Former Wisconsin forward Nigel Hayes signed a partially-guaranteed contract with the Knicks, sources told ESPN and the New York Daily News.
Hayes recently finished a stint with the Knicks' summer league squad, averaging 5.2 points and five rebounds per game in five games over the summer.
The 22-year-old Hayes averaged 14.0 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 2.7 assists during his senior year at Wisconsin.
When Hayes was in New York in March for the NCAA Tournament, he criticized the city -- something his agent he said was a joke.
"I don't really like New York," Hayes said. "It's too big. It's dirty. There's trash everywhere. There's too many people. And it's cold right now. It's nice to look at in the movies and stuff, but I've had my share of it. I'm just trying to come here and win some basketball games."
He said, though, that he'd have to adjust if he wound up with the Knicks.
"You'd have no choice,'' said Hayes, who averaged 14 points and 6.6 rebounds as a senior. "It's just something you'd have to live with it."
Jake Brown | Twitter |
Too dirty, huh, Nigel? Welcome to New York. Listen, it's college. Kids say dumb things that could come back and haunt them. Luckily for Hayes, that didn't come back to haunt him as the Knicks look to fill their roster before camp begins. It's a longshot for Hayes to see many, if any minutes on the court in the regular season this year.
With a partially guaranteed deal and maybe the 14th or 15th roster spot, Hayes will be the guy to go to if someone goes down with an injury. Hayes was a solid college player and comes from a winning program at Wisconsin. He made the Final Four his first year, the NCAA title game his second, and the Sweet 16 the past two seasons. Being a winner could be his best attribute at the NBA level.
At 6'8", he's just not big enough to be a good power forward. His low post moves won't really translate to the NBA level, and he's an average to below average shooter from beyond the arc. Hayes could be a decent role player off the bench in limited minutes, but don't expect to catch lightning in a bottle here.