The Kings are shopping former No. 2 overall pick Derrick Williams, league sources tell Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders. The fourth-year power forward is putting up career lows in several categories this season as his minutes have sunk below 20 per game for the first time. Williams was reportedly part of Sacramento’s discussions with the Nets last month regarding Deron Williams and was apparently in the earliest proposals the Kings made to the Pistons this summer for Josh Smith.
The 23-year-old is on an expiring contract with a salary of more than $6.331MM this year and is eligible for restricted free agency this coming summer. His draft slot calls for a qualifying offer of more than $8.262MM, but because he’s unlikely to meet the starter criteria, the value of that qualifying offer is instead in line to be slightly less than $4.046MM. That’d make it easier for whichever team holds him at season’s end to retain the right to match offers for him this summer, though it wouldn’t be a shock if that team declines to tender the qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted free agent.
It was somewhat surprising to see the Timberwolves decide last year to pick up Williams’ team option for this season, and precisely a month after doing so, Minnesota traded him to the Kings straight up for Luc Mbah a Moute. Sacramento has been active in the year and a half since owner Vivek Ranadive and GM Pete D’Alessandro took charge, as Kennedy notes, though Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee recently pegged Ramon Sessions as the King most likely to be traded. Charlotte reportedly has Sessions on its radar, while Sacramento recently made Nik Stauskas available, as Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported.
Just which teams the Kings have called about Williams is unclear. Sacramento has shown a willingness to try to win quickly and make a playoff push this season, but the team doesn’t have a reasonable shot at the postseason at this point as it sits eight and a half games back of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Kings have a chance to open some cap room this summer, with about $55.3MM in commitments against a projected $66.5MM salary cap. Taking back salary from a trade partner who values Williams for his expiring contract would compromise Sacramento’s flexibility for the summer ahead.