playing solidly on defense.
“I just tried to relax and let the game come to me,” Hood said. “I felt comfortable once I hit a few shots. I didn’t want to force anything.”
If Thursday was an indication, Hood looks like he can contend for minutes in Utah’s rotation right away. He heads into Saturday’s summer league debut with the confidence that he can produce in Snyder’s new offense.
Shock and surprise
Almost instantly, the lower bowl of EnergySolutions Arena became full of Jazz fans curious to see their new team.
Eventually, the upper bowl needed to be open, as almost 10,000 patrons attended the open practice. Jazz officials expected a good turnout. They didn’t expect that good of a turnout, complete with multiple standing ovations.
“The one thing about Jazz fans, they really know the game,” Snyder said. “Most NBA fans cheer for their team. But these fans are great. They know what’s going on, and they know what they’re looking at. Tonight, it was great to see.”