The smallest center in the league will not be going anywhere this summer.
Chuck Hayes, who this year turned himself into one of the most acclaimed defensive centers despite only being listed at 6-6, will be retained by the Rockets, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Hayes is one of the icons of the Morey APBRMetric reign. Hayes isn’t a notable athletic or talent player, but simply gets the production done, and does so at at a very reasonable price. And by reasonable I mean ridiculous. They’ll be paying their backup center who started this season $2.3 million. That’s pretty incredible.
It also indicates the Rockets’ strategy in regards to the collective bargaining agreement, as the Chronicle notes. The Rockets aren’t re-signing any veterans past the CBA, to make sure they don’t get locked into a large, long-term contract with a hard cap. Morey has shown a commitment to the players who have produced for the Rockets. But he’s also shown he’ll always make the move that’s best for the club.
For next season at least, keeping Chuck Hayes accomplishes both goals.