With the free agents available, Hayes certainly isn't as sexy as someone like Nene or Marc Gasol would have been; but he does something more valuable than most would think—play team ball.
This is a characteristic that virtually everyone on the Kings lacks. Hayes is the epitome of team ball—think Shane Battier but as an undersized post player. Yes, Hayes may be all of 6-foot-6, but don't let his short stature deter you.
Hayes does a number of things the Kings are severely lacking, some even come on the offensive end.
1. Plays defense
Not only does he play defense, something the Kings have a hard time doing all 48 minutes, but he plays defense well. He isn't going to get two blocks a game, but he will disrupt the other teams post player, bump people out of position and will get down in the post and bang with the best of them.
2. Won't try and do too much offensively
Hayes certainly is not an aficionado on the offensive end, but it doesn't mean he is inept. The Kentucky product is a great man for garbage buckets, has a decent mid-range stroke and can finish surprisingly well around the bucket. He is also an underrated passer and is a solid screener, which is an unbelievably underrated skill. The Stockton-and-Malone pick-and-roll didn't work so well solely because Stockton was a great passer.
3. Provides veteran leadership
At 28, Hayes is in the prime of his career, and he has been through a lot in the league. He entered as an undrafted rookie, worked his way up from being an end of the bench guy to a starter for the Rockets at times. His minutes didn't come out of necessity either, the Rockets are a rag-tag bunch of players who know how to play the game. With his experience and level head, hopefully Hayes can help mold a culture in Sacramento. Or at the very least teach our young post players a thing or two on the defensive end.
Hayes is an ideal fit for what the Kings lack and is a nice compliment to their size in the paint. With the rumor being Sacramento is going to make one more move before the weekend is over, things certainly are looking better in the Capital City.
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