The Phoenix Suns haven’t made any free agency moves, giving a strong indication the franchise attacked this offseason with something close to a LeBron-or-bust scheme. But according to the Charlotte Observer’s Rick Bonnell, Phoenix wasn’t counting Eric Bledsoe as the only other max contract they would consider signing.
A source tells the Observer Gordon Hayward intended to visit with the Phoenix Suns before agreeing to Hornets’ max offer. @paulcoro
— Rick Bonnell (@rick_bonnell) July 9, 2014
There were indications and educated guesses that linked the Suns to Hayward. He is, after all, a familiar player to coach Jeff Hornacek. But instead, Hayward decided that he’d sign an offer sheet with the Charlotte Hornets. Whatever the case may be, it would be surprising for the Utah Jazz not to match the offer and retain their restricted free agent. The market is now between those two teams.
The Hornets will reportedly offer Hayward a four-year, $63 million deal, which isn’t as surprising as many think. It has been projected all along he would see the same kind of money as Bledsoe, Phoenix’s own restricted free agent.
That Hayward was to visit Phoenix indicates the Suns might not be set on filling out the roster with value contracts and standing pat if they can’t land James. Chandler Parsons is bound to receive a major pay-day and the Suns could have interest, but most every team with a lot of money to spend is after him, Dallas, Cleveland and Houston included.
It could make Suns fans wonder “what if?” What if Hayward had met with Phoenix before Charlotte? What would they have offered him?
All of that might not matter though. The Jazz have every reason — and seemingly every intention — to match.