Hoops Rumors Originals

2018 Offseason In Review: Los Angeles Clippers

Hoops Rumors is breaking down the 2018 offseason for all 30 NBA teams, revisiting the summer’s free agent signings, trades, draft picks, departures, and more. We’ll evaluate each team’s moves from the last several months and look ahead to what the 2018/19 season holds for all 30 franchises. Today, we’re focusing on the Los Angeles Clippers.

Signings:

  • Standard contracts:
    • Avery Bradley: Two years, $24.96MM. Second year partially guaranteed ($2MM). Re-signed using Bird rights.
    • Montrezl Harrell: Two years, $12MM. Re-signed using Bird rights.
    • Luc Mbah a Moute: One year, $4.32MM. Signed using mid-level exception.
    • Mike Scott: One year, $4.32MM. Signed using mid-level exception.
    • Tyrone Wallace: Two years, $2.94MM. Partially guaranteed ($300K). Matched Pelicans’ offer sheet. Re-signed as restricted free agent using Non-Bird rights.
  • Two-way contracts:
  • Non-guaranteed camp contracts:

Trades:

Draft picks:

  • 1-11: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander — Signed to rookie contract.
  • 1-13: Jerome Robinson — Signed to rookie contract.

Departing players:

Other offseason news:

Salary cap situation:

  • Remained over the cap.
  • Carrying approximately $119.6MM in salary.
  • Full bi-annual exception ($3.38MM) still available.

Check out the Los Angeles Clippers’ full roster and depth chart at RosterResource.com.


Story of the summer:

Armed with a pair of lottery picks and a desire to land a star player, the Clippers were the subject of a number of trade rumors this summer. Considering the Spurs wanted to acquire an impact scorer in any trade involving Kawhi Leonard, the Clippers were a realistic suitor, as they could have put together a package headlined by Tobias Harris. However, if they made a strong push for Leonard, that push ultimately fell short, with the Spurs sending the former Finals MVP to Toronto instead.

The Clippers explored ways to package their two late-lottery picks to move up in the draft, and multiple reports, both early and late in the pre-draft process, indicated that they had eyes for Luka Doncic. In the end, the franchise didn’t have enough ammunition to realistically move into the top three, and it was the Mavericks who traded up for Doncic.

While it’s possible that the Clippers were discouraged in the short term by their failed runs at impact players, the long-term outlook for the franchise remains promising. They may not have acquired any stars this summer, but by preserving cap room and other assets, the Clippers are well-positioned for 2019 to go after those top-tier targets, including at least one or two that they missed out on this year.

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2018 Offseason In Review: Houston Rockets

Hoops Rumors is breaking down the 2018 offseason for all 30 NBA teams, revisiting the summer’s free agent signings, trades, draft picks, departures, and more. We’ll evaluate each team’s moves from the last several months and look ahead to what the 2018/19 season holds for all 30 franchises. Today, we’re focusing on the Houston Rockets.

Signings:

  • Standard contracts:
    • Chris Paul: Four years, maximum salary ($159.73MM). Fourth-year player option. Re-signed using Bird rights.
    • Clint Capela: Five years, $87.5MM. Includes likely and unlikely incentives. Re-signed using Bird rights.
    • James Ennis: Two years, minimum salary. Second-year player option. Signed using minimum salary exception.
    • Carmelo Anthony: One year, minimum salary. Signed using minimum salary exception.
    • Gerald Green: One year, minimum salary. Re-signed using minimum salary exception.
    • Michael Carter-Williams: One year, minimum salary. Partially guaranteed for $1.2MM. Signed using minimum salary exception.
  • Two-way contracts:
  • Non-guaranteed camp contracts:

Trades:

Draft picks:

  • 1-52: Vince Edwards — Signed to two-way contract (converted from Exhibit 10 contract).

Draft-and-stash signings:

  • Isaiah Hartenstein (2017 draft; No. 43): Signed to three-year, minimum salary contract. First year guaranteed. Second year partially guaranteed for $708K. Signed using taxpayer mid-level exception.

Departing players:

Other offseason news:

  • Exercised 2019/20 option on Mike D’Antoni‘s contract.
  • GM Daryl Morey rebuffed Sixers’ efforts to hire him.
  • Associate head coach Jeff Bzdelik announced retirement.

Salary cap situation:

  • Remained over the cap.
  • Carrying approximately $131.14MM in guaranteed salaries.
  • Projected tax bill of $14.66MM.
  • $4.5MM of taxpayer mid-level exception still available ($838K used on Isaiah Hartenstein).

Check out the Houston Rockets’ full roster and depth chart at RosterResource.com.


Story of the summer:

It happened a year later than expected, but Carmelo Anthony is finally in Houston. He tried to get there for most of the summer of 2017, telling Knicks management that the Rockets were the only team he was willing to waive his no-trade clause to join. However, no deal could be worked out and Anthony expanded his list to include the Thunder shortly before training camps opened.

He never seemed fully comfortable in Oklahoma City, forming an awkward Big Three with Russell Westbrook and Paul George. His scoring averaged dipped to a career-low 16.2 points per night and he sat through the closing minutes of playoff games as OKC opted for a stronger defensive lineup.

An offseason trade to Atlanta and subsequent buyout cleared the final hurdles that kept him from Houston. Now Anthony is being asked to assume a reserve role and become a complementary shooter rather than a primary ball-handler. Playing alongside elite passers in James Harden and Chris Paul should provide plenty of open opportunities and help him improve on a shooting percentage that hit a career-low .404 in Oklahoma City.

Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni appreciates Anthony’s willingness to become a sixth man after starting all 1,054 of his previous games. “I know it’s not the ideal situation for him, because he’s a Hall of Famer and all that,” D’Antoni told ESPN’s Tim MacMahon (Twitter links). “I know it’s a big adjustment, but you know what? He’s true to his word. He said he’d do anything for the team. We think that’s best today. It might not be best later – we don’t know – but having him is something that we didn’t have last year. Obviously, it’s really good.”

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2018/19 NBA Over/Unders: Recap

Over the last two weeks, we’ve been going through each of the NBA’s 30 teams, publishing polls asking how many games each club will win this season. Using projections from professional oddsmakers, we’ve had you vote on whether each team will go over or under a given win total, from the Warriors (62.5) all the way through the Hawks (23.5).

Here are the full results of those votes:

Atlantic:

  • Boston Celtics (59.5 wins): Over (53.63%)
  • Toronto Raptors (55.5 wins): Over (56.95%)
  • Philadelphia 76ers (54.5 wins): Under (51.19%)
  • Brooklyn Nets (31.5 wins): Under (56.04%)
  • New York Knicks (28.5 wins): Under (54.13%)

Central:

  • Indiana Pacers (47.5 wins): Over (62.04%)
  • Milwaukee Bucks (47.5 wins): Over (73.7%)
  • Detroit Pistons (38.5 wins): Over (56.36%)
  • Cleveland Cavaliers (30.5 wins): Over (55.42%)
  • Chicago Bulls (29.5 wins): Over (61.8%)

Southeast:

  • Washington Wizards (45.5 wins): Over (56.28%)
  • Miami Heat (43.5 wins): Under (57.42%)
  • Charlotte Hornets (35.5 wins): Over (56.73%)
  • Orlando Magic (30.5 wins): Under (68.41%)
  • Atlanta Hawks (23.5 wins): Under (58.38%)

Northwest:

  • Utah Jazz (50.5 wins): Over (53.58%)
  • Oklahoma City Thunder (48.5 wins): Over (59.3%)
  • Denver Nuggets (48.5 wins): Under (56.2%)
  • Portland Trail Blazers (42.5 wins): Over (59.6%)
  • Minnesota Timberwolves (41.5 wins): Under (62.53%)

Pacific:

  • Golden State Warriors (62.5 wins): Over (53.45%)
  • Los Angeles Lakers (48.5 wins): Over (55.2%)
  • Los Angeles Clippers (36.5 wins): Under (55.7%)
  • Phoenix Suns (29.5 wins): Under (53.4%)
  • Sacramento Kings (25.5 wins): Under (63.87%)

Southwest:

  • Houston Rockets (56.5 wins): Over (69.33%)
  • New Orleans Pelicans (45.5 wins): Under (53.4%)
  • San Antonio Spurs (44.5 wins): Under (60%)
  • Dallas Mavericks (34.5 wins): Over (55.16%)
  • Memphis Grizzlies (34.5 wins): Under (60.87%)

As those results show, we were fairly split on overs (16) and unders (14). As a group, we’re particularly bullish on the Central division, where we voted for the over on all five teams. There were no extremely close votes in the bunch — the slimmest margin was for the Sixers, where 51.19% of poll respondents expect them to go under 54.5 wins.

Here are the five “over” bets that received the largest vote shares:

  1. Milwaukee Bucks, 47.5 wins: 73.7%
  2. Houston Rockets, 56.5 wins: 69.33%
  3. Indiana Pacers, 47.5 wins: 62.04%
  4. Chicago Bulls, 29.5 wins: 61.8%
  5. Portland Trail Blazers, 42.5 wins: 59.6%

Here are the five “under” bets that received the largest vote shares:

  1. Orlando Magic, 30.5 wins: 68.41%
  2. Sacramento Kings, 25.5 wins: 63.87%
  3. Minnesota Timberwolves, 41.5 wins: 62.53%
  4. Memphis Grizzlies, 34.5 wins: 60.87%
  5. San Antonio Spurs, 44.5 wins: 60%

What do you think? Are there any results above that you strongly disagree with? Did you make any over or under votes within the last week or two that you’re second-guessing now? Jump into our comment section below and weigh in with your thoughts!

Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Hoops Rumors’ 2018 NBA Free Agent Tracker

The NBA’s 2018 offseason is now in the books, with the regular season getting underway on Tuesday night. In case you didn’t keep up with this summer’s signings, Hoops Rumors is here to help you keep track of which players are on which teams this fall.

To this end, we present our Free Agent Tracker, a feature we’ve had each year since our inception in 2012. Using our tracker, you can quickly look up deals, sorting by team, position, free agent type, and a handful of other variables.

Now that the regular season is underway, our tracker will no longer be updated with the latest signings, since it’s meant to provide a snapshot of the offseason. Jamal Crawford‘s deal with the Suns will be the last entry for 2018.

Our 2018 Free Agent Tracker can be found anytime on the right sidebar of our desktop site under “Hoops Rumors Features,” and it’s also under the “Tools” menu atop the site. On our mobile site, it can be found in our menu under “Free Agent Lists.” If you have any corrections, please let us know right here.

The tracker includes every team’s non-guaranteed contract agreements for the offseason, so a number of the players listed have since been waived. When viewing the tracker, you can eliminate non-guaranteed deals by using the filter option to turn off “summer contracts.”

Our lists of free agents by position/type and by team break down the players who have yet to reach contract agreements.

Note: If you’re viewing the tracker on our mobile site, be sure to turn your phone sideways to see more details.

2018 Offseason In Review: Miami Heat

Hoops Rumors is breaking down the 2018 offseason for all 30 NBA teams, revisiting the summer’s free agent signings, trades, draft picks, departures, and more. We’ll evaluate each team’s moves from the last several months and look ahead to what the 2018/19 season holds for all 30 franchises. Today, we’re focusing on the Miami Heat.

Signings:

Trades:

  • None

Draft picks:

  • None

Contract extensions:

  • Justise Winslow: Signed three-year, $39MM extension. Third-year team option. Starts in 2019/20.

Departing players:

Other offseason news:

Salary cap situation:

  • Remained over the cap.
  • Carrying approximately $130MM in guaranteed salaries.
  • Projected tax bill of $9.72MM.
  • Full taxpayer mid-level exception ($5.34MM) still available.

Check out the Miami Heat’s full roster and depth chart at RosterResource.com.


Story of the summer:

Although trade rumors surrounded players like Hassan Whiteside, Dion Waiters, and Tyler Johnson for much of the offseason, the Heat’s summer was ultimately a quiet one.

Pat Riley and his front office didn’t have any draft picks and didn’t make any trades. The only four NBA free agents the Heat signed (Wayne Ellington, Dwyane Wade, Udonis Haslem, and Derrick Jones) were under contract with the team last season, and of those four players, only one (Jones) will earn noticeably more than he did last season, getting a bump from a two-way contract to the NBA veteran’s minimum.

Given the Heat’s relative inactivity, it was a move that didn’t get made that turned out to be the story of the team’s summer — or, more accurately, the fall. When Jimmy Butler‘s trade request went public in September, Miami quickly emerged as his top suitor, reportedly dangling a package that included Josh Richardson, a protected first-round pick, and Waiters for the All-NBA swingman.

The Heat and Timberwolves appeared multiple times to be on the verge of a deal, even exchanging medical information on the players involved in the proposed swap. However, Tom Thibodeau and the Wolves reportedly got cold feet, and Butler remains in Minnesota with each team’s regular season schedule now set to get underway.

The Wolves know that Butler doesn’t plan to re-sign with them next season, meaning it’s virtually inevitable that a deal will happen before the 2019 deadline. If and when it does, the Heat are in prime position to be the team on the other end of that trade. If Miami can land Butler, it won’t technically be an offseason move, but it would represent a significant roster shakeup for a club that essentially stood pat over the summer.

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Fantasy Hoops: Five Early Storylines To Watch

The NBA’s opening day isn’t an official holiday (National Basketball Day is “officially” November 6, James Naismith’s birthday), though the start of professional basketball has a special feel to it. It’s a day filled with anticipation, one where you can catch up on any team previews you might have missed, make your last-second predictions, and get your last-minute season-long bets in (provided, you are of course, in a state or country where such gambling is allowed).

After an offseason of change with several top players switching teams and others begrudgingly staying put, the NBA’S 73rd campaign is here and that means fantasy basketball season is upon us. Here are some early storylines to watch from a fantasy perspective:

Kemba Walker and Optimism In Charlotte

Kemba Walker, who will be a free agent at the end of the season, has been on the trade block for quite some time and – as we mentioned in our top-150 rankings – the threat of Charlotte shipping him away puts a light blanket on his fantasy value. However, this is a franchise that is itching to make the postseason and they may be able to shimmy into the top spot in the division with no elite team lurking.

The Wizards added Dwight Howard and Austin Rivers to a core that appears to have a definite ceiling. The Heat are still listening to the Timberwolves‘ stock music as they wait on hold in Jimmy Butler negotiations. The Hawks are in a full rebuild and the Magic haven’t been competitive since Hedo Turkoglu was in his prime. The division is up for the taking.

The Hornets won’t deal Walker if they are in the playoff race and they may even add talent for a run, as ESPN’s Zach Lowe speculated in his latest piece. If Walker stays put all year and the team can give him another running mate, he’ll be a top-five point guard in the fantasy realm.

Changing Of The Guards (Temporarily) In OKC

Russell Westbrook continues to rehab from September knee surgery, something that caused him to drop in our preseason Fantasy Hoops rankings. There’s no set date for his return. In his absence, Dennis Schroder, who came to the Thunder in the Carmelo Anthony deal, is a must-start in daily fantasy and a few other players should be on the fantasy radar as a result of Oklahoma City’s injury woes.

Raymond Felton, who was third on the team during the preseason with a usage rate of 26.1, becomes usable in both daily and season-long formats. With Andre Roberson still months away from a return, Felton, Terrance Ferguson, and Hamidou Diallo should fill in the guard rotation.

Paul George sees a spike in value while Westbrook is sidelined. Expect his usage rate to be among the league leaders early on.

The Knicks’ Three-Guard Starting Lineup

The Knicks will trot out a starting five of Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Lance Thomas, and Enes Kanter in a lineup that figures to bleed points. Ntilikina has the potential to be a lockdown defender and he has the ability to defend three positions. Still, this is a lineup that shouldn’t give opposing offenses much resistance. 

No. 9 overall pick Kevin Knox‘s fantasy stock takes a slight hit as he moves to the bench. Coach David Fizdale hopes the decision to bring Knox off the pine will motivate the rookie and fantasy owners are hoping for the same. Knox is talented and he’ll get more run as the season goes along. New York is going to be bad—among the league’s worst—and the franchise will need to use its on-court minutes to evaluate everything in-house before it heads into an offseason that could be filled with fireworks.

The Trae Young Show

Trae Young will be Atlanta’s opening night starter with Jeremy Lin not yet ready to play. Expect a good showing against the aforementioned Knicks in The Garden and expect him to keep the gig for the remainder of the season.

Young will fill up the stat sheet with points and assists, and the Hawks will likely be running Rookie-Of-The-Year promos for him later in the season. He has a good chance to be the best rookie this season from a fantasy perspective.

Michael Carter-Williams, The Fantasy Asset?

When MCW signed with Rockets, NBA Twitter responded with shrugs, laughs, and some questionable emojis. Yet, the track record of Daryl Morey, along with the new environment gives hope to the combo guard’s season.

The former Rookie Of The Year award winner will be in the best situation of his meandering career. Last year, he played for a young, thin Hornets team, where Walker was the only top talent. Prior to that, he had a cup of coffee with Chicago sitting behind Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo on one of the wonkiest rosters ever assembled. Before those stops, he spent time with the Baby Bucks and was a lead character during the opening scene of The Process.

Now, MCW is playing on an established team has turned around more than a few NBA careers. This season, he’ll play behind Chris Paul, James Harden, and Eric Gordon and while there won’t be many minutes for him right away, he’ll have the opportunity to continue to learn and compete for a role.

Admittedly, this is not an early storyline to watch and it’s unlikely he becomes a fantasy asset. However, with an aging Paul and a team that could take its foot off the gas in an effort to remain healthy for the postseason, I wouldn’t be totally shocked if Carter-Williams becomes fantasy relevant at some points during the season.

Fantasy questions? Take to the comment section below or tweet me at @CW_Crouse.

Missed an earlier edition of Fantasy Hoops? Check out the entire series here.

Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Hoops Rumors Writers’ 2018/19 NBA Predictions

The NBA’s 2018/19 regular season will tip off on Tuesday night, as the Celtics host the Sixers in the early game and the Thunder visit the Warriors in the late game. With opening night finally here, the Hoops Rumors writing team is weighing in with our predictions for the coming year.

Listed below are our picks for the Eastern and Western Conference standings, the major awards, and – of course – the eventual champions. Disagree with our takes? Head down to the comment section to weigh in with your own predictions!


Luke Adams:

East Eastern Finals
1 Celtics Raptors over Celtics
2 Raptors Western Finals
3 Bucks Warriors over Rockets
4 Sixers NBA Finals
5 Heat Warriors over Raptors
6 Pacers MVP
7 Wizards Giannis Antetokounmpo
8 Hornets Rookie of the Year
West Luka Doncic
1 Warriors Defensive Player of the Year
2 Rockets Rudy Gobert
3 Jazz Sixth Man of the Year
4 Nuggets J.J. Redick
5 Pelicans Most Improved Player
6 Thunder Jamal Murray
7 Lakers Coach of the Year
8 Spurs Mike Budenholzer

Chris Crouse:

East Eastern Finals
1 Raptors Raptors over Celtics
2 Celtics Western Finals
3 Sixers Warriors over Rockets
4 Heat NBA Finals
5 Bucks Warriors over Raptors
6 Wizards MVP
7 Pacers LeBron James
8 Pistons Rookie of the Year
West Deandre Ayton
1 Warriors Defensive Player of the Year
2 Rockets Draymond Green
3 Jazz Sixth Man of the Year
4 Thunder Eric Gordon
5 Lakers Most Improved Player
6 Spurs Jamal Murray
7 Pelicans Coach of the Year
8 Nuggets Gregg Popovich

Clark Crum:

East Eastern Finals
1 Celtics Celtics over Sixers
2 Sixers Western Finals
3 Raptors Warriors over Rockets
4 Pacers NBA Finals
5 Wizards Warriors over Celtics
6 Bucks MVP
7 Heat LeBron James
8 Pistons Rookie of the Year
West Trae Young
1 Warriors Defensive Player of the Year
2 Rockets Kawhi Leonard
3 Thunder Sixth Man of the Year
4 Nuggets Eric Gordon
5 Jazz Most Improved Player
6 Lakers Josh Richardson
7 Trail Blazers Coach of the Year
8 Spurs Brad Stevens

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2018/19 Over/Unders: Northwest Division

The 2018/19 NBA regular season gets underway tonight, which means it’s time to get serious about predictions for the upcoming campaign. With the help of the lines from Bovada and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, we’re running through the predicted win totals for each of the NBA’s 30 teams, by division, to have you weigh in on whether you think those forecasts are too optimistic or too pessimistic.

Having already looked at the other five divisions, we’re moving onto the Northwest today…

Utah Jazz

(Trade Rumors app users, click here for Jazz poll)


Oklahoma City Thunder

(Trade Rumors app users, click here for Thunder poll)


Denver Nuggets

(Trade Rumors app users, click here for Nuggets poll)


Portland Trail Blazers

(Trade Rumors app users, click here for Trail Blazers poll)


Minnesota Timberwolves

(Trade Rumors app users, click here for Timberwolves poll)


Previous voting results:

Atlantic:

  • Boston Celtics (59.5 wins): Over (53.63%)
  • Toronto Raptors (55.5 wins): Over (56.95%)
  • Philadelphia 76ers (54.5 wins): Under (51.19%)
  • Brooklyn Nets (31.5 wins): Under (56.04%)
  • New York Knicks (28.5 wins): Under (54.13%)

Southwest:

  • Houston Rockets (56.5 wins): Over (69.33%)
  • New Orleans Pelicans (45.5 wins): Under (53.4%)
  • San Antonio Spurs (44.5 wins): Under (60%)
  • Dallas Mavericks (34.5 wins): Over (55.16%)
  • Memphis Grizzlies (34.5 wins): Under (60.87%)

Central:

  • Indiana Pacers (47.5 wins): Over (62.04%)
  • Milwaukee Bucks (47.5 wins): Over (73.7%)
  • Detroit Pistons (38.5 wins): Over (56.36%)
  • Cleveland Cavaliers (30.5 wins): Over (55.42%)
  • Chicago Bulls (29.5 wins): Over (61.8%)

Pacific:

  • Golden State Warriors (62.5 wins): Over (53.45%)
  • Los Angeles Lakers (48.5 wins): Over (55.2%)
  • Los Angeles Clippers (36.5 wins): Under (55.7%)
  • Phoenix Suns (29.5 wins): Under (53.4%)
  • Sacramento Kings (25.5 wins): Under (63.87%)

Southeast:

  • Washington Wizards (45.5 wins): Over (56.28%)
  • Miami Heat (43.5 wins): Under (57.42%)
  • Charlotte Hornets (35.5 wins): Over (56.73%)
  • Orlando Magic (30.5 wins): Under (68.41%)
  • Atlanta Hawks (23.5 wins): Under (58.38%

NBA Teams With Most, Least Roster Continuity

As usual, the 2018 NBA offseason featured plenty of player movement, with new rookies entering the league, free agents changing teams, and a total of 31 trades being completed between the end of the 2017/18 season and 2018/19’s opening night.

Some teams were more involved in that summer carousel than others. The Hawks, for instance, will enter the season carrying only seven players who finished last season with the team. The Suns will also bring back just seven players from last year’s squad, and that number figures to drop to six once the team completes its reported signing of Jamal Crawford, assuming Davon Reed is the odd man out.

Because teams are permitted to carry 15 players on standard contracts and two more on two-way deals, the maximum number of players a club could have brought back was 17. No team got that high, but the Heat and Jazz are each bringing back 14 players from last year’s rosters. Impressively, all 14 players on Miami’s standard roster are returning players — only the club’s two-way players are new.

[RELATED: 2018/19 NBA Roster Counts]

While many teams turned over their two-way contract slots entirely, several clubs are bringing back those players, either keeping them on two-way deals or promoting them to their active rosters. The Nuggets, Bulls, Pacers, and Lakers are among the teams who retained both of their two-way players from last season.

[RELATED: 2018/19 NBA Two-Way Contract Tracker]

Listed below are the number of returning players for each of the NBA’s 30 teams, from most to fewest. Bringing back a significant number of players doesn’t necessarily lead to regular season success, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a few of the teams near the top of this list enjoy fast starts due to their players’ familiarity with each other, while teams near the bottom of the list may take some time to get used to their changes.

Here’s the returning-player count for each team:

  1. Miami Heat: 14
  2. Utah Jazz: 14
  3. Boston Celtics: 13
  4. Chicago Bulls: 12
  5. Denver Nuggets: 12
  6. New York Knicks: 12
  7. Cleveland Cavaliers: 11
  8. Indiana Pacers: 11
  9. Philadelphia 76ers: 11
  10. Portland Trail Blazers: 11
  11. Sacramento Kings: 11
  12. Toronto Raptors: 11
  13. Charlotte Hornets: 10
  14. Detroit Pistons: 10
  15. Golden State Warriors: 10
    • Note: Patrick McCaw remains a restricted free agent. The Warriors’ returning player count could increase to 11 if he re-signs.
  16. Los Angeles Clippers: 10
  17. Milwaukee Bucks: 10
  18. Dallas Mavericks: 9
  19. Memphis Grizzlies: 9
  20. Minnesota Timberwolves: 9
  21. New Orleans Pelicans: 9
  22. Oklahoma City Thunder: 9
  23. Orlando Magic: 9
  24. Washington Wizards: 9
  25. Brooklyn Nets: 8
  26. Houston Rockets: 8
  27. Los Angeles Lakers: 8
  28. San Antonio Spurs: 8
  29. Atlanta Hawks: 7
  30. Phoenix Suns: 7
    • Note: The Suns’ returning player count will drop to 6 if Jamal Crawford replaces Davon Reed on the roster, as is expected.

2018 Offseason In Review: Sacramento Kings

Hoops Rumors is breaking down the 2018 offseason for all 30 NBA teams, revisiting the summer’s free agent signings, trades, draft picks, departures, and more. We’ll evaluate each team’s moves from the last several months and look ahead to what the 2018/19 season holds for all 30 franchises. Today, we’re focusing on the Sacramento Kings.

Signings:

Trades:

  • Acquired either the Timberwolves’ or Lakers’ 2019 second-round pick (whichever is more favorable), the Heat’s 2021 second-round pick, and cash ($1.5MM) from the Trail Blazers in exchange for the draft rights to Gary Trent Jr. (No. 37 pick).
  • Acquired Ben McLemore, Deyonta Davis, the Grizzlies’ 2021 second-round pick, and cash ($1,544,951) from the Grizzlies in exchange for Garrett Temple.
    • Note: Davis was later waived.

Draft picks:

Departing players:

Other offseason news:

Salary cap situation:

  • Used cap space; still under the cap.
  • Carrying approximately $90.84MM in guaranteed salaries.
  • Slightly under $91.68MM salary floor.
  • Approximately $11.02MM in cap room still available.
  • Full room exception ($4.45MM) still available.

Check out the Sacramento Kings’ full roster and depth chart at RosterResource.com.


Story of the summer:

Sacramento’s front office knew none of the top-level free agents would seriously consider signing with its downtrodden franchise. So it tried to make a big splurge in the restricted free agent market. The Kings made an offer to shooting guard Zach LaVine that they hoped the Bulls would refuse. Instead, Chicago bit the bullet and matched the offer sheet, denying the Kings a player they viewed as a difference maker.

LaVine played 24 games last season after recovering from an ACL tear, yet Sacramento was willing to give him a fully-guaranteed four-year contract worth $78MM. Sacramento figured it could pair up a prolific scorer with De’Aaron Fox, giving it a dynamic backcourt under team control for the next few seasons.

Once they lost their bet that the Bulls wouldn’t want to retain LaVine at that price, the Kings went the bargain basement route. They signed backup forward Nemanja Bjelica to a three-year contract worth a little over $20MM.

Bjelica landed in Sacramento under an odd set of circumstances. He entered the market as a restricted free agent but became unrestricted after the Timberwolves withdrew their qualifying offer. He then agreed to a one-year contract with the Sixers, only to back out of the agreement. It was originally presumed that Bjelica was headed to Europe.

Instead, the Kings swooped in with the multi-year deal that Bjelica had been seeking. He’ll get minutes at both forward spots with his ability to stretch the floor.

Bjelica established himself as a rotation player with Minnesota the past three seasons. He averaged 6.8 PPG and 4.1 RPG in 67 games last season, including 21 starts.

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