The summer of 2017 was a huge tragedy for the Utah Jazz after losing the face of the franchise, Gordon Hayward. In the 2017 NBA free agency, Hayward decided to leave the Jazz and signed a four-year, $127.8 million contract with the Boston Celtics.
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the Jazz didn’t only lose their best player, but it also took away their opportunity to land another superstar in the free agency market – Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors. Like Gordon Hayward, Lowry was also one of the most coveted free agents during the 2017 NBA offseason. Before Lowry re-signed with the Raptors, the Jazz were reportedly confident that had a strong chance of landing the superstar point guard.
Unfortunately, instead of aggressively pursuing Kyle Lowry, the Jazz decided to remain patient and waited for Gordon Hayward to make his free agency decision.
“The Jazz traded for Ricky Rubio, but he wasn’t the only point guard the Jazz were considering. Besides the incumbent starter, George Hill, according to multiple Tribune sources, the Jazz spoke extensively to Toronto point guard Kyle Lowry’s representatives about bringing the All-Star point guard to Utah. After those discussions, the Jazz felt confident about their ability to land Lowry, but chose to pull out of any potential deal because signing Lowry would have required cap space earmarked for the Hayward [deal].”
— The Crossover (@TheCrossover) November 11, 2018
As of now, it’s intriguing to know what could have happened if the Jazz succeeded to sign Kyle Lowry in the 2017 NBA free agency. The Jazz might already have their own “Big Three” of Lowry, Donovan Mitchell, and Rudy Gobert that could give them a better chance of challenging the reigning NBA champions, Golden State Warriors, for the Western Conference supremacy. After spending the past years playing alongside DeMar DeRozan in Toronto, Lowry won’t definitely have a hard time building a good chemistry with Mitchell.
Lowry’s departure would also have a huge effect on the Raptors. Without him on their roster, it remains questionable if the Raptors would still consider trading DeMar DeRozan to the San Antonio Spurs in exchange for Kawhi Leonard. So far, both the Jazz and the Raptors are doing good in the 2018-19 NBA season and expected to earn a playoff spot in their respective conferences.
Meanwhile, Gordon Hayward’s first year with the Celtics didn’t end well after he suffered a season-ending injury. Hayward has already returned on the court this season, but he is yet to regain his All-Star form. In 12 games he played, Hayward is averaging 9.9 points and 5.5 rebounds on 39.6 percent shooting from the field and 31.9 percent from beyond the arc.