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Aaron Falk, Tony Jones and Steve Luhm cover the Utah Jazz and the NBA for The Salt Lake Tribune. The Tribune on Twitter - Aaron Falk: @tribjazz, Steve Luhm: @sluhm, Tony Jones: @Tjonessltrib

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Hayward's open letter: 'I’m excited about coming back to Utah'

Gordon Hayward may have signed the offer sheet with Charlotte, but the swingman wants Jazz fans to know he's "excited about coming back to Utah."

On his website, GordonHayward20.com, the fifth-year swingman offers some insight into his thinking during a summer of restricted free agency.

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"Signing my contract to return to the Jazz was a big sigh of relief for me," Hayward writes. "There were so many people talking about it last year, when we didn’t get the extension done. It was all really up in the air. I didn’t really know where I’d end up."

Now Hayward says he and his new bride can start house shopping, thanks to Utah's decision to a match a four-year $63-million max deal.

"I think the commitment shows how much the Jazz believe in me, and what they think I mean to their franchise," Hayward wrote. "That’s a really good feeling for me, knowing that they stand behind me. To be able to play there at least another three or four years and be one of their centerpieces is something I’m looking forward to.

"I was told that they see me and Derrick Favors as two of the guys they can lean on, and build the franchise around. They appreciate that I do a lot of things for them, and I think they like the fact that, for both Favors and I, this will be our fifth year. We’re still improving, we’re still young players, but at the same time we have some experience."

You can read the full letter here.

— Aaron Falk



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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