ESPN analyst and one-time NBA Coach of the Year Avery Johnson likes what he sees when it comes to the long-term potential of the Utah Jazz, and the strides the team's young core has taken this year.
That's one of the reasons he thinks it's critical the Jazz bring back fourth-year swingman Gordon Hayward, a restricted free agent at the end of this season.
"He's what I call a valuable asset. The worst thing you can do with a valuable asset is allow a valuable asset to walk without any compensation," Johnson told The Tribune this week. "The best thing to do is to retain their services. I'm hopeful that he and the Jazz can work something out contractually this summer. … It's hard to allow [coaches] to put 3-4 years into a young man like that and just allow him to sign an offer sheet and leave. Look at what happened to Wes Matthews [who left Utah for Portland after one season]. I think if the Jazz could do that one over again, they probably wouldn't allow Wes to leave."