Morning links: Gordon Hayward ranked No. 33 in Slam Top 50; Steve Smith Sr. still a playmaker

Slam online is in the middle of releasing its Top 50 NBA players and Gordon Hayward came in at No. 33.

Of Hayward’s growth as a player, Bill DiFilippo writes, “He has gone from a wiry, dangerous scorer who ate up rebounds at Butler to one of the craftiest scorers in the NBA. There are few basketball players with a more well-rounded offensive game than the Jazz’s small forward.”

“Hayward put all of these skills on display in 2015-16, and in turn, he had his best scoring season as a pro. He dropped 19.7 points per game for the Jazz, who are everyone’s favorite young team this year thanks to guys like Hayward, Rudy Gobert, Derrick Favors and Rodney Hood,” continued DiFilippo.

“If Hayward reaches his ceiling, at least offensively, he’ll become one of the best players in the NBA. He’s absolutely capable of doing this, especially with the collection of young talent around him in Utah.”

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