The rumors are now reality. Modesto Christian alum Chuck Hayes has signed with the Sacramento Kings. (Video courtesy of Kings.com)
Kings President of Basketball of Operations Geoff Petrie on the move via press release:
“Chuck Hayes brings a tremendous amount of professionalism and competitive spirit to the team,” said Petrie. “He’s been a winner everywhere he’s been. I really look forward to watching him add to our team defensively, his ability to pass the ball, move the ball and be a real stabilizing force out on the court. We feel lucky to have him. We look forward to watching him play with all of his new teammates.”
Kings Head Coach Paul Westphal on the signing via press release:
“Chuck is a player who knows how to help his team win basketball games,” said Kings’ head coach Paul Westphal. “It was paramount for us to add a player like Chuck who is a young veteran who can play defense and has experience winning. He’s a great ball-mover. In a lot of ways, he’s a point guard from the center position. I think his addition will help all of our young, scoring players get more shots. He knows how to do that and he knows how to defend and we just couldn’t be happier.”
Reaction from across the web after the jump.
In other words, the Kings retain future flexibility and get a guy in Hayes who doesn’t need the ball and can defend the opposing team’s best big man if need be (he did a lot of that in Houston). Hayes, once a zero on offense, actually morphed last year into a capable cutter, nifty finisher (with both hands!) and smart passer, and that unselfishness will help Sacto’s crummy offense flow a bit better. And you know he’ll battle defensively in the post, where he held opponents to just 37 percent shooting last season (per Synergy Sports), one of the best marks in the league. He’s strong, forces guys out of position and challenges shots. Hayes is also a capable pick-and-roll defender who plays the percentages like you’d expect a Daryl Morey/Houston Rockets type to do.
Don’t let the lack of size fool you, though; Hayes is an impressive, physical defender with great intuition. He rotates beautifully, he counters any unstoppable post force by being an immovable object, and he rebounds well on top of it all. Plus, over the last few seasons, Hayes has actually become a reasonably effective offensive player — or at least good enough to avoid being an on-court liability.
Hayes is more or less a complete product, but he’d be a great rotation big man for virtually any NBA team. Sacramento was able to secure his services, and Hayes will likely be paired with bigs like DeMarcus Cousins and J.J. Hickson in order to help mask their defensive deficiencies.
Check back to Cowbell Kingdom for more transaction updates and reaction throughout the day. (Updated on Saturday, December 10, 8:50 am)