Agent: Wolves back pursuing cleared free-agent Chuck Hayes
- Blog Post by: Jerry Zgoda
- December 22, 2011 - 4:35 PM
The agent for free-agent center Chuck Hayes says the Timberwolves are back in pursuit to sign his client.
Agent Calvin Andrews says the team has "high interest" in signing Hayes.
Hayes is the 6-6 center/forward who played for Rick Adelman in Houston and agreed to a four-year, $21 million contract with Sacramento recently but the Kings voided the contract after a routine physical examination revealed a heart issue.
Hayes underwent 11 hours of testing at the renowned Cleveland Clinic in Ohio on Wednesday and Andrews said Hayes has been cleared to play.
"I’m ecstatic inside,” Hayes told Yahoo! Sports by phone today. “It’s a big relief. I have no worries at all. I have a healthy heart. My heart’s fine. The doctors just say it’s too big. It’s too big means I have a big heart. I’m a big guy. That’s all it is."
The Wolves pursued Hayes previously, but he chose the Kings because it's close to where he grew up in Northern California and presumably because the offer was the biggest.
Houston also wanted to re-sign Hayes, but in the mean time have signed Samuel Dalembert.
The Kings remain interested, Andrews said.
Andrews said Hayes could strike a new deal with a team by tonight or tomorrow.
"They are interested," Andrews said of the Wolves. "We are trying to figure out what we'll do now."
The Wolves in the mean time signed guard J.J. Barea to a 4-year, $19 million contract that, along with signing second-round pick Malcolm Lee, has them right about at the salary-cap threshold.
Asked if the Wolves' financial situation has changed, Andrews said, "They sound like they can do what needs to be done."
If they're back in the 4-year, $20 million ballpark, that must mean the Wolves are considering using the mid-level exception on Hayes.
My colleague Kent Youngblood asked David Kahn about it at practice today and he would only say he's "monitoring the situaiton."
Andrews called Wednesday's testing at the Cleveland Clinic and doctors' conclusion "unbelievable news. It's been an unbelievable, emotional rollercoaster of a ride."
The Wolves currently have 15 players under guaranteed contract and 16 players in camp.
They'd have to make a roster move by the weekend to make room for Hayes if they sign him.
Also, Kent reports this from practice today:
* Ricky Rubio (sprained ankle) and J.J. Barea (quad contusion) returned to practice today.
* Kevin Love, Wes Johnson and Nikola Pekovic all were held out of practice because injuries.
None of them are believed to be serious.
Love mentioned he jammed his ankle while trying to block a shot in the third quarter of Wednesday's preseason finale at Milwaukee and said he was a bit surprised he went back into the game to play the final five minutes.
Wes also injured his ankle and Pek has a strained groin.
Pek played the entire first quarter Wednesday, then didn't play again the rest of the night.
Johnson didn't play in the second half.
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