Today is question 7 of 20 questions to Jazz camp. If you have a question please submit it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or via twitter @lockedonsports or facebook Locked on Sports
QUESTION 7 –Will Gordon Hayward’s role on the offense change in year 3?
This is the beauty of having an entire training camp for head coach Tyrone Corbin. He will be able to work with, experiment with and develop all the elements of Gordon Hayward’s game.
When the Jazz drafted Gordon they talked regularly about his ability to make other players better. A lot of that is predicated off playing with the ball.
Year 3 is the traditional big jump year for a wing player. Gordon took a huge jump from year 1 to year 2 going from 5 pts a game to 12 pts a game and averaging 3.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists. Most impressively, Hayward’s per minute production was way up from his rookie year.
In the second half of the season Hayward may have revealed the next step. After March 1st Gordon scored double figures on 23 if his final 31 games and 14 of 15 before the final night of the season when he played 7 minutes.
After March 1st, Gordon averaged 14 pts shot 48% and 44% from three. He added 4 rebounds and 3 assist a game to those numbers. On March 20th last year Tyrone re-inserted Gordon in the starting line-up and for the final 20 games of the year the 2nd year player jumped to 16 pts on 47% shooting and 44% from 3 while adding 5 reboudns and 3.75 assists.
If Hayward can follow up with those types of numbers for an entire season it would be a nice jump.
For Gordon to take the next step to an all-star caliber player he will need to become better finishing on his own. Last year, Gordon made huge strides in his in between game, shooting 43% (8 % pts better than rookie year) from 3 to 9 feet, he jumped to 52% on his 10 to 15 footers (38% his rookie year) and most of these were unassisted.
This shows Gordon learned how to score in the NBA and where he could create his opportunities. The next step is on the pick and roll.
At the end of his rookie campaign Gordon began to show signs playing with the ball off a side pick and roll. However, last year that never developed in the same manner.
According to Synergy Sports, last year Gordon struggled on the pick and roll when he had the ball in his hand. When he ran the pick and roll and finished with the ball in his hand he turned the ball over on 24% as a rookie and it jumped to 30% in his second year . When the ball finished in his hand he scored on just 28% of the plays in both his rookie year and his second year.
Those numbers are a bit misleading because they don’t discuss Gordon making the correct pass and moving the ball to the player who finishes the play. More detailed research would be needed to really evaluate Gordon running the pick and roll.
If Gordon adds the ability to finish off the pick and roll next year that will create a substantial jump in his offensive production. The addition of three point shooters on the floor when he runs the pick and roll may open the floor giving Gordon a better chance.