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Jazz, Gordon Hayward far apart in extension talks

Adrian Wojnarowski
Yahoo Sports

As the deadline for Class of 2010 contract extensions looms at midnight on Friday, the Utah Jazz and forward Gordon Hayward remain far apart in discussions, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Talks are expected to pick up this week, but there's nothing resembling even the baseline for an agreement in place, sources told Yahoo.

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Gordon Hayward, right, averaged 14.1 points for the Jazz last season. (AP)

Discussions could push all the way to the final hours of the Oct. 31 deadline.

The Jazz have re-signed Derrick Favors to a four-year, $47 million-plus extension and have been in talks with Hayward's agent, Mark Bartelstein, on a proposed deal. So far, there's been little progress or momentum, but many of these deals need the pressure of a deadline to get sides to move.

The Jazz will have the right to match an offer sheet on Hayward in restricted free agency next summer and need to weigh how much more it could cost the franchise to ultimately retain him should he hit the open market.

Two teams with ample salary-cap space have head coaches – Boston's Brad Stevens and Phoenix's Jeff Hornacek – who have history with Hayward and think highly of his talent. Stevens coached Hayward at Butler University, and Hornacek was a Jazz assistant coach before taking over the Suns.

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Hayward could get an early termination option and trade kicker as part of an offer sheet next summer, factors beyond his salary that would make it more appealing for the Jazz to find a way to get a deal done before restricted free agency.

Nevertheless, Utah executives Kevin O'Connor and Dennis Lindsey are unlikely to make a deal out of fear of a rival overpaying Hayward on the market. Hayward remains a valued commodity for the Jazz, a player the franchise expects to be a centerpiece for years to come. The question is always, at what price?

For teams with salary-cap space, the belief is typically that they have to pay a player above his market value to have a chance at a team refusing to match an offer sheet – or offering the opportunity to move him in a sign-and-trade deal.

Hayward, 23, averaged 14.1 points and 3.1 rebounds last season. His stats could suffer this season with the Jazz so limited at the point guard position. Rookie Trey Burke will be sidelined for several weeks with a broken finger, and Utah plans to use a combination of John Lucas III and freshly signed Jamaal Tinsley.

Through five preseason games, Hayward has averaged 18 points and five assists.

For Hayward to turn down a four-year deal worth $40 million-plus, he'd risk the possibility of an injury this season that could impact his earning power as a restricted free agent in July 2014.

Hayward was the ninth overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft.

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