Hayward won't play for Team USA in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Jody Genessy of Deseret News reports. Hayward joins a long list of players electing not to play this summer, including the likes of Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, Kawhi Leonard and Andre Drummond. Instead, Hayward will train on his own and hope to continue to improve his game after posting a career-high 19.7 points per game this past year. The 2016-17 season could be the Jazz's first playoff appearance since 2012, but that will largely depend on Hayward's performance.
Hayward managed to play in a career-high 80 games this season while averaging 36.2 minutes per contest. Hayward remained one of the most consistent options around the league yet again during his sixth year in the league, posting career-best averages of 19.7 points and 1.8 three pointers. With two years remaining on his current contract and almost everyone joining him again next season, the 26-year-old will be poised to challenge all his career highs during the 2015-16 season while trying to help Utah make the playoffs for the first time since 2012, his second year in the league.
Hayward recorded 26 points (11-21 FG, 1-9 3Pt, 3-4 FT), six rebounds, four assists, and one block in 40 minutes during Monday's loss to the Mavericks. Hayward has returned to his scoring ways after some rocky contests in mid-March. The Butler product has now scored 20 points in three consecutive game while averaging 9.3 rebounds during that span. The Jazz are locked in a tight battle for the remaining playoff seeds in the West so expect guard to be looking for his shot in the season finale.
Hayward had 22 points (8-16 FG, 2-6 3Pt, 4-4 FT), nine rebounds, five assists, two steals, and one block in 36 minutes during the Jazz's 100-84 win against the Nuggets on Sunday. Hayward didn't commit a single turnover while leading the Jazz to a short-handed win with Derrick Favors (knee soreness) sidelined. Monday's matchup versus the Mavericks will be treated as a must-win game by both teams, and Dallas might not have an answer for Hayward at small forward minus Chandler Parsons (knee). Hayward has also been heating up lately, with averages of 20.4 points (48.0 FG, 30.4 3Pt, 82.1 FT), 7.2 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.4 threes, 1.2 steals, and 0.6 blocks in 38 minutes over the last five contests.
Hayward totaled 24 points (8-17 FG, 3-5 3Pt, 5-7 FT), 13 rebounds, five assists and a block over 46 minutes in Friday's 102-99 overtime loss to the Clippers. The veteran forward did also turn the ball over seven times, but given the amount of time he spent on the court, it's almost excusable. Hayward handled the ball extensively, and provided one of his best all-around games of the season. The six-year pro now has over 20 points in three of the first four games in April, and is averaging 20.0 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 0.5 blocks and 1.0 steals over that span.
Rank Among Leaders
Last 7 Games
|3 Year Avg||75||415||43.0||102||35.8||310||81.8||1243||16.57||28.5|