By the end of last season, Gordon Hayward had worked his way into the starting lineup of the Utah Jazz. While there had been questions about Hayward when the forward came out of Butler, he had proven to be a solid starter on a good Jazz team, providing 11.8 points a game and scoring from three and inside.
Now he enters his third year — when a lot of players make a leap in performance levels — and he has set big goals for himself. Really big goals, he told the Deseret News.
“I think I’ve shown that I belong in the league. It’s something that you work for and you work towards,” Hayward said. “Now I think I know that I belong and everything. Now you push yourself even further, try and become an All-Star. That’s definitely a goal of mine, but I think first and foremost I think if we were to win games that will help that out.”Hayward is a ways away from All-Star status — last year his improvements moved him up to solid NBA player. His PER was right at the league average. He got to the line more last year and dished out more assists, but as he took on more of the offensive load his shooting percentages dropped (he went from 47 percent from three as a rookie to 34 percent last year). Hayward needs to adjust.
I like that sets the goal, and he’s right about this — to get noticed not only is he going to have to improve but the Jazz are going to have to win more games. Team success is part of the equation. But good luck.
alh1020: You’re probably thinking “Big whoop – why should I care what a Jazz player’s goal is this year?” But I have a different angle on it – I think we (the Spurs) should help young Gordon attain his goal. But in order for Hayward to get there, someone along that Jazz frontline has to make a big sacrifice by either: giving up big playing time minutes this year or packing their bags and going to another team who wants him. I’m sorry to have harped on this again as I did in an earlier thread, but the Jazz have cultivated a nice parcel of big men in Derrick Favors, Al Jefferson, Enes Kanter and Paul Milsap and I really think the Spurs could package a deal to pry one of them away. I don't know how the numbers would work but the Jazz might need 3-point shooters which we have, in abundance. Unless Pop and RC are committed to playing small ball, I think we should get another big guy. I like either Derrick Favors or Kanter, mainly because of their age and upside.
Related link: Raja Bell would play for the Heat? if Jazz buy him out | ProBasketballTalk
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