Donte DiVincenzo and his camp believe the Kings are intentionally trying to suppress his market value ahead of free agency, James Ham of ESPN 1320 says on the latest Kings Beat podcast (audio link from SabonisMuse on Twitter).
According to Ham, DiVincenzo and his representatives think he was kept out of the starting lineup to make him more affordable for Sacramento to re-sign.
Having started 66 games last season for Milwaukee, DiVincenzo would’ve met the “starter criteria” and been eligible for a higher qualifying offer ($7.9MM) if the Kings had started him at least seven times. Head coach Alvin Gentry suggested in mid-March that there was a good chance the 25-year-old would move into the starting lineup down the stretch, but that never happened.
DiVincenzo has appeared in 23 games, starting just one, since being acquired from the Bucks in a four-team trade at the February deadline. He has been a regular part of Sacramento’s rotation, playing 26.8 minutes per night and averaging 10.0 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists.
Assuming the Kings make a $6.6MM qualifying offer, DiVincenzo will be a restricted free agent since he didn’t reach an agreement with Milwaukee on a rookie-scale extension before the start of the season. That means Sacramento will have the option to match any offer he receives.
Ham adds that DiVincenzo is optimistic about receiving a mid-level exception offer from somebody this summer, while the Kings would prefer to keep him at a salary lower than that.
DiVincenzo had a regular role with the Bucks before suffering a torn ligament in his ankle during last year’s playoffs. He underwent surgery in June and wasn’t able to return until Christmas Day.