The Kings will be among the teams chasing Magic center Nikola Vucevic in free agency this summer, according to Sam Amick of The Athletic. In a question-and-answer column, Amick states that Vucevic is a target for Sacramento, adding that it will likely take a maximum offer to land him. The Kings’ cap space will depend on what Harrison Barnes does with his $25.1MM player option, but they may be able to put together a max deal even if Barnes opts in.
At age 28, Vucevic doesn’t quite fit with the Kings’ collection of young players, but Sacramento’s interest could be an indication that the club is speeding up its timeline to become a contender. Signing Vucevic would probably mean the Kings would be done with Willie Cauley-Stein, who will be a restricted free agent this summer.
There’s more from the Pacific Division:
- Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler are the free agents most likely to want to join the Clippers if they can open two max salary slots, Amick adds in the same column. However, he adds that sources have told him L.A.’s interest in signing Butler is “slim to none.” Amick also expects the Clippers to be among the teams submitting a trade offer to the Pelicans for Anthony Davis.
- Jordan Bell‘s one-game suspension was the result of charging a hotel purchase to assistant coach Mike Brown, report Amick and Anthony Slater of The Athletic. The amount that Bell charged at a Memphis hotel hasn’t been released and it’s not clear if the purchase was intended as a prank, but the team believed it warranted disciplinary action. “The (press) release was self-explanatory,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr told reporters Wednesday. “He’s suspended for tonight’s game for conduct detrimental to the team. Beyond that, it’s our business and nobody else’s. We’ll move on.” This may be Bell’s last season with Golden State, tweets Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports, who notes that Bell is headed toward restricted free agency and the Warriors have one of the league’s largest luxury tax bills.
- With the Lakers out of playoff contention, they are no longer playing LeBron James in both ends of back-to-back games, relays Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register. James didn’t make the trip to Utah on Wednesday, with coach Luke Walton saying he remained behind for treatment. The long-term health of the 34-year-old star will be the organization’s top priority for the rest of the season.