Without a doubt the interview that was most anticipated just so happened to be that of the guy whose offseason decisions will be the most intriguing and impactful for the Jazz – Gordon Hayward. His impending free agency has been well chronicled and his choice to either stay with the Jazz or go elsewhere could very well change the course of this franchise for years to come.
As such, many of his interview questions were centered around trying to get a revealing response out of him, but for the most part Gordon kept his answers vague and generic, repeating that free agency had been far from his mind during the season and that in no way had he thought enough about it to have arrived to a decision just yet.
While I don’t doubt that there’s a lot of truth to that and that focusing on his play and the success of his team has taken priority, I’m sure that thoughts of what he’s going to do this offseason have crossed his mind. His interview was full of praise for Utah as he has stated all season long, but he also made it quite clear that he’s going to review all the options and look to see what other teams are offering before he makes a final decision.
Still, one has to think that with how well the Jazz played this year, Hayward has to have a lot of incentive to stay put and continue to build what he’s been such a huge part of.
I loved in his interview when he talked about the 25-win season, the blowout losses and the sleepless nights that occurred early in his career and how much of a grind it was for him to power through that and help the team get where it ended up this year. Hayward has certainly faced adversity with the Jazz and it would be a shame to see him leave that all behind just as the times were getting good.
Again, Gordon did a great job of masking any specific intentions in his interview, but overall he gave plenty of reasons for Jazz fans to be optimistic about his chances of returning to Utah next year.