Chuck Hayes and saga go together as well as Vodka and Breast Milk. (I stink at metaphors.) Yet, because the Cleveland Clinic has cleared Chuck Hayes, which is without question great news for Hayes, is exactly where the Kings are at right now.
When Hayes potential signing first leaked, my biggest complaint was that it felt like the franchise didn't have competent adults at the table. I suspect that is inaccurate. The reality is that you have adults at the table with especially strained resources who can only afford so much. Risks for them, especially when it cuts into potential income, are simply not tenable.
Last night, James Ham offered as plausible an explanation as you are going to get about this whole voided contract situation as you're going to get:
You can always resign Hayes if his health issues are resolved. This was the only recourse the Kings had at this point. You don’t gamble on $21 million if there is a possibility the player will never play again. Insurance policies are based on the passing of a physical. The Kings would not have been able to insure the money owed due to the failing of the physical. Fans aren’t going to like this, but voiding the contract is the only answer in this situation.
Lets hope for a very quick recovery and Hayes getting another bite with the Kings.
Again, and as James pointed out in that discussion thread at Sactown Royalty, and I have been pointing out this morning in a different thread related to the Cleveland Clinic thread at Sactown Royalty the same thing. This is all together now: An insurance deal.
Because if the Kings can't get insurance on Hayes' deal, that changes the amount of money and years (more years than money I suspect) the Kings can offer Chuck Hayes. I find this all unfortunate as I would be more than willing to offer the 4 years 21 million back to Hayes no matter what. But, and this is the problem, I'm not spending my own money to re-sign Hayes. And neither are you unless you are one of the Maloof assclowns reading this. (Yes I do not like you people. Sell the goddamn team already and find something new to screw up. Ummkay?)
At any rate, keeping in mind that this is a complicated situation I hope the Kings put up the money to retain Hayes. Not a "fair" offer because a fair offer isn't what will accomplish a deal. Get Hayes some money (up front would not be a bad idea) that makes the Kings the most attractive deal. But, like most things, when you have cheap owners who only have one concern (which to be fair is somewhat understandable) this is the problem.
The issue is understandable, but not necessarily forgivable. Chuck Hayes is a quality basketball player whom you chose to sign in the first place. A technicality that more or less forced the Kings to void the contract (I see that more than ever now) is what caused this. It's time for the Kings to step up and pony up the dough to get a player the basketball staff (coaching and front office) wanted in the first place. The Maloofs need to stop making paying players about their ability to afford running a franchise, and about the ability to put a product on the court that is worthwhile. I was worried about malfeasance to begin with, and I tend to think that not re-signing Chuck Hayes (yes I know) here would be malfeasance against your fanbase. Of course since the Maloofs wish to be in Anaheim this is a bit of a problem, and hence this is the crux of the issue. What are the priorities here?
If Chuck Hayes walks, you can bet it's because the Kings simply have no ability or desire to ever really compete in Sacramento. Which means 2 things: Either the NBA steps in to save Sacramento from the Maloofs stupidity, or the Kings walk away from Sacramento as early as next summer. I find it strange that I think the fate of a franchise that is really tied to getting a new arena could also include in no small part the sage of a journeyman basketball player who just happened to be in the right place at the right time to cash in on his particular individual talents. There is no better time to show commitment as owners and a franchise than now and I'm really really hoping that sooner than later the announcement of Hayes re-signing is what's coming. But as of now, I expect some cheap ass lame option or alternative because that's what the Maloofs do.
Which is why a basketball player like Chuck Hayes, whose game is about sacrifice and team when you prune what Hayes does to it's essence, ends up being in the middle of a saga such as this.
Dear Santa: Could we get owners who aren't Ed Hardy wearing clowns and who can afford to risk 25 million dollars on a valuable role player? Thanks, Kings Fans
UPDATE: TZ at Sactown Royalty puts a lot of blame on Petrie's running of the franchise. This could be true, but the issue with Hayes seems like a money/insurance deal. As long as that is the case, there is only so much the President of Basketball Operations can do right or wrong. And until Geoff Petrie writes the checks, I can't see how this is an actual indictment of Petrie.
UPDATE 2: There is more to this story as we all know. And some of the details have been since leaked since. Chuck Hayes is quoted by Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports
“I’m not angry with Sac,” Hayes said. “I feel like I owe it to them. They found something. They raised the concern. They pretty much helped me by sending me out here [to Cleveland]. They took my contract away, but they pretty much helped me by sending me out here.”
Additionally, Jason Jones has been tweeting about this during the afternoon:
Everything I've heard since this morning pointed to Chuck Hayes returning to Kings and comments after practice say same thing.
Dalembert signing with Rockets probably makes it easier for Kings to re-sign Hayes. Players said they're happy to have Hayes back
Sounds like Kings players have been told Hayes will be joining the team again.
Hayes' agent, Calvin Andrews, said Minny still interested & Toronto was "trying to get creative," but Kings look like eventual landing spot
If Hayes does indeed sign, and the Kings end up getting Hayes after all, much of this post is moot. I will say that given how concerned I was regarding all of this about 4 hours ago, all the recent news is a major relief. Hayes himself had this to say over Twitter:
Words can't explain how I feel, with the support of family, friends, fans, and the love/power of GOD, PRAYER WORKS, I love and thank you ALL
UPDATE 3: Sam Amick has again tweeted:
Kings players & coaches talking as if Chuck Hayes will return. If he has made that choice, likely on a four-year deal worth approx $22 mil
UPDATE 4: Jonathan Santiago of Cowbell Kingdom has video of Kings players and their reactions to what seems pretty likely as the return of Chuck Hayes. UPDATE 5: There is an article at the Bee that is a must read. Here is the most important chunk:
Steven Nissen, head of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, led the team that evaluated Hayes. He said doctors in Sacramento were right to send the six-year veteran to Ohio for further testing, but emphasized that Hayes is completely fit to play.
"There was legitimate concern. It was appropriate that he be sent to us," Nissen said. "We did what was as exhaustive an evaluation as we could have done, and we concluded that he was fine to play."
Hayes does have an unusual structure to his heart, Nissen said. He has a little bit of what doctors call "outpouching," or a bulge in the wall, in his left ventricle.
But while that's out of the ordinary, the doctor underlined, it's not dangerous.
"We don't think he has a heart disease that is going to limit him, and we recommend that he be allowed to play basketball at a professional level," Nissen said. "I told him I encouraged him to play and that I was as going to watch him on TV. If we had felt he was at risk, we would have told him that."
I've been saying it most of the afternoon as information has been updated, but it seems like the Kings did the right thing here. If nothing else, this is a great relief as a Kings fan. And, the best news of all is that Chuck Hayes is healthy and most likely will play for the Kings.
UPDATE 6: Sam Amick has put out a few more details that hopefully every Kings fan will see for themselves:
Regarding Kings voiding Hayes' contract, they had window of 6 days to void deal & couldn't risk being on hook for $21 mil if 2nd opinion bad
They played this perfectly, alerting Hayes to problem (he does have enlarged heart) & advising him to have more tests done b4 reconvening.
Additionally Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports tweeted this as well:
Free agent forward Chuck Hayes changing plans to head to Sacramento to sign with Kings, source tells Y! Sports with 4-year, $22.3 mill deal.
Hayes makes $1 million more in deal with Kings than he did in previous four-year pact that was voided due to heart issue.
Source says Chuck Hayes' new contract with Kings is fully guaranteed.
I think the full picture is pretty complete now. All in all despite all of the tumultuous details that are out there, the good news is that Chuck Hayes is completely healthy after the appropriate medical opinion was sought out. The Kings were able to re-sign Hayes to a slightly higher monetary amount over the same amount of years. We get our Chuckwagon! Who loses here ultimately?
This has turned out to be a good day provided you believe in Purple Hayes.Oh yes, I definitely went there