Jazz Moving On From Hayward, But Timing Is ‘Problematic’

By KAREEM COPELAND, AP Sports Writer

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey hasn’t spoken with Gordon Hayward since the All-Star announced he was heading to the Boston Celtics. The two have texted back and forth, however.

Lindsey wouldn’t lament Hayward’s choice to take Boston’s $128 million offer, understanding that it’s a personal decision that was made. But the process has left the Jazz in a bit of a bind. There were contingency plans in place in case Hayward left, but most available marquee players had made their decisions before Tuesday.

“Timing has been problematic,” Lindsey said Wednesday. “It’s time for us to pivot. It’s time for us to move on. We like our young group and we think we’re going to keep the defensive integrity.

“There’s not as many prospects left on the board because of the timing. So we’ll take a look at it, prospects at every level.”

Things took a bizarre turn Tuesday as early reports had Hayward going to Boston, but his agent later put out a statement that the decision had not been made. Hours later, it was announced through a Hayward-written post on The Players’ Tribune .

Lindsey declined to address the way it was handled or the way he was informed.

“There’s probably a few adjectives there,” Lindsey said. “That may be a conversation for a later date.”

The Jazz are losing 21.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game and their lone All-Star that helped return the team to the playoffs for the first time since 2012.

“Certainly we will miss Gordon and his many contributions to our team, but I always tell our players that ‘adversity is opportunity in disguise,'” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said in a statement. “This is one of those moments and we need to live those words. We have a roster of young, talented and resilient players. I am confident that together we will accept this challenge while continuing to strive toward our goal of individual and collective improvement.

“To further lament Gordon’s departure does not honor the commitment we have to our current players.”

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WAITERS STAYS IN MIAMI

Dion Waiters and the Miami Heat agreed on a four-year deal Wednesday, according to a person with knowledge of the negotiations. The deal is worth a maximum of $52 million, provided all incentives are met, said the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because nothing can be finalized until at least Thursday under league rules.

Waiters averaged 15.8 points in 46 games last season for the Heat. He was a significant part of how Miami turned its season around after an 11-30 start, going 30-11 in the second half.

The Heat were 27-19 when Waiters played, 14-22 when he did not.

___
AP Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds contributed to this report.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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