Sacramento Kings

Pacific Notes: Rondo, Hill, Aldridge

The Kings wasted no time in contacting free agent point guard Rajon Rondo, and the team is being aggressive in its pursuit of the veteran, Sam Amick of USA Today notes (Twitter link). Sacramento vice president of basketball and franchise operations Vlade Divac wants Rondo to visit Sacramento, and the team hasn’t made the guard a contract offer yet, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports tweets. A meeting between the two sides is expected in the coming days, and the Kings will speak with Rondo again on Wednesday, TNT’s David Aldridge relays (on Twitter).

Here’s the latest out of the Pacific Division:

  • The Lakers have expressed interest in re-signing Jordan Hill as a free agent, just one day after declining his $9MM team option, a source tells Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News.  Hill put up 12.0 PPG and 7.9 RPG last season, but the Lakers became frustrated with his lack of consistency.
  • The Lakers‘ initial meeting with unrestricted free agent LaMarcus Aldridge went extremely well, but no deal was reached, Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com reports (Twitter link). Aldridge is also expected to meet with the Mavericks and Rockets.
  • The Clippers have contacted the representatives for unrestricted free agent Gerald Green to express their interest, Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times notes (via Twitter).
  • Swingman Wesley Johnson met with Clippers executive/coach Doc Rivers on Tuesday night, Shams Charania of RealGM reports (on Twitter).
  • In addition to Green and Johnson, the Clippers have also reached out to Center Brandan Wright and guard C.J. Watson, Dan Woike of The Orange County Register notes (Twitter link). Both players are unrestricted free agents. Wright finished the 2014/15 campaign with the Suns, and Watson spent last season with the Pacers.

Kings, Omri Casspi Share Mutual Interest

The Kings and Omri Casspi share mutual interest in the forward returning to Sacramento next season, Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee relays (via Twitter). The Relativity Sports client desperately wants to play in new coach George Karl‘s system, Voisin adds. Casspi is represented by agent Dan Fegan, who also lists Kings center DeMarcus Cousins amongst his clients.

Casspi’s affection for Karl’s style of play isn’t new, with the 27-year-old saying back in March, “I want to come back here so badly. I love the community and I feel like the team is finally moving in the right direction. George Karl’s system is great, and I’m not just saying that because I play for him, but because I really do believe this is the right way to play basketball. Spacing the floor. Moving, making extra passes, sharing the ball. Getting our hands on balls, deflections, then getting out and running. Unfortunately, coach Karl has not had a lot of time to teach us everything, but these last two games, you can see what we can become.

In 67 appearances this past season, including 19 as a starter, Casspi averaged 8.9 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.5 assists, with a slash line of .489/.402/.733.

Kings, Mavs, Knicks, Bulls, Cavs Pursue Beverley

12:26pm: The Cavs contacted Patrick Beverley, Kennedy reports (on Twitter), while the Kings, Mavs and Knicks have all called him, too, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link).

WEDNESDAY, 12:07am: The Knicks have “major interest” and Beverley is interested in them, too, a source tells Sean Deveney of The Sporting News.

TUESDAY, 1:43pm: The Mavericks, Knicks, Bulls, Cavs will challenge the Rockets in their efforts to re-sign Patrick Beverley, reports Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). Kennedy confirms that Houston continues to have interest in the point guard, as Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports wrote this spring that the Rockets were determined to have him come back.

The Rockets have the right to match all offers after having extended a qualifying offer today worth slightly more than $2.725MM, according to fellow Basketball Insiders scribe Eric Pincus (on Twitter). That was largely a procedural move, as the Bill Duffy client appears poised to command much more after having played for just the minimum salary the past few seasons in Houston.

The Bulls and Cavs would appear to be long shots, since they’re both poised to go into tax territory, likely limiting them to the $3.376MM taxpayer’s mid-level exception. The Mavs and Knicks can clear max-level cap room, though Beverley probably isn’t their first priority. The Rockets are in the mix for marquee names, as usual, but GM Daryl Morey thinks the team will most likely remain above the cap and focus on re-signing its own free agents. Even if it doesn’t, it would be relatively easy to retain Beverley’s Bird rights, since his cap hold is equivalent to his qualifying offer.

Pacific Notes: Calipari, Lakers, Chandler, Love

Despite his denials, people close to Kentucky coach John Calipari tell Stefan Bondy of the New York Post (on Twitter) that he wants another shot at the NBA as a coach/GM.  This week, Coach Cal was heavily connected to the Kings‘ head coaching job but both sides have since denied such talk.  Of course, Calipari’s last run in the NBA with the Nets did not go well.

  • Howard Beck of Bleacher Report (on Twitter) has heard rumblings of both Tyson Chandler and Kevin Love joining up with the Lakers.  Both players are represented by Excel Sports Management.
  • Even if the Lakers roster were to consist of just Kobe Bryant and no one else, the Lakers could not afford both DeAndre Jordan and LaMarcus Aldridge at their market value, Larry Coon of CBA FAQ writes.  On Tuesday, it was reported that the Lakers could be trying to corral both players this summer.
  • It was reported on Tuesday afternoon that Jim Buss would not be in attendance for the Lakers‘ pitch meeting with Aldridge, but plans have changed and he will in fact be there, according to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times (on Twitter).  The meeting will also include Bryant, team president and governor Jeanie Buss, GM Mitch Kupchak, assistant general manager Glenn Carraro, coach Byron Scott, senior vice president of finance Tim Harris, as well as representatives from Time Warner Cable and AEG.

Qualifying Offers: Tuesday

Here are the latest qualifying offer decisions to come in..

Earlier Updates:

  • The Sixers declined to offer guard Glenn Robinson III a qualifying offer, allowing him to become an unrestricted free agent, league sources told Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.  However, Philly has shown an inclination to revisit a longer-term deal for Robinson this summer, according to those same sources.  In 35 games as a rookie, Robinson averaged 2.1 PPG.
  • The Hornets will not make a qualifying offer to guard Jeffery Taylor, according to a source that spoke with Marc J. Spears of Yahoo (on Twitter).  Taylor will now become an unrestricted free agent.
  • Pero Antic, who was rumored to be going overseas, was given a qualifying offer by the Hawks, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (on Twitter).  If the Hawks need to maximize their cap space, Pincus adds (link), they can revoke the qualifying offer to Antic and renounce him.
  • As expected, the Magic have extended qualifying offers to both Tobias Harris and Kyle O’Quinn, according to John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com (on Twitter).
  • The Rockets made Patrick Beverley and K.J. McDaniels restricted free agents by extending QOs to them, Pincus tweets.

Kings Interested In Jeremy Lin

The Kings have guard Jeremy Lin on their radar, according to Chris Mannix of SI (on Twitter).  Lin averaged 11.2 points on 42.4% shooting this season, his lowest output in both categories since his rookie season in 2010/11.

Lin, in all likelihood, would come relatively cheaply after a largely unsuccessful stint with the Lakers. His scoring average has declined in each of the three years since his “Linsanity” season with the Knicks.  A few months ago, Lin – who will be a free agent in a matter of hours – indicated that he would like to stay with the Lakers.

That would be great,” Lin said of staying in Los Angeles. “There’s so much that needs to happen, but that’s definitely an option for me.”

For what it’s worth, Lin also indicated that he had a productive exit interview with coach Byron Scott.  For his career, Lin has averaged 11.7 PPG and 4.8 APG in 26.9 minutes per contest.  His career 15.5 PER casts him roughly as an average player in terms of efficiency.

Free Agency Rumors: Boozer, Williams, Heat

The latest free agent news..

  • The Nets, Mavs, Rockets, Lakers, Heat, and Spurs are in on veteran big man Carlos Boozer, Chris Broussard of ESPN.com tweets.
  • In addition to the incumbent Kings (whose interest was previously reported), the Wizards, Rockets, Lakers, Heat, Suns, and Knicks are expected to show interest in forward Derrick Williams, Broussard tweets.  Williams can become a restricted free agent this summer if the Kings tender him a qualifying offer worth $4,045,894.  The former No. 2 overall pick averaged 8.3 PPG and 2.7 RPG in 74 games last season.
  • The general sense among teams around the league is that Kyle O’Quinn will be able to draw $4-5MM salaries on his next deal and Shane Larkin $2-3MM on his, as Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders writes in his NBA AM piece. Sources tell Kyler that Gerald Green could be had for around $5MM a year, or slightly less on a deal that runs three or four years.
  • The Mavs, Pacers, Grizzlies, Clippers, and incumbent Suns are the teams showing the most interest in high-flying big man Brandan Wright, Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com tweets.
  • Jamario Moon is looking to make an NBA comeback and has signed with Hazan Sports Management, according to Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (on Twitter).

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Kings, Rajon Rondo Have Mutual Interest

JUNE 30TH, 3:20pm: Rudy Gay is recruiting Rondo to the Kings, as Marc Stein of ESPN.com hears (Twitter link). Sacramento has nonetheless reportedly been pursuing trades involving Gay.

JUNE 23RD, 8:57am: The Kings and soon-to-be free agent Rajon Rondo have mutual interest, as the idea of signing a one-year deal with Sacramento to rehabilitate his value around the league intrigues the point guard, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, who writes amid the latest in the DeMarcus Cousins saga. Rondo is almost certain to leave the Mavericks after a disastrous few months there, as Mavs coach Rick Carlisle essentially confirmed after Rondo and the team had an apparent mutual parting of ways during the playoffs.

Sacramento has long coveted Rondo, as reports have indicated, and the Kings were among the teams who spoke with the Celtics shortly before Boston traded him to Dallas in December. Neither the arrival this spring of Vlade Divac as vice president of basketball and franchise operations, a role in which he controls the front office, nor Rondo’s declining play have apparently dissuaded Sacramento from its affection for the 29-year-old.

Rondo’s value at this point is difficult to peg, with speculation suggesting that he’d struggle to make salaries of $10-12MM on his next deal. Sacramento has about $53MM in guaranteed salary against a projected $67.1MM cap for next season, not counting its first-round pick at No. 6., but with the team pursuing trades for just about everyone on the roster, according to Wojnarowski, it’s tough to project what the Kings will have to spend. The Lakers, with whom the Kings have reportedly engaged in exploratory talks regarding Cousins, are also likely Rondo suitors.

Kings Eye Jrue Holiday, Schröder, Jeremy Lin

The Kings are eyeing Jrue Holiday and Dennis Schröder among potential trade targets as they seek a point guard to play along with Darren Collison, reports Chris Broussard of ESPN (Twitter link), who confirms the team’s interest in Ty Lawson, too. Broussard adds Jeremy Lin to the team’s list of free agent targets and confirms that Sacramento is still high on Rajon Rondo. Kings ownership is making a hard push to sign Rondo and fellow reported target Monta Ellis, as Chris Mannix of SI.com hears (on Twitter), pointing out that Sacramento, with about $53MM in guaranteed salaries against a $67.1MM salary cap, can likely afford only one of those two.

Ellis, a shooting guard, would appear the lower priority, as Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee says the team is making point guard and small forward more of a priority (Twitter link). The team appears to be casting a wide net as it seeks a new point man. Coach George Karl has long seemingly been enamored with the idea of trading for Lawson, as Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck wrote months ago, though the Kings are reportedly investigating the idea of firing Karl as they gauge John Calipari‘s interest in joining the team. Lawson is set to make approximately $12.404MM next season on a contract that runs through 2016/17. Holiday’s deal with the Pelicans runs through the same season, though he’ll make only about $10.596MM next season. Schröder, whose rookie scale deal with the Hawks also goes through 2016/17, is by far the cheapest trade option, as next season he’s in line for roughly $1.763MM.

Lin would also seemingly come relatively cheaply after a largely unsuccessful stint with the Lakers. His scoring average has declined in each of the three years since his “Linsanity” season with the Knicks.

Kings Reach Out To John Calipari

11:39am: The Kings deny Wojnarowski’s report, tweets Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee.

11:02am: Calipari, as he’s done in the past, took to Twitter to say that he’s not looking for another job and that the Kings haven’t offered him one. He acknowledged talking to Ranadive about Cousins and No. 6 overall pick Willie Cauley-Stein, but wrote in all capital letters, “I will be at Kentucky.” (All five Twitter links here).

10:16am: Kings owner Vivek Ranadive and other members of his ownership group have spoken with Kentucky coach John Calipari to feel out his interest in coaching the team and running its front office, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. It would require a multiyear contract worth at least $10MM a year to lure him, Wojnarowski adds, but Sacramento has had lawyers examine the contract of coach George Karl to see if he can be fired with cause for reportedly speaking to other teams to see if he can arrange DeMarcus Cousins a trade, as Wojnarowski details. It’s a long shot that the Kings would be able to terminate Karl in such a way that would allow them to recoup the nearly $10MM in guaranteed money left on his deal, which runs another three years.

Ranadive is going after Calipari in part to see if he can convince Cousins to change his mind about his desire to be traded to the Lakers, according to Wojnarowski, a desire that has reportedly come about amid Karl’s apparent quest to see him traded. Calipari coached Cousins during the center’s lone season at Kentucky.

Hiring Calipari would represent yet another shift for the Kings under Ranadive, who’ve already employed three coaches and two front office chiefs since he took control of the franchise two years ago. League officials and confidants of the owner have tried to prevail upon him to stop his frequent shakeups, sources tell Wojnarowski. Ranadive replaced former GM Pete D’Alessandro atop the front office structure this spring with vice president of basketball and franchise operations Vlade Divac, but executives and agents grew frustrated in dealing with Divac at draft time, as the newly minted executive is unfamiliar with salary cap and collective bargaining agreement rules, Wojnarowski hears. Ranadive considered hiring NBA vice president of basketball operations Kiki Vandeweghe to lead the front office before turning to Divac, Wojnarowski reports.

Calipari has consistently maintained he’s satisfied at Kentucky even as he continues to listen to overtures from the NBA. He had a level of interest in the Pelicans this spring, but New Orleans didn’t want him to lead its entire basketball operation, according to Wojnarowski.