Hayes reiterates desire to stay
Free agency looms
"I want to be here,"
Hayes said. "This is home for me. This has been home for me for six
years. Houston is all I know. Houston is all I want to know."
Though the Rockets
have made no secret about their desire to find a center taller than
their shooting guard, Hayes has made a strong case for a place in the
His averages of 7.9
points, 2.7 assists and eight rebounds per game are career bests. His
defensive work has been sensational, frustrating stars young and old,
from Blake Griffin to Tim Duncan. He inspired coach Rick Adelman to
campaign for him to be on the All-Defense team.
But at 6-6, Hayes
can’t bring the rim protection the Rockets have lacked and seek. They
traded for Hasheem Thabeet, will sign rookie D-League player Marcus
Cousin, and said they would like to bring back Yao Ming if he is
At power forward and
center, they have Luis Scola, Patrick Patterson, Brad Miller and Jordan
Hill signed. They’ll likely chase a center in free agency and expect to
have three draft picks in the top 40.
"The truth of the
matter is I am only 6-6," Hayes said. "They will need some size, a big
guy to play significant minutes. They have to do what they have to do.
My whole life I’ve had to beat the odds. The past couple years, I have. "
Hayes’ defensive abilities and offensive improvement have kept him in the Rockets’ plans.
"For sure Chuck fits
in," general manager Daryl Morey said. "We’re hoping to bring him back.
Obviously, he’s (going to be) a free agent. It’s going to be up to him
where he goes. We’re excited to work to bring him back."
Hayes kept himself
in the plans not despite his contractual status but because of the way
he responded to it. Where Aaron Brooks was offended and Shane Battier
was often anxious, Hayes became determined.http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/bk/bkn/7516134.html