A free agent signing in March? What is this?
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Kings have signed forward Nigel Hayes for the rest of the season. It’s not unusual for teams to take flyers on young players as the season winds down, and the Kings have only six games left. The Kings spent most of the season at full capacity but after the deadline the team was able to clear out a spot by buying out Joe Johnson’s contract.
Hayes is a 23 year old Small Forward who went undrafted out of the University of Wisconsin. He has spent time with the New York Knicks, L.A. Lakers and Toronto Raptors this season but most of his time has been in the G-League where he has shown off a nice touch from the outside. Hayes averaged 15 points on 44.4% from the field and a very good 43.4% from three in 43 games. It’s not a small sample size either as Hayes averaged 5.5 attempts a game at the G-League level.
Hayes was also a fairly good rebounder for his position, bringing down almost 7 boards a game. Small Forward is Sacramento’s weakest position right now and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Kings give Hayes a chance to play some minutes over the final stretch of games. He could be a potential candidate to sign to a two-way deal next season.
This isn’t a huge signing or anything, but it’s a nice piece of due diligence from the Kings to snag a player who has shown some flashes of potential.