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The Utah Jazz, with less than a week to go before the league deadline, remain in talks with swingman Gordon Hayward on a contract extension, according to sources close to the process.
The Jazz already have struck a deal with big man Derrick Favors and have until 11:59 p.m. ET on Oct. 31 to come to terms on an extension with Hayward or see the player widely regarded in Utah as the next face of the franchise become a restricted free agent in July.
Sources told ESPN.com that Hayward remains likely to land an extension before the deadline, with negotiations expected to pick up in pace this weekend after the team returns from a weeklong road trip in Southern California.
Official numbers on Favors' extension obtained by ESPN.com show that 2010's No. 3 overall pick received a four-year deal that guarantees just more than $47.7 million. Sources indicate Hayward's deal could still wind up worth more than Favors' contract, given the strong interest leaguewide in the former Butler star and the fears in Utah that Hayward would attract even more lucrative offer sheets in free agency from rival bidders next summer if he gets that far.
In the latest example of the reverence opposing teams have for the size, versatility and shooting ability Hayward possesses, Clippers coach Doc Rivers said Wednesday of 2010's ninth overall pick: "I have a man crush on that guy. He's really good."
Five players from the 2010 draft have received extensions since July 1. Washington's John Wall and Indiana's Paul George landed five-year max extensions that are expected to exceed $80 million. Sacramento's DeMarcus Cousins received a four-year max extension worth in excess of $60 million. And Milwaukee's Larry Sanders, similar to Favors' range, scored a four-year deal worth $44 million.
|The Jazz remain in talks with Gordon Hayward on a contract extension, according to sources.|
Other 2010 draftees besides Hayward who remain alive for deals before next Thursday's deadline include Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe, Memphis Grizzlies forward Ed Davis and Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley.
New Suns general manager Ryan McDonough publicly acknowledged Wednesday for the first time, in an interview with 620 AM in Phoenix, that negotiations with Bledsoe's camp were going "pretty well."
"If we're not able to work out a deal [by Thursday], we'll start next summer with Eric as a restricted free agent, but obviously we're hoping to get something done before that," McDonough told 620 AM's "Burns & Gambo Show."
ESPN reported earlier this week that the Grizzlies and Davis have likewise been discussing an extension this month. And Celtics president Danny Ainge, after saying earlier this month that a new deal with Bradley would "most likely" not happen until the summer, told reporters Thursday that the sides were still in talks and did not rule out an extension before next week's deadline.
The knowledge that any player eligible for an extension this month can become a restricted free agent in July only if passed over -- giving the incumbent team every opportunity to match whatever the open market brings -- has helped drop the average number of extensions every October to six for the past five draft classes starting with 2005.
Eight members of the 2009 draft's first-rounders scored extensions before last season's Halloween deadline: Blake Griffin, James Harden, Ty Lawson, Jrue Holiday, Stephen Curry, DeMar DeRozan, Taj Gibson and Serge Ibaka, who was actually drafted in 2008 but gets lumped in with the 2009 class because he didn't have an NBA contract until the 2009-10 season.