As reported last night by the big man Adrian Wojnarowski, for whom no deal is too small, the Raptors are apparently set to sign swingman Nigel Hayes to a second 10-day contract. The official report, such as it is, is right here:
Toronto is signing Nigel Hayes to a second 10-day contract, league source tells ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 15, 2018
Given that the Raptors are running at least 10 men deep during this record-setting season, there hasn’t been a whole lot for Hayes to do during his time on Toronto’s bench. Functionally speaking he’s the team’s 14th or 15th man, depending on where Alfonzo McKinnie is, or how you feel about the status of two-way player Malcolm Miller. So far Hayes has showed up in just one game — against the Knicks — where he hit two straight 3s in garbage time, before everyone called it an afternoon.
Nevertheless, Hayes’ first 10-day contract is set to end today after the Raptors play the Pacers in Indiana. A decision will be required, and since Toronto is still down OG Anunoby and now Norman Powell (with a tweaked ankle of his own), they could use a few extra bodies on the wing. All of this is pretty unremarkable, to be honest.
The endlessly funny part though, remains how Toronto has used Hayes in general. For those who don’t know (and of course, Blake “the Machine” Murphy is all over it), Hayes was a solid contributor for the G League-leading Westchester Knicks. (He dropped 27 points on the 905 in a 110-107 loss on February 24th.) There’s nothing untoward about the Raptors poaching him because of their need on the wing — and because of their still open 15th roster spot. Hayes is 6’8” and can shoot the 3 after all. It’s the kind of thing that happens all the time.
Except this time the Raptors have already sent Hayes back to the G League to play for the 905. What a world!
It remains to be seen how, or even if, Hayes will hit the court again with the Raptors during this coming five games in seven days stretch starting tonight. It continues to be a delight though that Nigel, who by all accounts is an interesting and funny guy too, is now potentially going to help the 905 secure a G League playoff spot.
Keep in mind: if Toronto declines to keep Hayes on their roster after that, he’d return to the G League as a member of the Westchester Knicks as they march on into the playoffs too.
Yes indeed, we are all apparently still making plans for Nigel.