Thursday Cowbell Clippings: Featuring coaching takes and more transaction chatter

  • The Kings’ first move post-lockout is apparently signing Chuck Hayes.  At Sactown Royalty, Tom Ziller explains why Hayes isn’t Kenny Thomas: “When Kenny Thomas arrived in 2005, he had five years and $40 million remaining on his contract, or an average salary of $8 million per season. Under the deal as reported, Hayes will have an average salary of $5 million for a shorter term. Keep in mind that the salary cap has risen. In 2005-06, K-9′s first full season in Sacramento, his $6.5 million contract represented 13 percent of the Kings’ salary cap. A $5 million year for Hayes now represents 8.6 percent. Further, K-9′s deal ran through a phase of the Kings’ history where the team needed to drop salary and rebuild. The Kings cannot really drop salary at this point, and it’s going to take a lot of bad contracts to make Hayes’ contract a killer that hurts the Kings’ ability to rebuild (again, within the next four years). If the Kings need to drop salary and rebuild within four years, something has gone terribly, terribly wrong.”
  • Despite dealing him before last year’s deadline, John Reid of the New Orleans Times Picayune reports that the Hornets might be the Kings primary competitor in the Marcus Thornton sweepstakes. “‘It would not be a shock if Marcus came back here,’’ (Quincy) Pondexter, who is in his second year, said. `I know that he’s from this area and was great at times when he was here. I think it’s a great possibility that it does happen. If he wants to play for us, we’re all going to welcome him back.’”
  • Who is new assistant coach Jim Todd? Reader KeenObserver shares some insight: “Jim Todd will be a great addition to the staff. Known as a relentless worker and for having great interpersonal rapport with players, his work with Josh Smith here in Atlanta 2 seasons ago had Smith on the verge of All Star status. Nice hire! I was sorry to see him go when Woodson was fired but that’s how the League works.”
  • Jason Thompson was the only player to speak after yesterday’s workout session at the Kings practice facility.  News 10′s Ryan Yamamoto and Sean Cunningham captured video.  Here’s a quote: “‘We are young we know that we need to be together as much as possible to get some type of rhythm and continuity, it is a good sign that we are all here early,’ said Thompson.”
  • Bobby Jackson answers a fan question about the compacted-schedule during a live chat co-hosted with Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee:  “There’s going to be ragged play in the first month of the season. But trying to cram in 66 games you’re going to get that in the beginning of the season. Back-to-backs are going to be hard because there are going to be so many and a lot of four games in five nights which is going to be tough for the young guys and the old guys because that’s a lot of basketball.”
  • Former Kings assistant Mario Elie was officially introduced in the same role with the New Jersey Nets yesterday. Colin Stephenson of the New Jersey Star-Ledger reports: “‘I’m very excited to be here and just see the vision where this team is going,’ Elie said. ‘A great owner (Mikhail Prokhorov), they’re about winning. On the East coast, fans are a little rougher out here. It’s about winning. I’m going to be a part of it and me being from New York being a part of a team going to Brooklyn. I’m excited about it.’”
  • Tony Bizjak of the Sacramento Bee reports the arena in Natomas could become nameless again. “Cash-starved Power Balance expects to be sold soon, and court papers say the likely buyer doesn’t plan to maintain the marketing deal that turned the former Arco Arena into Power Balance Pavilion.”

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About: Jonathan Santiago

Jonathan Santiago serves Cowbell Kingdom as senior editor specializing in writing, podcasting and video production. He also handles the majority of CK’s day-to-day beat coverage of the Kings.