Last evening, the Sacramento Bee’s Jason Jones broke news that the Sacramento Kings were interested in Modesto’s own Chuck Hayes. You could hear the initial groans stretch across the Valley floor – but despite Hayes’ lack of a big name or game, the interest in Chuck Hayes isn’t actually very bad.
Sure, when you have your eyes set on a big Christmas prize of Nene Hilario or even a return of Samuel Dalembert, the name Chuck Hayes being brought up isn’t exactly going to top your holiday wishlist, but I’ll say this – Hayes can hold his own.
On a team full of scorers and players that need the ball in their hands to be effective, the addition of offensively minded players (sans an elite star) isn’t much of a need for the Kings who were just downright awful on defense last year. Hayes is widely regarded as one of the better defensive bigs in the league, despite his 6’6 frame and should come at a very cheap price, especially when compared to a player like Dalembert. Granted, I’m not trying to compare Sammy to Chuck in terms of importance (or play style), just that the Kings need an alternative plan in the case that Dalembert spurns them or they deem him too expensive which are two very real possibilities. I know Sam Amick mentioned the other day that Dalembert hadn’t crossed the Kings off his list of suitors yet – but, why would he? He knows how much available money the Kings have left. If the Kings want to pay him what he deems worthy of his abilities – he’d love to stay.
Back to Hayes though – who, if the price is right, would be a welcome addition to the Kings frontcourt. The Kings need defense, plain and simple – few bring a tougher, more hard nosed style of play than Hayes.
I understand the irritation and frustration that once again, the Kings are seemingly dumpster diving – but Chuck Hayes is like the Shane Battier of, well, whatever position you want to define Hayes as being. You need grinders like them to be a successful team. Hayes wouldn’t be the only Kings addition – they’re going to make a big splash. Hayes is just a small piece to the puzzle and I’m okay with that.