Cavaliers host free-agent small forward Gordon Hayward

Published:

Staff and wire reports

Reports surfaced on Wednesday that the Cleveland Cavaliers were pursuing free-agent small forward Gordon Hayward and hosted him for a visit on Wednesday.

Hayward was drafted by the Utah Jazz with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2010 draft and has played the last four seasons in Salt Lake City. His year-by-year scoring averages have risen from 5.4 points per game as a rookie to 16.2 last season in his first full year as a starter. He averaged 11.8 points in his second season and 14.1 in year three.

Cleveland can clear as much as $20 million in salary cap space and reportedly are prepared to offer Hayward a contract that starts at about $15 million per season.

Gordon (6-foot-8, 207 pounds) played at Butler University and was a key member of the Bulldogs' 2010 NCAA Tournament national championship runner-up team.

If he were to sign with the Cavaliers, he would be the team's projected starter at small forward, with recently drafted Andrew Wiggins (6-8) starting at shooting guard and joining All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving in the backcourt.

The Cavs' big free-agent hopes were the return of LeBron James, but the team has been unsuccessful in even securing a meeting with the four-time league MVP.

While Hayward and Cleveland can reach a verbal agreement on a deal, no offer sheets can be signed until July 10.

In related news, Cavs forward C.J. Miles agreed to a four-year contract with the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday.

The deal was reportedly set at $18 million.

In 51 games with Cleveland last season, Miles averaged 9.9 points per game before missing the close of the year with a severe ankle sprain.

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