Gordy’s All-Star Season?
Gordy Hayward of the Utah Jazz is quietly putting together his best season in his young NBA career. The seven year pro is averaging a career high in points (22.2 ppg), rebounds (5.9 rpg), and free-throws made/attempted (6-6.8). He is also shooting his best field goal percentage since his rookie year, when he only shot four times a game I might add. Is this Gordy’s year to finally be solidified as a star and be selected to the All-Star team?
The acquisition of George Hill has helped the Jazz team out tremendously but he has also been a huge reason for Hayward’s numbers increasing. Last season when young guard Dante Exum tore his ACL in the offseason the Jazz were left with very few options at point guard on their roster. An underperforming Trey Burke and Hayward’s college teammate Sheldon Mack were left. With the hole at the position Gordy took over most of the ball handling duties.
Hayward filled the role better then expected but his numbers suffered. His assists went down as well as his shooting percentage dropping. This season with Hill leading the offense Hayward PER has skyrocketed. Hayward’s 22.7 is the 6th best PER among small forward in the NBA ahead of team USA members Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, and Harrison Barnes. Only Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard have a better PER in the Western conference amongst small forwards.
So is this Hayward’s All-Star season? With the 12 spots available on the roster, 9 of them are almost guaranteed taken with Steph Curry, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Demarcus Cousins, Kawhi Leonard, Anthony Davis, Chris Paul, and Marc Gasol. Klay Thompson will likely take the 10th spot, so that leaves only two spots open with a lot of talent left.
The Blazer guards in Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum both have good arguments for one of those spots, but do they deserve an All-Star with the lack of team success they are having? Draymond Green is also in the argument but it will be tough to get a 4th Warrior on the team. You also have DeAndre Jordan who looks like he may get the nod for his 1st All-Star game with the triumphant season he’s having on both ends of the court.
The team success the Jazz are having to go along with the player/coaches voting may lead to Hayward getting the nod. More big games like he had recently against the Cavs(28pts 10-12fg 9reb) will surely help the cause. Whether he makes the team or not one thing is forsure, when he becomes a free agent this summer he will be another player added to the list of a hundred plus million dollar contracts.