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And-Ones: Leonard, Lawson, Kings

Kawhi Leonard, who re-signed with the Spurs in July for five years and an estimated $90MM, ranks favorably among the best small forwards in history at similar stages of their careers, according to advanced stats, Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express-News writes. For example, in his fourth year, Leonard had a better Player Efficiency Rating (22.0) than Scottie Pippen (21.5), Bernard King (19.8), Alex English (19.7) and John Havlicek (19.2) did in their fifth, as McCarney points out. What’s more, he had more win shares per 48 minutes (.204) than those four as well as Rick Barry (.155) and Dominique Wilkins (.197), McCarney adds.

Here’s more news and notes from around the league:

  • The Kings‘ decision to sign Rajon Rondo to a one-year deal worth $10MM was a bad move because Rondo is a limited player and even if he does post a quality season, the contract does not provide any future control for the team, writes SI.com’s Ben Golliver in an analysis of Sacramento’s offseason. On the other hand, the Kings’ deal with Kosta Koufos is a good one, Golliver writes, because Koufos is a dependable, unselfish producer.
  • Ty Lawson, in reply to a comment on his Instagram account, criticized Nuggets GM Tim Connelly, owner Stan Kroenke and president Josh Kroenke (h/t Jeffrey Morton of Denverstiffs.com). Lawson was traded to the Rockets during the summer after continued alcohol issues. In response to a comment that labeled Lawson a disappointment in Denver, Lawson replied, “lol I wasn’t a disappointment…. I did my job.. Tim Conelly [sic] and the kronke [sic] are bad owners and gm’s.”

Kings Sign Vince Hunter

SEPTEMBER 9TH, 10:53pm: Hunter has signed with the Kings, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets. The pact is a one-year, minimum salary arrangement that includes a partial guarantee of $35K, Pincus notes. No official announcement has been made by the team.

AUGUST 13TH, 3:53pm: The Kings have reached a contract agreement with undrafted forward Vince Hunter, Shams Charania of RealGM reports (Twitter link). The length and terms of the pact are not yet known, but Charania notes that the deal includes a partial guarantee. Hunter was ranked as the No. 56 overall prospect in the 2015 NBA Draft according to Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress, while ESPN’s Chad Ford slotted him at 42nd overall.

The addition of Hunter will bring Sacramento’s roster count to 16 players, 14 of whom possess fully guaranteed contracts, making Hunter a longshot to make the opening night roster. The Kings may have designs on the 6’8″ forward spending the 2015/16 season with their D-League affiliate in Reno, though that is merely my speculation. Hunter is an excellent athlete who is a solid rebounder, and he is an exciting finisher around the rim, but his lack of a reliable perimeter game will hurt his chances to earn a regular spot in the NBA.

The 21-year old made 33 appearances for UTEP during the 2014/15 campaign, averaging 14.9 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 1.7 assists in 28.5 minutes per contest, and he owned a slash line of .526/.400/.602. Hunter played for the Sixers’ squad in the Las Vegas Summer League, logging averages of 7.0 PPG and 5.5 RPG in four appearances.

And-Ones: Jordan, Rondo, Kings

The Knicks did not ultimately factor in DeAndre Jordan‘s decision this summer, but Jordan said it had nothing to do with the team’s presentation, Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports. Jordan met with the Knicks but re-signed with the Clippers.

“The Knicks had a great presentation,” Jordan said. Phil Jackson speaks for himself with his resume. [Coach Derek Fisher] did a great job. The whole team, I felt like they had a plan — for the organization, and they had a plan for me, which was cool. But nothing was wrong with their presentation. It was great.”

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • Rudy Gay believes his friend and new teammate Rajon Rondo is motivated to prove doubters wrong, Berger writes in the same piece. Rondo signed a one-year, $10MM pact with the Kings in July. Rondo will be coming off a down year in terms of production.
  • The Kings have hired longtime NBA sabermetrician Roland Beech to head up their analytics department, Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports. Beech replaces Dean Oliver, who was let go in July.

Kings Eye Hedo Turkoglu

The Kings have emerged as a possibility for free agent Hedo Turkoglu, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). Friend and former teammate Vlade Divac is in charge of Sacramento’s front office as vice president of basketball and franchise operations.

The 36-year-old who spent the past two seasons with the Clippers wouldn’t rule out retirement or playing overseas when he spoke about two months ago, but Wojnarowski indicates that the Jim Tanner client now wants to continue his NBA career. He averaged 3.7 points in 11.4 minutes per game across 64 appearances for the Clippers this past season, but he saw only 5.0 MPG in the playoffs, and it’s unclear if the Clips want the 15-year veteran back. Chatter has been scarce about NBA interest in Turkoglu this summer.

Sacramento has 14 fully guaranteed contracts, plus David Stockton on a non-guaranteed deal. The Kings preserved a measure of flexibility when they waived Eric Moreland earlier this week, in advance of Saturday, when his contract was to become fully guaranteed.

Kings Waive Eric Moreland

1:15pm: The move is official, the team announced.

12:08pm: The Kings are placing Eric Moreland on waivers rather than guarantee his salary, reports Shams Charania of RealGM (Twitter link). His minimum salary would become fully guaranteed if the Kings don’t release him by the end of Saturday, as the schedule of guarantee dates shows.

The big man who went undrafted out of Oregon State in 2014 saw only two minutes of NBA regular season action before a labral tear in his left shoulder knocked him out for the rest of the season around New Year’s Day. Sacramento had signed him to a three-year partially guaranteed deal for the minimum salary before the season, but no guaranteed money remains on the pact. The 6’11” 23-year-old put up fairly impressive rebounding numbers in seven games while on D-League assignment, averaging 12.7 boards in 28.7 minutes per contest.

The news of Moreland’s impending release is probably an auspicious sign for Kings point guard David Stockton, even though he plays a different position. Sacramento is carrying 14 fully guaranteed contracts, and Moreland would have become the 15th if the Kings had kept him this weekend. That means Stockton, whose salary wouldn’t become guaranteed until January, has an opening on the regular season roster to fight for.

Who do you think has a better shot to stick in the NBA, Eric Moreland or David Stockton? Leave a comment to let us know.

Kings Sign Caron Butler

4:00pm: The signing is official, the Kings announced.

JULY 23RD, 3:09pm: Butler has already visited the Kings to sign his contract, and a formal announcement should come soon, tweets Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee.

2:25pm: The deal is worth a total of $3MM, tweets Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today, though it appears he’s rounding down. The least he could make over two years would be $3,050,846. In any case, the deal is ostensibly for the minimum.

2:19pm: Year two is a player option, Wojnarowski writes.

JULY 10TH, 1:56pm: The Kings and Caron Butler have agreed on a two-year deal, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). Butler recently became a free agent after the Bucks, who had just acquired him via trade from the Pistons, waived him rather than guarantee what would have been a $4.5MM salary.

The ThunderBulls, Clippers, Spurs, Lakers and Knicks were all reportedly eyeing him as July neared, and the Cavaliers apparently made consistent contact. Instead, Butler appears headed to Sacramento, which used the cap flexibility it’s secured in its trade with the Sixers to come to agreements with a handful of players already.

The Raymond Brothers client figures to provide depth behind Rudy Gay at small forward, and perhaps play alongside Gay in small-ball configurations. Butler, 35, has mostly been a reserve the past two seasons with the Bucks, Thunder and Pistons, though he started 21 games this year for Detroit.

Kings Sign Quincy Acy

WEDNESDAY, 8:08pm: The deal is official, the Kings announced.

10:19pm: Acy’s deal calls for the minimum salary, notes former Nets executive Bobby Marks (Twitter link).

MONDAY, 6:52pm: Unrestricted free agent forward Quincy Acy has agreed to a two-year deal with the Kings, reports RealGM’s Shams Charania, who cites league sources (Twitter link). The second year has a player option, Charania adds.

The Magic, Pelicans, Hawks and Spurs were teams who had shown interest in Acy, who became an unrestricted free agent after the Knicks declined to extend the qualifying offer of $1.181MM to the forward. The big man should add some front-court depth.

Acy, in his best season in the league, averaged 5.9 points per game and 4.4 rebounds per game last year with the Knicks. Acy played for the Kings previously. He appeared in 56 games with Sacramento in the 2013/14 season.

Kings Sign Duje Dukan

WEDNESDAY, 8:00pm: The signing is official, the team announced.

MONDAY, 5:33pm: The Kings have agreed to a deal with undrafted Wisconsin forward Duje Dukan, reports RealGM’s Shams Charania, who cites league sources (Twitter link). Dukan’s deal with the Kings will contain guarantees, Charania adds in a full story, but it is not clear what they are yet.

Dukan, a big man who can create some floor spacing, averaged 4.7 points and 2.6 rebounds per game during the 2014/15 season. He has been playing in summer league with the Kings. Dukan was a solid shooter and ball-handler in college.

Kings Sign Seth Curry

7:41pm: The signing is official, Sacramento announced.

WEDNESDAY, 7:50am: The deal is for the minimum, according to Sam Amick of USA Today (Twitter link). That makes it worth $1,962,972, slightly less than $2MM, and more importantly, it means Sacramento doesn’t have to use its room exception on him, as former Nets executive Bobby Marks surmised (Twitter link).

TUESDAY, 7:40pm: The Kings have reached an agreement with unrestricted free agent Seth Curry, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports. It is going to be a two-year, $2MM pact, Wojnarowski adds.  Both years will be fully guaranteed, and the second year is a player option, Wojnarowski tweets. ESPN’s Marc Stein first reported (on Twitter) that the two sides were nearing a deal.

The 24-year-old has spent most of his time in the NBA D-League, and has inked 10-day contracts with the Cavs, Grizzlies, and Suns over the past two seasons. Curry has only appeared in a total of four NBA contests, and his averages are 0.8 points, 0.8 rebounds, and 0.3 assists in 5.3 minutes per contest.

The Pelicans were rumored to be close to giving a guaranteed deal to Curry, who played extremely well in the Las Vegas Summer League. Curry played for New Orleans’ squad in Vegas, averaging 24.3 points per contest on 45.9% shooting.

Kings Sign James Anderson

JULY 16TH. 2:01pm: The deal is official, the team announced (on Twitter).

JULY 2ND, 12:08pm: The Kings and James Anderson have agreed on a multiyear deal, reports Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). Anderson, a former 20th overall pick, spent last season with Zalgiris of Lithuania after he was the starting shooting guard for the Sixers in 2013/14.

Anderson averaged 13.7 points in 25.2 minutes per game overseas this past season, numbers apparently strong enough to keep him on the NBA radar. His original deal with Zalgiris included an NBA out clause, but he chose not to exercise it in exchange for a raise.

It’s unclear what the Andy Miller client will make with the Kings, but following their agreement to trade three players to Philadelphia in a cap-clearing deal, Sacramento has plenty of latitude to exceed the minimum.

Kings Interested In Matt Bonner

Free agent Matt Bonner has become a subject of interest from the Kings, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The longtime Spur was reportedly thinking about retirement this spring, though he said last year that he wanted to play for several more seasons. Little chatter has surrounded the 35-year-old’s free agency this month, even though he made 19 starts this past season, the second most of his 11-year career.

Bonner made the minimum salary in 2014/15, and it would seem difficult for him to command more this time around. Sacramento is reportedly closing in on a deal with Luc Mbah a Moute that would be its sixth free agent agreement of the month, so Bonner is down the team’s list of priorities.

In spite of the Red Rocket’s appearances in the starting lineup, his play declined this past season. His 36.5% accuracy from behind the arc showed proficiency, but it was his first sub-40% three-point shooting season in five years. His 10.1 PER was a career low.

Kings Sign Kosta Koufos

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Phoenix Suns

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

July 13th, 9:58pm: The signing is official, according to the team’s Twitter feed.

July 4th, 10:01pm: The Kings will sign Kosta Koufos to a four-year deal worth $33MM, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The deal will include a player option after the third season that will allow him to return to free agency during the summer of 2018, Stein adds (Twitter link).

The center had previously received interest from the Mavs, Magic, Celtics and Lakers in addition to the Kings. Koufos is the second center the team has added this offseason. Sacramento drafted Willie Cauley-Stein with the No. 6 overall pick in this year’s draft. The moves seem to correspond with DeMarcus Cousins‘ insistence to play more minutes at the power forward position. The team now has the depth to accommodate such an arrangement. The signing also gives Sacramento a back-up plan if the Cousins-George Karl relationship is found to be unsalvageable and the team opts to trade the 24-year-old. Koufos previously played under coach Karl for two and a half seasons as a member of the Nuggets.

Koufos averaged 5.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 0.8 blocks per game last season. The 26-year-old was the ninth best center defensively, according to ESPN’s Defensive Real Plus/Minus.

Kings Sign Marco Belinelli

July 13th, 9:58pm: The signing is official, according to the team’s Twitter feed.

July 3rd, 4:05pm: The deal wouldn’t fit within the mid-level exception, Stein notes via Twitter. That exception would only allow for a total of $17,129,640 over three years, and while it’s not uncommon for initial reported figures on deals to be off, this appears to be confirm that the contract will exceed the exception amount. That means the Kings will likely use cap room and lose the ability to create trade exceptions for the three players they’ve agreed to trade to Philadelphia, as Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders points out (on Twitter).

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Detroit Pistons

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

1:36pm: The Kings and Marco Belinelli have reached agreement on a deal worth $19MM over three years, reports Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The contract will include no option clauses, tweets Ken Berger of CBSSports.com. Sacramento will likely use part of the cap space it’s set to clear in the wake of its trade agreement with the Sixers, though the deal is cheap enough to fit within the $5.464MM mid-level exception if the Kings choose to operate as an over-the-cap team.

The Hornets had reportedly planned a strong pursuit, and the Warriors had interest, too. The Heat put in a call to express their interest in the client of Sam Goldfeder and Jeff Schwartz, reports Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald (Twitter link), but Miami, like the Warriors, is likely limited to no more than the $3.376MM taxpayer’s mid-level exception. The Bulls might have gone after him if they’d have failed to sign Mike Dunleavy, as K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune wrote, but they, too, would likely have been limited to the taxpayer’s mid-level.

Belinelli wanted to re-sign with the Spurs, as Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News heard (Twitter link). They were armed with Early Bird rights to bring him back on a deal comparable to the one he’s getting from the Kings, but they’re in hot pursuit of LaMarcus Aldridge, and may well have had to renounce Belinelli’s rights to squeeze Aldridge under the cap.

Sacramento moves on from having missed out on Monta Ellis and Wesley Matthews with a proven three-point marksman who’s nailed 39.2% of his attempts from behind the arc for his career. Still, outside of two seasons in New Orleans, he’s primarily been a reserve during his eight years in the NBA.

Kings Sign Rajon Rondo

July 13th, 9:38pm: The signing is official, according to the team’s Twitter feed.

July 3rd, 6:17pm: The Kings and Rajon Rondo have reached an agreement to bring the point guard to Sacramento for the 2015/16 campaign, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports (on Twitter). It is a one-year, $10MM pact, adds Spears. Rondo agreed to a short-term deal with the expectation to cash in on a major raise in salaries and the salary cap when the league’s new television deal kicks in next summer, Spears adds.

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

Sacramento forward Rudy Gay played an instrumental role in the Kings landing Rondo, who is a close friend of his, Spears notes (Twitter links). Rondo also played a part in the team’s signing of Marco Belinelli, having asked the team to land a shooter, the Yahoo! scribe adds. The team is planning on using Rondo and Darren Collison in the same backcourt at times, according to Spears’ sources.

Things turned sour quickly for Rondo last season after being acquired by the Mavs. He made 46 appearances for the team, averaging 9.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 6.5 assists in 28.7 minutes per contest, with a slash line of .436/.352/.452. His career numbers are 10.8 PPG, 4.7 RPG, and 8.3 APG, with a shooting line of .470/.263/.609.

It should be quite interesting to watch the relationship between Rondo and new Kings coach George Karl. Karl has had run-ins with star players before, including Kings center DeMarcus Cousins. Rondo, meanwhile, has had difficulties with virtually every coach he has played for in the league, including Mavs coach Rick Carlisle during the 2014/15 season, resulting in the point guard being benched in the playoffs.

And-Ones: Kings, Rivers, West

The Kings blundered when they agreed to a cap-clearing trade with the Sixers before they had a commitment from someone on which they could use that cap flexibility, SB Nation’s Tom Ziller opines. Besides, the Kings aren’t exactly inspiring confidence with primary targets such as Monta Ellis, who’s since agreed to sign with the Pacers, Rajon Rondo and Wesley Matthews, Ziller adds. It’s the latest in a string of puzzling decisions in Sacramento, as SportsBusiness Daily rounds up.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Though he didn’t rule out a return to the Clippers, free agent guard Austin Rivers says that he intends to explore his options before making a decision, Marc Stein of ESPN.com relays (Twitter link).
  • Draymond Green‘s representatives used Tristan Thompson‘s proposed deal with the Cavaliers as a baseline for their negotiations with the Warriors, Sam Amick of USA Today notes (on Twitter). Thompson is reportedly close to landing a deal in the $80MM-$82MM range, Amick adds.
  • The Warriors promoted Larry Harris to director of player personnel and hired Lachlan Penfold as head of physical performance/sports medicine, Ken Berger of CBSSports.com tweets.
  • Free agent forward David West is most likely to end up with either the Wizards or the Spurs, Stein tweets.
  • The Nuggets and unrestricted free agent Darrell Arthur have been engaged in productive talks about a new contract, but no deal appears to be imminent, Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post writes. Arthur has drawn interest from several teams across the league, including the Pistons and Wizards, Dempsey notes.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Kings Interested In Jeremy Lin

The Kings have guard Jeremy Lin on their radar, according to Chris Mannix of SI (on Twitter).  Lin averaged 11.2 points on 42.4% shooting this season, his lowest output in both categories since his rookie season in 2010/11.

Lin, in all likelihood, would come relatively cheaply after a largely unsuccessful stint with the Lakers. His scoring average has declined in each of the three years since his “Linsanity” season with the Knicks.  A few months ago, Lin – who will be a free agent in a matter of hours – indicated that he would like to stay with the Lakers.

That would be great,” Lin said of staying in Los Angeles. “There’s so much that needs to happen, but that’s definitely an option for me.”

For what it’s worth, Lin also indicated that he had a productive exit interview with coach Byron Scott.  For his career, Lin has averaged 11.7 PPG and 4.8 APG in 26.9 minutes per contest.  His career 15.5 PER casts him roughly as an average player in terms of efficiency.

Kings Eye Eric Bledsoe

3:24pm: Suns coach Jeff Hornacek didn’t address the Kings rumor, but he denied any talks with the Knicks regarding Bledsoe, as the coach spoke today on SiriusXM NBA Radio, and as Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic transcribes (on Twitter). “Eric is a big part of our future and there was no entertainment of that,” Hornacek said.

11:00am: The Kings are expected to express interest in trading for Eric Bledsoe, a source tells Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. That wording doesn’t necessarily indicate that Sacramento will indeed pursue him, but the Kings are far more focused on making an upgrade at point guard than potential DeMarcus Cousins trades, a league executive said to Deveney.

Deveney reported a week ago that the Suns had discussed Bledsoe trade scenarios with teams including the Knicks, and while multiple other reports painted a different picture, the Suns would seriously consider trading Bledsoe if they re-sign Brandon Knight, as they’re reportedly set to do. Bledsoe is set to make $13.5MM next season in the second year of a five-year, $70MM deal.

One GM expressed concern over Bledsoe’s long-term health and coachability, and league sources indicate to Deveney that finding a taker for him wouldn’t be easy for Phoenix. The Kings also reportedly have interest in Rajon Rondo, who apparently finds the idea of a one-year deal with Sacramento intriguing, but he, too, carries some negative baggage coming off a disastrous half-season stint in Dallas.

The same league executive who said Sacramento is looking at point guards more fervently than Cousins trades told Deveney that he expects the Suns would be willing to wait to trade Bledsoe until after the market for star free agents dries up around the league, so it doesn’t appear that Phoenix is necessarily in a rush.

Offseason Outlook: Sacramento Kings

Guaranteed Contracts

Non-Guaranteed Contracts

Options

  • None

Restricted Free Agents/Cap Holds

Unrestricted Free Agents/Cap Holds

Draft Picks

  • 1st Round (6th overall)

Cap Outlook

  • Guaranteed Salary: $53,108,530
  • Non-Guaranteed Salary: $2,637,394
  • Options: $0
  • Cap Holds: $29,537,201
  • Total: $85,283,125

For the ninth straight time, the Kings suffered a losing season and failed to make the playoffs. The hope, from Sacramento’s perspective, is that the team will finally take a quantum leap forward in its long rebuilding process. Time, however, is running out for that procedure to include star DeMarcus Cousins, who lately has been the subject of a bevy of trade rumors. This offseason is a particularly important one for the Kings because of the front office shakeup the franchise experienced and the fact they will be playing their last season at the old arena before moving into their new downtown arena in the fall of 2016.

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

While the Kings have seven players under guaranteed contracts for next season, that doesn’t mean they necessarily have depth, and they are without several areas that are in need of improvement. Cousins is locked in for three more seasons for a total of $47MM, and he had a terrific year, with averages of 24.1 points per game and 12.7 rebounds per game. He will turn 25 going into the 2015/16 seasons, with his first five seasons in the league ending without a playoff appearance. Yet despite four consecutive draft lottery selections, the Kings are yet to find a secondary star with the ability to support Cousins.

This might be the season the Kings ditch him and move in an entirely different direction, according to recent reports that claim coach George Karl has an intense desire for the Kings to trade him. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports Karl and some members of the team’s front office have expressed to executives and coaches from other teams that they hope to have owner Vivek Ranadive’s blessing to trade the All-Star soon.

Ranadive and vice president of basketball and franchise operations Vlade Divac have insisted time and again that the team has no plans to trade Cousins, however, according to Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee. Divac has said the team is looking for players who will complement Cousins’ skills. 

“That is not happening,” Divac said about the possibility of moving Cousins, “but I would love to do something, a smaller move, before the draft. We have a lot of changes to make. The league is much more up-tempo now, and we need more three-point shooting. If we don’t get that in the draft, we’ll be active in free agency and see about making trades later in the offseason.”

Still, the Lakers, Celtics, Knicks and Nuggets have been tied to Cousins as potential suitors and trade partners. The Nuggets’ interest is tied to the fact that both Denver’s coach and GM were let go by the Kings. The Nuggets have been increasingly viewed as a team likely to go after Cousins since Denver’s hiring of ex-Kings coach Michael Malone this month, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com.

The idea that he might be on the block was ignited earlier this season amid Sacramento’s pair of midseason coaching changes. Cousins, who connected with Malone, released a statement expressing support for then-candidate Karl. The Kings also hired Divac late in the season and displaced GM Pete D’Alessandro, who’s now with the Nuggets. Cousins has asked not to be traded, as Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee notes (Twitter link).

Cousins has privately feared that Karl wanted him out, especially after Karl’s remark in April that he’s never had one player who would be untradeable, tweets Jones. One player that Karl would reportedly like to have replace Cousins is free agent big man JaVale McGee, reports Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). McGee previously played for Karl in Denver.

For now, at the very least, Cousins is on the Kings, and small forward Rudy Gay is his partner on the perimeter, with three years and $40MM left on his deal. Gay, too, has been a subject of trade rumors. Kings executives believe it’ll be tough to find value for Cousins and believe they have a better chance to find the right trade for Gay, according to Wojnarowski in the aforementioned piece. Sacramento is pursuing trades for Gay and the rest of its roster, Wojnarowski reports.

Cousins and Gay aside, the Kings do not have much else in terms of dependable talent. That, of course, is part of the reason they experienced another losing season. There were a few exceptions. Point guard Darren Collison, who is signed for two more years at $10MM, played well in his return to a starting role. Ben McLemore, after getting more minutes, improved his shooting statistics to respectable figures. McLemore improved his field goal percentage from 38% in 2013/14 to 44% this past season.

Depth and improved shooting are two major areas of concern this offseason for the Kings — besides, of course, the Cousins saga. The Kings, who have some cap space this summer, but not much wiggle room, have been a poor shooting team for a couple of years now, and that didn’t change this past season. They ranked 28th in both 3-pointers made and 3-pointers attempted. Sacramento has about $53MM in guaranteed salary against a projected $67.1MM cap for next season, not counting its first-round pick at No. 6., but with the team seemingly checking in on so many potential trades, it’s challenging to predict how much the Kings will have in terms of money and assets.

Ty Lawson is someone who can help in the area of shooting and has been linked to the Kings recently. The Nuggets and Kings have discussed a deal involving Lawson, but the sides have found little traction, reports Ken Berger of CBSSports.com. Karl is “enamored” with the notion of trading for Lawson, Kenneth Faried and Wilson Chandler, Berger writes in another piece, presumably in a deal that ships out Cousins.

Another name is soon-to-be free agent Rajon Rondo. The Kings and Rondo have mutual interest, as the idea of signing a one-year deal with Sacramento to rehabilitate his value around the league intrigues the point guard, Wojnarowski reports. Sacramento has long coveted Rondo, as reports have indicated, and the Kings were apparently among the teams who spoke with the Celtics shortly before Boston traded him to Dallas in December. Rondo is a name that makes sense for the Kings, with or without Cousins, because of how much Karl likes to push the ball in an up-tempo offense.

While it appears the team will be active on both the trade and free agent markets, the Kings also have the No. 6 pick in the draft. It’s an asset they are likely to move, however, tweets Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated. If the Kings hold on to the pick, I would expect them to scoop up a big man. It’s a good year for big men in the draft, and the Kings have a hole at power forward because Jason Thompson is among the least productive starters in the league. What’s more, the Kings are intrigued by the pairing of Frank Kaminsky and Cousins, according to Mannix (Twitter link). Kaminsky had a strong workout with the Kings on Monday, Mannix adds.

It’s already shaping up to be an intriguing offseason for the Kings, who have a new coach, new vice president of basketball and franchise operations and a new arena on the way, yet have suffered the same fate for nine straight seasons. Whether or not the team moves Cousins dictates the rest of the summer, one that Divac has promised would be the last the Kings go through as a team with a top-10 draft pick.

Cap Footnotes

1 — The Kings waived Ellington in August 2014 and used the stretch provision to spread his remaining guaranteed salary over the next three seasons.

The Basketball Insiders Salary Pages were used in the creation of this post.

Latest On Kings Front Office

Kings owner Vivek Ranadive indeed sees vice president of basketball and franchise operations Vlade Divac as the team’s primary basketball decision-maker instead of GM Pete D’Alessandro, league sources tell Marc Stein of ESPN.com. The team put Divac above D’Alessandro on its organizational chart when it hired its former center in March, though it wasn’t immediately clear whether Divac would be at the controls. D’Alessandro’s future with the club is unclear, as Stein and Grantland’s Zach Lowe (Twitter link) write. Sacramento is looking to hire another front office executive to support Divac whether or not D’Alessandro remains with the Kings, Stein hears.

Former Kings adviser Chris Mullin, who left the team a week ago to coach at St. John’s, his alma mater, was D’Alessandro’s closest ally, according to Stein. Mullin lost influence with Ranadive when he refused to coach the team immediately after the midseason firing of Michael Malone rather than wait until next season, sources tell the ESPN scribe. Mullin and D’Alessandro resisted the hiring of Divac, though D’Alessandro said last month that he and others were pleased to have Divac aboard, as Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee reported then.

Ranadive’s appointment of Divac atop the basketball power structure means the owner has once more hired a top hoops executive after hiring a coach, since George Karl joined the team in February, though Divac has made it clear that he likes Karl, Stein notes. Divac worked in the Lakers scouting department after his retirement in 2005, and he served as president of Serbia’s Partizan Belgrade and as an adviser to Spain’s Real Madrid, as Stein points out. He’s also done Olympic and FIBA administrative work and has a reputation as a unifying force, according to Stein. That jibes with a recent report from The Bee’s Jason Jones that Ranadive has wanted to end the discord that’s marked the front office of late. Ranadive had lost faith in the front office’s plan, Jones tweets.

D’Alessandro came aboard shortly after Ranadive bought the team in 2013. The GM had been former Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri‘s chief aide, and Denver was reportedly leaning toward hiring D’Alessandro for its own GM vacancy in 2013, when Ujiri left to head the Raptors. D’Alessandro’s tenure in charge of Sacramento’s basketball operations was marked by an aggressive posture toward trades, particularly in his first season, when the team acquired Rudy Gay from Ujiri and the Raptors. The Kings under D’Alessandro pushed Gay to opt in for this season and signed him to an extension this past fall, and they gave DeMarcus Cousins a max extension the previous offseason.

Kings Shop Derrick Williams

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.

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