Thursday, December 22, 2011
Reps: Chuck Hayes has no heart issue
ESPN.com news services
Chuck Hayes, whose contract was voided by the Sacramento Kings after he failed a physical, was cleared by doctors from the Cleveland Clinic after a series of heart tests, according to a statement from Hayes' public-relations representatives.
Hayes sought "exhaustive testing and exams" at the clinic after a stress echocardiogram conducted last week by the team showed an abnormality. The Kings subsequently announced that the four-year, $21.3 million deal Hayes signed earlier this month was voided after he failed his team physical.
The statement from Hayes' representatives said the Cleveland Clinic's doctors told the 28-year-old that he did not have a heart problem, and "their recommendation is that he can continue to play professional basketball without any concerns."
Hayes' preference is to play with Sacramento, a source told ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard.
Kings coach Paul Westphal told local reporters on Thursday afternoon that Hayes is scheduled to return to Sacramento on Friday, but he would not elaborate on whether that means Hayes is definitely re-signing.
One source close to the process told ESPN.com on Thursday night that, while no final decision has been reached, Hayes is "strongly" leaning toward re-signing with the Kings. Another source said that Sacramento is expected to increase its original offer slightly from the four-year, $21.3 million deal that Hayes signed earlier this month before failing the Kings' physical.
The 6-foot-6 free agent averaged 3.4 points and 4.7 rebounds in six seasons with the Houston Rockets. He had a career-best 7.9 points and 8.1 rebounds last season, playing nearly 30 minutes a game after the retirement of Yao Ming.
"I'm just very thankful and blessed with the team of doctors at the Cleveland Clinic and the power of prayer. I am happy to say I have a healthy heart and have been cleared to play immediately," Hayes said in the statement. "I look forward to getting back on the court as soon as possible."
Information from ESPN The Magazine senior writer Chris Broussard, ESPN.com senior writer Marc Stein and The Associated Press was used in this report.