The situation surrounding Chuck Hayes is sad, and I'm glad everyone is focusing on his health as they should. But while Hayes is a nice player, he's not a world-shaker. If that's what we have been waiting through the silent past couple of years, then this team has a different idea of impact talent than I do.
The Kings' problems - all of them, from Arena deals to improved revenues to respectability - won't come easy or cheap. They need to make a splash and they need to soon. This offseason was supposed to be that splash, and while everyone knows of the CBA negotiation speed bump, I for one expected to be wowed when the players came back. Why I haven't been yet is hard to figure.
More cap space than the rest of the league and a small-market friendly new deal... and the Kings pin their fading hopes on Chuck Hayes in a season that could very well seal the team's fate? Even before the heart stress test I was waiting for the real deal to materialize. After the sad news, it's more imperative than ever.
How is there no contingency? How is there no new player that threatens to reshape the landscape of the Pacific Division?
How do you keep your core group of young talent together through free agency? You build a juggernaut - a beast of a team that is feared outside the city and gives pride to the guys in uniform. What you don’t do is continue to build a roster dominated by fourth and fifth years players still struggling to develop into veterans. This team has two guys that have star potential who are threatened to be dragged down by the rest of the players. Role players are good to have, but stars win championships.
The Maloofs and Petrie have proven they are up to the task of building a contender. But the first time around, that team was forged in the fires of a lockout. I honestly expected a return to that gambler’s philosophy, especially with so much riding on this season.