MIAMI — It looks like the Heat won’t have to wait long to make their free-agent pitch to forward Gordon Hayward.
Hayward’s free-agent schedule includes a Saturday meeting with the Heat, according to Tony Jones from The Salt Lake Tribune. The Jazz will have their chance to meet with Hayward on Monday to try to convince him to stay in Utah.
The Celtics are expected to get the third meeting with Hayward before he makes his free-agent decision. According to The Salt Lake Tribune, Hayward “wants to take his meetings, and make a decision in short order.”
The NBA free-agency negotiation period begins at midnight on Saturday morning, with the signing period set to start at noon on July 6.
The Heat are expected to have about $35 million in cap space this offseason under the new salary cap projection of $99 million. Signing Hayward to a maximum contract would eat up $29.7 million of the Heat’s cap space, leaving them with about $5 million remaining to spend.
Outside teams can offer Hayward a maximum of four seasons, and the Jazz are allowed to offer a five-year contract to retain their free agent.
There are still some details regarding the Heat’s meeting with Hayward that are unknown like the location and individuals involved. The Heat were represented by team president Pat Riley, owner Micky Arison, CEO Nick Arison, general manager Andy Elisburg, team executive Alonzo Mourning, and head coach Erik Spoelstra in last summer’s free-agent meeting with Kevin Durant in the Hamptons in New York.