Off-season Preview: Sacramento Kings

Oh boy, this one’s gonna be a doozy. Full disclosure, I’m kinda flying by the seat of my pants here as I expect the Kings are doing themselves. Actually, this isn’t completely true or fair. In another move by ownership Sacramento has brought in Scott Perry to serve as President of Basketball Operations and also serve as Assistant GM. Perry was instrumental in forming those dominant Detroit Pistons teams that won the 2004 NBA Championship and also brought an Eastern Conference Championship to the Motor City in 2005. He will most definitely have his hands full here in trying to implement a system that aims to undo years of organizational dysfunction that has no doubt had it’s effect on the finished product we see on the court.

Needs: Starting small forward and try to establish some stability at the point guard spot.

Wants: To foster a more deliberate approach to the rebuild, mainly through shorter contracts to help foster more flexibility moving forward.

Money Situation

Guaranteed                                       2017-18                                Insider info
Rudy Gay                                        $14,263,566                         Player option has been declined
Kosta Koufos                                   $8,393,000                          Extension eligible
Garrett Temple                               $8,000,000
Langston Galloway                        $5,434,000                        Player option June 20
Willie Cauley-Stein                        $3,704,160
Buddy Hield                                    $3,675,480
Georgios Papagiannis                   $2,301,360
Malachi Richardson                      $1,504,560
Skal Labissiere                               $1,312,611

Non/partial                                       2017-18                             Guarantee date
Arron Afflalo                                   $12,500,000                                June 23
Anthony Tolliver                              $8,000,000                                  July 1

FA cap holds                                     2017-18                                FA status
Tyreke Evans                                  $15,305,633                                   Bird
Ben McLemore                               $10,022,205                           Restricted Bird
Darren Collison                               $9,935,963                                    Bird
Ty Lawson                                        $1,471,382                                Non-Bird

First-round holds                              2017-18
No. 5 selection                                   $3,501,120
No. 10 selection                                 $3,057,240
Bogdan Bogdanovic                         $1,423,560

 

Outlook

The Kings get two swings at the top 10 in this year’s draft. If we were speaking about most teams we could definitely assume that at least one would hit big, but……….well I’m not going to beat a dead team here. But hey, new year new them! Given the news that Rudy Gay is declining his option the Kings have will have an 18 point and 6 rebound per night hole at the 3 spot. Luckily for them arguably the most NBA ready wing scorer in the draft will most likely be available at the 5 spot in Duke’s Jayson Tatum. Sometimes it isn’t the best move to try to immediately replace an impact player especially with a rookie but when it falls into your lap like this (hopefully) you gotta take the chance. With the almost certain departure of Darren Collison and Ty Lawson to a lesser degree Sac also has a need for someone at the point. I have them looking at the Frenchman Frank Ntilikina. Naturally there are questions surrounding young Francis (he’s only 18 y’all) but he’s already a capable defender that sees the court extremely well and has a steadily improving three point shot.

The Kings are kinda starting behind the 8-ball in free agency as they are already $15.5 million over the cap but with Gay expected to fall off of the books as well as the possibility of large cap holds of Tyreke Evans ($15.3 million) and Ben McLemore ($10 million) walking some space can be created. They can net another $20 million by letting go of Aaron Afflalo and Tony Tolliver. Not saying that they will completely overhaul the roster but just pointing out that if they want to they can. With it being unclear how the roster will look due to the high probability of turnover it’s probably just best to attempt to get vets on workable deals that will add value on both sides of the ball. The draft is where the Kings stand to make the largest impact this summer and that’s probably for the best.

Names to watch: Gerald Green – SF – Unrestricted, Dante Cunningham – SF/PF – Player Option, Aron Baynes – C – Player Option, Justin Holiday – SG/SF – Unrestricted,  Jonas Jerebko – PF – Unrestricted, Deron Williams – PG – Unrestricted

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