I’m rooting for Chuck Hayes. I’m going to let go my feelings of ineptitude on the Maloofs part. It’s simply not something that I have any control over. So, it’s usually best to understand that, while you can want what you want, when it’s in the hands of others that’s the way it is.
Can Hayes reach Cousins head? Can Hayes benefit from playing PF a whole lot more often? Can Hayes benefit by playing with younger talented teammates who certainly would benefit from Hayes’ wisdom?
Chuck Hayes, like I said on Twitter, is the best you’re going to get as a backup backup plan. He’s not a sexy name, and his game is even less sexy to boot. He’s a blue collar hard hat type of guy who took the opportunity to get a large contract due to the situation. (Chuck Hayes is absolutely one of the major winners of this off-season.)
As far as Hayes talents go on the court? He’s a rugged physical defender who is adept in getting opponents heads. Can he stop Blake Griffin, Amare Stoudemire, or all the other high scoring PF’s in the NBA right now? No. But nobody can, and what Hayes certainly can do is make it more difficult and not to mention painful to score.
Chuck Hayes used to have one of the worst FT strokes in the history of the NBA. But after bottoming out at a ridiculous 37% (not a typo), Hayes has improved his stroke to 48% and 52% last season. Hayes had a career season at 7.1 points and 8.2 rebounds last year. Hayes also played 2000 minutes for the first time (and maybe 1 of multiple times) in his career a year ago.
If you were going to miss out on the bigger names, a consolation prize of Chuck Hayes is not a bad way to go. Hayes is a smart, hard working, non coach killing type of player who will do what he asks. He’s a veteran who, as I’ve mentioned a couple days ago, has stuck around for 6 seasons where big men who are picked in the top 10 of the draft are gone within 3 seasons. Hayes is a survivor (in basketball terms), and managed to carve out a niche in the right way for himself.
I suspect the Chuckwagon will endear himself to Kings fans as he did to Rockets fans for 6 years. ALL ABOARD THE CHUCKWAGON!
(Yes, I actually like Chuck Hayes. I’m not disappointing in signing him.) UPDATE: Via Greg Wissinger of Inside Out Game: