Jazz’ Hayward, Suns’ Bledsoe Will Become Restricted Free Agents
(NEW YORK) — The deadline to extend first-round picks from the 2010 Draft has come and gone, and Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward as well as Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe were unable to agree on new contracts and will now be restricted free agents in the offseason.
The deadline was set for 11:59 p.m. ET and even though both Hayward and Bledsoe have been productive in their NBA careers, the Jazz and Suns are willing to take the chance that they’ll be able to resign them this summer.
Just six members of the 2010 Draft received contract extensions: Washington’s John Wall, Indiana’s Paul George, Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins, Utah’s Derrick Favors, Milwaukee’s Larry Sanders, and Memphis’ Quincy Pondexter.
While Hayward has improved each season in the NBA, the Jazz apparently want to see if he can truly carry the offensive load now that Al Jefferson and Paul Milsap have left the team via free agency.
The 23-year-old Hayward has averaged 10.4 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game.
The Suns are taking a similar approach with Bledsoe, who is in his first season with the team. He’s been mostly a bench player during his career, but is expected to flourish with an expanded role.
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