Burgeoning Utah Jazz superstar Gordon Hayward suffered a grade-one right shoulder sprain injury during Saturday’s 114-110 victory over the Pacers at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The 6-foot-8, 210 pound Hayward, who the Jazz (24-20) snagged out of Butler University with the ninth pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, was hurt in the final minute of overtime after getting knotted with a Pacer.
Fortunately for Utah and their supporters, the 22-year-old prodigy’s X-rays were negative and Hayward is currently listed as day-to-day.
Middling amongst wannabe contenders in the Northwest Division, Utah has zero chance to make a genuine impact in the playoffs this spring.
If Hayward is shelved for any significant amount of time, the Jazz are finished and pointless to watch.
Granted, much of the former Bulldog’s allure stems from the fact that Hayward is one of the rare Caucasian Americans playing in the NBA today.
Nevertheless, regardless of skin tone, Hayward, who came within a pubic hair of leading Butler over Duke in the 2010 National Championship game, is an absolute stud averaging 13.5 points, 2.5 assists and 2.9 rebounds over 44 games.
As a youngster with tremendous basketball smarts, athleticism, ball handling skills, and versatility, Hayward is a kid worth monitoring.
Within three seasons, don’t be shocked if Gordon Hayward is one of the truly elite players in the NBA.by