Utah Jazz: Favors, Hayward put contract extension out of mind
Las Vegas • While Derrick Favors and Gordon Hayward are playing for their Team USA lives this week, one other summer activity looms large over both of their heads.
Whether they will be signing contract extensions anytime soon.
Both Favors and Hayward are entering their fourth seasons with the Utah Jazz and are eligible for extensions that would lock them up for many years and keep them off the free-agency market next summer.
Hayward and Favors are very aware of these factors, but said Tuesday they're blocking them out for now and that they would prefer to remain with the Jazz.
"I know what the deal is for sure," said Hayward, the Jazz's leading returning scorer, "but for me it's just something I try not to worry about. Ultimately, I don't really control that. That's why you hire an agent and you try to get a good one and you let your play do the talking."
The Jazz can sign both through the 2018 season, or, using a provision of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, could make one a designated player and sign him through 2019.
Favors said he has watched closely what kinds of contracts other players have received.
"It's a job," he said. "It's money. You want every penny."
Reached on Tuesday by The Tribune, Jazz General Manager Dennis Lindsey declined to comment on the possibility of extending the contract of either player.
The Jazz have very deliberately not committed significant money beyond next season with their acquisitions this offseason. Next summer, Enes Kanter and Alec Burks will be up for their own extensions.
If the players do not receive extensions before their rookie contracts expire, the Jazz will extend qualifying offers and, most likely, Favors and Hayward would become restricted free agents next July meaning the Jazz could match any offer.
Hayward laughed when reminded that there is a perception he could be lost in free agency to his hometown Indiana Pacers or the Boston Celtics, where his college coach, Brad Stevens, recently took over.
"You've got to look at it as a realistic point of view, you know?" he said. "You never know what's going to happen. But Salt Lake, I would love to have that be my home."
Favors, too, said his preference is to remain with the Jazz. The No. 3 pick in the 2010 draft was traded to Utah as a centerpiece of the deal that sent Deron Williams to the then-New Jersey Nets.
"I like Salt Lake," he said. "I like the front office, I like my teammates, I like the coaching staff, too. I like the people in Salt Lake. I hope whenever the extension talks begin we come to an agreement."