Kings coach Paul Westphal said after practice today that Chuck Hayes is scheduled to return to Sacramento on Friday, though he did not say whether Hayes is coming back to sign with the team.
Hayes, whose four-year, $21.3-million contract with the Kings was voided earlier this week following a failed team physical, was cleared to play professional basketball without concerns earlier today, his agents announced.
Westphal offered the following response when asked about Hayes:
"Really all I know is that he's had great medical news," Westphal said. "And he's scheduled to come back to Sacramento tomorrow. We're just so overwhelmingly happy that the second opinions are so positive. Primarily we're happy for Chuck. We're also happy for his family and ourselves."
Hayes' deal was voided after the Kings announced that tests had revealed a heart abnormality. According to a news release, Hayes sought the advice of the renowned Cleveland Clinic, where he underwent a full day of tests on Wednesday. Hayes was told by doctors from the clinic today that he does not have a heart problem and that their recommendation is that he can continue to play basketball without concerns.
Some Kings players today sounded under the impression that Hayes will be rejoining the team. Asked if he had heard the news about Hayes, forward John Salmons answered, "Yes. It's good to have him back.
"When we heard the news (about Hayes' failed physical) that was a sad day for us," Salmons said. "But to hear the news today that he's coming back, that lifted everybody's spirits up a little bit."
Salmons seemed surprised when told of reports that Hayes, now a free agent, may still be considering his options.
"Wow," Salmons said. "I didn't know that."
Salmons said he might reach out to Hayes.
"I think I'm going to have to do that," he said. "We need a guy like that around here, so I think I'm going to send him some texts or call him a little later, see what's going on."
Said guard Marcus Thornton: "Anytime you get a guy that's probably on his way back to play, you know, Chuck was a good guy. So any chance we get to have Chuck on the court would be great."
-- Matt Kawahara