Utah Jazz Signs First Round Pick Gordon Hayward
Utah Jazz general manager Kevin O’Connor announced today that the team has signed forward Gordon Hayward, the ninth overall selection in the 2010 NBA Draft, and that Jeremy Evans, the 55th overall selection, will play on the Jazz summer league entry. Per team policy, financial terms were not released.
Hayward and Evans are expected to participate in the Jazz’s mini-camp in preparation for the 2010 Orlando Pro Summer League. Camp is being held at RDV SportsPlex in Maitland, Fla., and will run through Sunday, July 4. Hayward and Evans will then make their professional debuts when the Jazz opens its Orlando Pro Summer League schedule vs. Charlotte at 11 a.m. MT on July 5.
In the 2009-10 season, Hayward, a 6-8, 207-pound forward, was named the Horizon League Player of the Year after leading Butler to its first ever NCAA Final Four and the 2010 National Championship Game. The 20-year-old sophomore posted 12 points and a team-high eight rebounds in that game, a 61-59 loss to Duke. Prior to the Final Four, Hayward posted game-highs of 22 points and nine rebounds in a win over Kansas State in the championship game of the West Regional, hosted at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City.
Hayward was chosen to the 2010 Final Four All-Tournament Team, selected as the Most Outstanding Player of the West Regional and was named a finalist for the Naismith Trophy. He ranked in the top five in the Horizon League in scoring (15.5 points) and rebounding (8.2 rebounds) and led the league in double-doubles with 12. As a freshman, he was named the Horizon League Newcomer of the Year and named to the Foxsports.com National All-Freshman Team after averaging 13.1 points and 6.5 rebounds a game.
In the 2009-10 season, Evans, a 6-9, 196-pound forward, appeared in 34 games (all starts) for the Hilltoppers, averaging 10.0 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game. He led the Sun Belt Conference in field goal percentage (64.9) his senior season and leaves Western Kentucky as the school’s all-time field goal percentage leader at .693. He also finished his four-year WKU career as the school’s all-time leader in blocked shots (224).
The 22-year-old became just the second player in WKU history with 1,000 points, 750 rebounds and 200 blocks and was honored with the Danny Rumph Outstanding Teammate Award. As a sophomore, he was named the Most Valuable Player of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament, following his averages of 13.0 points and 7.3 rebounds per game while shooting 78.9 percent (15-of-19) from the floor.