The Sacramento Kings have expressed interest in free agent power forward Chuck Hayes, his agent told MyFox Houston. The Kings were one of five teams, including the incumbent Houston Rockets, Toronto Raptors, Portland Trail Blazers and Minnesota Timberwolves were the other four teams who have made early contact, though rumors have suggested any number of championship contenders having interest.
Hayes, No. 19 on my Top NBA 2011 Free Agents list, is a defensive-minded power forward and center with little offensive capability beyond crashing the class. He's just 6'6, but he was still one of five or best defenders at center according to John Hollinger's All-Defense column. John Schuhmann of NBA.com also notes that of the Rockets' five most heavily used lineups last season, all included Kevin Martin, Luis Scola and Kyle Lowry. But only the three most successful of those lineups had Hayes.
One would assume that barring a brewing trade, given the current frontcourt depth of the Kings, Hayes would come at the expense of Samuel Dalembert. The Kings have DeMarcus Cousins and Jason Thompson to swing between the two frontcourt positions, and J.J. Hickson at power foward. Theoretically, with Hayes or Dalembert, you'd have four players who could mix and match in any combination.
In my look on underpaid players based on Win Shares, I wrote that while Hayes made just $2.1 million last season, he produced the Win Shares of a player worth $9 million. (I hope the Kings do not spend $9 million on him, because his market value, as opposed to on-court value, seems much lower.)
Hayes' agent Calvin Andrews also sheds a little light on exactly how the free agency period is going so far, saying that talks with interested teams have been serious enough that he has ranges of potential contract offers, and expects to have an idea of where Hayes will land this weekend. Stay tuned.
Thanks to Ed for the FanShot, where there's some great discussion.