This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
A fan-funded campaign to buy a billboard asking Gordon Hayward, who will be a free agent this summer, to stay in Utah reached it's $5,000 goal Friday.
The efforts made a positive impression on Hayward even before that milestone had been hit.
"It's pretty amazing," Hayward said at the team's shootaround Friday morning. "I think it's really cool. I think it's also cool that the guy said however much they get over they would donate to the cause that I tweeted about. I think that's pretty sweet, too. So it's exciting."
Hayward can opt out of his contract in July and, after his first all-star campaign, seems destined for a max contract.
Asked if the billboard would have some influence on his decision, Hayward smiled and said it would.
"Will it have any influence? Of course it will have influence," Hayward said. "It's always nice to be loved."