Utah Jazz: Top free agents to target if Gordon Hayward leaves

Gordon Hayward of the Utah Jazz (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)
Gordon Hayward of the Utah Jazz (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images) /
4 of 5

Rudy Gay, Sacramento Kings

Rudy Gay had one of his most efficient seasons of his NBA career last season.

His scoring average was right on par with his career average, but he finally stopped shooting mid-range jumpers, and instead took a quarter of his shots from three. He also made those shots at a 37.2 percent rate.

At age 30, he was able to prove that not just young players can improve. That you can teach an old dog new tricks. Based on his performance last season, you would think he would be a hot commodity this off-season.

Then he tore his Achilles 30 games into last season.

Ryan Aston of The J Notes explained the situation well:

"The concerns with Gay are age and injury. His 2016-17 campaign was shortened by a torn Achilles tendon in January and he’ll be 31 years old before the start of next season. That’s not a good combination for a player entering free agency or for teams looking to sign him."

With many teams shying away from Gay, Utah may benefit from being able to get him on a less expensive contract for one to two years.

If he can overcome his injury, the Jazz would be able to get an extremely capable scorer who can easily switch between both the three and the four positions. He has been extremely consistent in his offense throughout his career. Since his second year in the league, he has never scored less than 17.2 points per game, or more than 21.1.

It would be nice if they can get the scoring, but the Jazz would be happy if he scored less and remained an efficient offensive weapon who can be a go-to scorer in the clutch.