A couple of UK fan favorites have finally settled into their NBA homes for the next few years, as Chuck Hayes and Enes Kanter signed with their new teams on Friday. Hayes ended up in Sacramento and will join DeMarcus Cousins to form what will easily be the favorite frontcourt in the league for Kentucky fans. Chuck signed a 4-year, $21.3 million deal with the Kings, who were long considered the leader for his services even though the Minnesota Timberwolves had popped up as a potential suitor in the last day or so. Apparently Hayes, like pretty much everyone else in the free world, prefers the warm California sun to the chilly lakes of Minnesota. Hayes and Boogie teamed up for the Big Blue All Stars in a few games during the lockout, and now will patrol a paint that should be one of the toughest in the league to play against. I can’t wait to see them play together or, at least, check the box scores every day because they play in California and the late games will cut into my beauty sleep.
Meanwhile, in Salt Lake city, the long wait for Enes to compete in a real live competitive basketball game in the United States is almost over, as he signed with the Jazz today. Terms of the deal were not disclosed by Kanter’s agent, Paul Bearer, but something tells me that just getting to put on a uniform and play would have been enough for the big fella. Kanter said at the draft that he would dedicate his rookie year to the Kentucky fans, and we’re all excited to see what he can do in the league. The Jazz open the season on December 27 against Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul and the Lakers, and the game is on TNT so we’ll all get to see his debut. Mark your calendars.