Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward will likely exercise a player option at the end of the season and become a free agent. Needless to say, Jazz fans are anxious about keeping their superstar. Some have even gone to the point of raising money for a billboard, urging Hayward to stay.
“We as fans have been patient with this rebuild to get to this point. Hayward and Gobert are the core of what could be a great team in coming years. Let’s show Gordon how much he means to this city and fan base,” the GoFundMe reads. “There is a billboard between the practice facility and the Vivint Smart Home Arena that we can rent for the entire month of May, which is perfect as the season will be winding down and free agency will be close to starting.”
$1,335 has already been raised at the time of this post, with $5,000 being the ultimate goal. The billboard, should it come to fruition, will read “STAYWARD,” a play on Hayward’s name. It’s not the first time there have been billboards urging a player to stay in a city. The Los Angeles Lakers used “StayD12” billboards in the summer of 2013 as part of their ill-fated campaign to keep Dwight Howard in purple and gold.
However, this is an effort by the fans, not the team itself. Hayward is expected to receive a max deal in free agency this summer with the Boston Celtics among potential bidders. If Hayward were to make an All-NBA team, he would be eligible to receive a so-called super-max contract from the Jazz after the 2017-18 season, which would likely cement his future in Salt Lake City.