Sacramento Kings Rumors

Kings To Sign Eric Moreland

July 29 at 9:34pm CDT By Ryan Raroque

9:34pm: League sources tell Charania that the deal will be for three seasons (Twitter link), which would require the capped-out Kings to use their mid-level exception. Sacramento committed most its MLE to Darren Collison earlier this month, leaving an amount precisely equivalent to the rookie minimum salary.

7:32pm: The Kings have reached an agreement with free agent forward Eric Moreland, according to Shams Charania of RealGM (Twitter link). The rookie forward out of Oregon State played six games for Sacramento in the Las Vegas Summer League earlier this month. The terms of the deal haven’t been disclosed yet.

Moreland was a model of consistency over his sophomore and junior seasons in college, posting 9.4 PPG and 10.6 PPG in 30.7 minutes during the 2012/13 season and 8.9/10.3/29.4 in 2013/14. He was also an active rim protector, averaging almost two blocks per game each year since his freshman season. Upon deciding to forego his senior year and declare for this year’s draft, there was some belief that the 6’10 forward could be taken in the second round; however, Moreland would ultimately go undrafted.

The Chris Patrick client put on the same display of rebounding and defensive prowess in Vegas as he did at Oregon State, posting 8.8 RPG and 2.7 BPG in just 19.2 MPG.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post. 

Kings To Audition Terrence Williams

July 29 at 4:11pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Former No. 11 overall pick Terrence Williams will meet with the Kings and work out for them Thursday in Sacramento, reports Shams Charania of RealGM (Twitter link). The 27-year-old has been out of the NBA since a 24-game late-season stint with the Celtics in 2012/13.

If the two sides strike a deal, the Kings would likely have to sign Williams either to a non-guaranteed contract or one with a tiny partial guarantee to stay beneath the luxury tax threshold without waiving Quincy Acy, whose contract becomes fully guaranteed next month. Sacramento recently decided against claiming Omri Casspi off waivers to instead reach agreement on a deal that would keep the team under the tax line. Williams would probably force the team to swing a trade to stay out of the tax if he were to make the team out of camp.

The Nets spent a lottery pick on Williams in 2011, but they traded him to Houston midway through his second season, and his NBA travels included a stop with the Kings before his time with Boston. The swingman spent much of this past season with the Lakers affiliate in the D-League, averaging 20.5 points, 6.4 assists and 5.0 rebounds in 35.7 minutes per game. He also had brief stints in the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Turkey during 2013/14.

Pacific Notes: Boozer, Marshall, Casspi

July 26 at 10:36am CDT By Cray Allred

While the Lakers have had an underwhelming offseason, Mark Whicker of the Los Angeles Daily News thinks that the hiring of Byron Scott for head coach could at least end the “nightmare” in Los Angeles. Here’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak was surprised when his team wound up winning the rights to Carlos Boozer, figuring another club would come in with a higher bid than the $3.251MM the Lakers put up, notes Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
  • Kupchak also acknowledged the downside of the move, which largely forced the team to waive Kendall Marshalltweets Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News.
  • The Kings skirted the tax line when they decided to wait until Omri Casspi cleared waivers and sign him rather than submit a claim, but they gave serious thought to making that claim anyway and absorbing the extra cost, tweets Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Kings To Sign Omri Casspi

July 25 at 7:01pm CDT By Cray Allred

The Kings are finalizing a one-year contract at the league minimum with Omri Casspi, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Casspi somewhat surprisingly cleared waivers earlier today, as the Kings had reportedly planned to put in a claim. It nonetheless appears as though they maintained interest, and the feeling had been mutual for Casspi, who spoke in recent days of his fondness for a return to Sacramento.

Signing the Dan Fegan client for just one year at the minimum, as opposed to claiming his two-year contract off waivers, will save the team enough money to keep it beneath the luxury tax line. The Kings had been at $75,852,705 in team salary, according to the latest estimates from Basketball Insiders, just $976,295 shy of the tax threshold. Casspi will make $1,063,384 as a five-year veteran at the minimum salary, but Sacramento will only be on the hook for the portion equivalent to the two-year veteran’s minimum of $915,243, since it’s a one-year contract. The league will pick up the tab for the rest.

That provision only applies to one-year deals, so if the Kings had claimed Casspi’s two-year contract off waivers, they would have had to pay his full salary, pushing them into tax territory and likely prompting the team to waive or trade Quincy Acy. Sacramento and Acy this week agreed to push back the date upon which his salary would become fully guaranteed so the club could explore its options.

Casspi’s camp is quite pleased with the agreement that will bring him back to the team with which he spent his first two NBA seasons, tweets David Pick of Eurobasket.com. The native of Israel averaged 9.5 points in 24.5 minutes per game with 37.1% shooting as a King, but those numbers dropped precipitously when a trade sent him to Cleveland. He rebounded this past season with the Rockets, but the Pelicans nonetheless saw fit to let him go soon after they acquired him as part of the Omer Asik trade.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Omri Casspi Clears Waivers

July 25 at 4:12pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Forward Omri Casspi has cleared waivers and hit free agency, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The news is a surprise, since the Kings had reportedly planned to submit a claim. The Pelicans released Casspi on Wednesday, as they had seemed likely to do after acquiring him from the Rockets in the Omer Asik trade.

Agent Dan Fegan had spoken with the Kings, among several other teams, about Casspi with New Orleans poised to let him go, as Casspi told Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee earlier this week. Casspi also expressed interest in returning to Sacramento, where he played his first two NBA seasons, which doubled as his most productive. The Kings and any other team are free to sign Casspi now that he’s hit the open market, but Sacramento might wind up paying a greater premium than the minimum salary he would have made if the Kings had claimed him off waivers.

The Kings have their $2.077MM biannual exception available if necessary to sign Casspi, who was a regular part of Houston’s rotation this past season. There are already 11 teams limited to doling out just the minimum salary to free agents, so that could work to Sacramento’s advantage if the team indeed still envisions a reunion with the 26-year-old native of Israel.

Sacramento is nonetheless about $1MM beneath the tax threshold, and if Casspi consents to sign a one-year deal for the minimum salary, the Kings will only be on the hook for the two-year veteran’s portion of it, with the league picking up the tab for the rest. That would allow the team to stay beneath the tax line and retain Quincy Acy‘s non-guaranteed contract, as Stein points out (on Twitter). The Kings would have been on the hook for his full five-year veteran’s minimum had they claimed his contract off waivers, since that deal had covered two years instead of one.

Kings Arena Clears Final Legal Hurdle

July 25 at 2:22pm CDT By Chuck Myron

A judge today denied a request to issue an injunction that would forestall construction of a new arena for the Kings in Sacramento, allowing the city and the team to proceed toward meeting a league-imposed deadline for its completion, reports Dale Kasler of The Sacramento Bee. A group opposing the project on environmental grounds was the last standing among a wide range of foes who took legal maneuvers to prevent the arena from being built. One such group drew the financial backing of investor Chris Hansen, who fronted a group last year that came close to buying the team and moving it to Seattle.

The NBA negotiated the right to buy the team and sell it to another bidder into the purchase agreement between owner Vivek Ranadive and the Maloof family, the team’s previous owners. That clause would be triggered if the arena weren’t complete by 2017 or if the Kings didn’t show satisfactory progress toward that deadline. Still, commissioner Adam Silver has expressed full confidence that the project will meet its targets. The arena is scheduled to open in 2016.

The primary challenges have been to the city’s $255MM contribution to the $455MM building, and Hansen admitted that he funded a petition drive that sought to put civic funding up to a public referendum. Hansen also said he would seek to withdraw his financial support of the petition campaign, although it’s not clear whether the group returned his reported $100K contribution.

Pacific Notes: Lin, Kings, Sterlings

July 24 at 7:40pm CDT By Cray Allred

The Lakers have finally acquired Jeremy Lin after two failed attempts to land the point guard in recent years, writes Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com. At the veteran’s introductory press conference, Los Angeles GM Mitch Kupchak told reporters including McMenamin, “The first thing I said to [Lin] when he sat down was, ‘You know, three times is a charm.’” Here’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Quincy Acy‘s contract was set to become fully guaranteed tomorrow, but the Kings have been granted an extension to make their decision on the small forward’s fate until August 15, reports Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee (on Twitter). The deadline extension, presumably granted by Acy and his management, will give Sacramento more time to explore their options to keep the 23-year-old while avoiding the luxury tax.
  • A Sacramento judge is set to make a final ruling against a citizen-led attempt to block construction of the new Kings arena, reports Dale Kasler and Ryan Lillis of The Sacramento Bee. The judge issued a temporary rejection of the lawsuit today, which is the last remaining legal barrier to the arena, which was initially approved in May.
  • Donald Sterling attorney Max Blecher accused commissioner Adam Silver of having given Shelly Sterling the idea that she should take full control of the family trust to facilitate the sale of the Clippers, as Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com details.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Western Notes: Huestis, Kings, Hamilton, Hill

July 24 at 5:02pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The idea of having Josh Huestis sign in the D-League in exchange for becoming an NBA first-round draft pick came from his representatives rather than the Thunder, agent Mitchell Butler tells SB Nation’s Mike Prada.

“This was the perfect team and the perfect storm,” Butler said. “This isn’t for everyone.” 

Butler also told Prada that the Thunder haven’t said whether they plan to sign Huestis to an NBA deal next summer or at a later point. There’s more on Huestis among the latest from the Western Conference, as we detail:

  • The union sees the Thunder‘s arrangement with Huestis as a positive, as interim executive director Ron Klempner said to Grantland’s Zach Lowe. “This is an example of the player flipping the script,” Klempner said. “The player essentially drafted his team.”
  • Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro said he’s on the lookout for rim-protection and particularly shooting to round out the roster in an attempt to make the playoffs this season, as he told Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report.
  • Richard Hamilton tells David Alarcon of HoopsHype that he’s fielded a couple of calls from NBA teams and that while he considered retirement, he’d like to return to the NBA with a contending team. The 36-year-old, who last played in 2012/13, said that the Timberwolves showed interest in signing him early last season, but he declined to specify any teams that have spoken with him more recently.
  • Jordan Hill‘s two-year deal with the Lakers contains a team option for the final season, according to Mark Deeks of ShamSports.

Teams With Hard Caps For 2014/15

July 24 at 2:29pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The NBA’s salary cap is really a misnomer of sorts, since it doesn’t truly cap salaries. Look no further than last year’s Nets for confirmation of that. They doled out nearly $103MM in salaries, incurring more than $90.57MM in luxury taxes and smashing the record for the greatest expenditure on a single roster in NBA history.

The NBA’s salary cap is commonly referred to as a “soft cap,” but there are still ways that teams can impose a “hard cap” upon themselves and set a finite limit to their spending. If a team’s salary exceeds the luxury tax threshold ($76,829,000) by more than $4MM, that team is not permitted to acquire a player via sign-and-trade, or to use the non-taxpayer’s mid-level or biannual exceptions. The only exceptions available to such a team are the taxpayer’s mid-level of $3,278,000, the minimum-salary exception, and whatever form of Bird rights they have on their own free agents. As soon as a team completes a sign-and-trade deal, uses its BAE, or uses more than $3,278,000 of its MLE to sign a player, that club becomes hard-capped at $80,829,000 for the 2014/15 season. In other words, team salary can’t exceed that amount at any point between now and June 30th, 2015.

For some clubs, that hard cap isn’t a major concern. For instance, the Suns still have about $18MM in breathing room below the hard cap, so they have plenty of flexibility to re-sign restricted free agent Eric Bledsoe to a max contract if need be. On the other hand, the Clippers are only about $1MM below the hard cap, so any trades or signings they make for the rest of the season will have to be constructed to ensure their team salary doesn’t surpass that $80.829MM cutoff.

More clubs may trigger hard caps as the offseason wears on, but here are the teams that are now locked into a hard cap for the 2014/15 season, along with an estimation (via Basketball Insiders) of their current team salaries and the reason(s) why the hard cap was created:

Hawks
Hard cap created: Acquired Thabo Sefolosha via sign-and-trade
Estimated team salary: $60,975,564

Rockets
Hard cap created: Acquired Trevor Ariza via sign-and-trade
Estimated team salary: $68,125,942

Wizards
Hard cap created: Acquired Kris Humphries via sign-and-trade; acquired DeJuan Blair via sign-and-trade; signed Paul Pierce via non-taxpayer MLE
Estimated team salary: $76,646,603

Suns
Hard cap created: Acquired Isaiah Thomas via sign-and-trade
Estimated team salary: $51,805,537

Warriors
Hard cap created: Signed Shaun Livingston via non-taxpayer MLE
Estimated team salary: $72,232,245

Pacers
Hard cap created: Signed C.J. Miles and Damjan Rudez via non-taxpayer MLE
Estimated team salary: $74,798,942

Clippers
Hard cap created: Signed Spencer Hawes via non-taxpayer MLE; signed Jordan Farmar via biannual exception
Estimated team salary: $79,679,772

Grizzlies
Hard cap created: Signed Vince Carter via non-taxpayer MLE; signed Beno Udrih via biannual exception
Estimated team salary: $75,529,943

Trail Blazers
Hard cap created: Signed Chris Kaman via non-taxpayer MLE; signed Steve Blake via biannual exception
Estimated team salary: $69,322,824

Kings
Hard cap created: Signed Darren Collison via non-taxpayer MLE
Estimated team salary: $75,852,705

Pacific Rumors: Bledsoe, Thomas, Clippers

July 23 at 1:01pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The Suns have little interest in sending restricted free agent Eric Bledsoe away in a sign-and-trade, and Suns president of basketball operations Lon Babby is confident in the team’s two-point guard look, writes Bob Young of the Arizona Republic. The four-year, $48MM offer the Suns reportedly have out to Bledsoe is for significantly more than what the team and agent Rich Paul spoke about last fall in extension talks, Young adds. There’s more from Young’s piece amid the latest on the Suns and the rest of the Pacific Division:

  • New Suns acquisition Isaiah Thomas told Young that he felt as though the Kings were looking to replace him at every turn. “I felt very disrespected,” Thomas said. “Every year it was somebody new. I felt I did a good enough job to show them I was a starting point guard or a guy who could play a big role with their team. But they thought differently.
  • Differing opinions on the relative values of David Lee and Kevin Love, a reluctance to take on Kevin Martin, and a reticence to give up Harrison Barnes on top of it all have the Warriors holding out in talks with Minnesota, as Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group explains. That’s in addition to Golden State’s decision to keep Klay Thompson‘s name out of the discussion.
  • Attorneys for Donald Sterling made it clear Tuesday that he wants the NBA to vote to terminate his ownership of the Clippers so he can move forward with his antitrust suit against the league, tweets Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com. The judge in the probate trial between Sterling and his wife can rule that Shelly Sterling’s sale of the team to Steve Ballmer would go forward even if Donald Sterling appeals, but such a ruling would be difficult to come by, Shelburne adds (on Twitter).
  • The Kings are among several teams that Dan Fegan, the agent for Omri Casspi, has spoken to, as Casspi tells Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee. Casspi, whom the Pelicans are likely to waive this month, added that he has interest in returning to Sacramento, where he played his first two NBA seasons.