Kings forward/center Eric Moreland will undergo surgery to repair a labral tear in his left shoulder and miss the rest of the season, reports Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (Twitter links). The rookie first injured the shoulder while in college at Oregon State but had been playing through it this season, Kennedy adds. Moreland appeared in just three games for Sacramento and seven contests for the team’s D-League affiliate.
The 23-year-old, whose rookie minimum salary is partially guaranteed for $200K, is set to be on a de facto non-guaranteed contract by Wednesday, the final day on which teams can waive players who don’t have fully guaranteed deals without guaranteeing their salaries for the rest of the season. Moreland will have earned in excess of $200K if he remains on the roster through Saturday. The Kings, who already have an open roster spot, would need to keep Moreland on the roster to receive a disabled player exception. That exception, which would be worth $253,668, wouldn’t be a sizable financial asset, but it would give the team a financial advantage to sign a player later this season to a contract more lucrative than the minimum salary, which prorates, could provide.
The news isn’t much of a blow to the Kings, who seem primarily focused on a long-shot playoff run rather than player development. Moreland is on a three-year contract that’s non-guaranteed in 2015/16 and 2016/17, so the Kings can cheaply keep him on the roster for the long term.