Kings Rumors

Kings Notes: Hield, Bogdanovic, Cap Flexibility, Metu

By the end of the 2019/20 season, it appeared that Buddy Hield‘s days in Sacramento might be numbered. He had bristled at being removed from the starting lineup last winter and the Kings appeared committed to investing in Bogdan Bogdanovic, the man who had replaced Hield as the club’s starting shooting guard.

However, Sacramento let Bogdanovic walk in free agency and Hield remains on the roster. Addressing the situation in a conference call with reporters this week, general manager Monte McNair expressed a belief that Hield can still be – and is – a part of the Kings’ long-term plans.

“I’ve talked with Buddy, as well as his agent, I think we’re all on the same page,” McNair said, per James Ham of NBC Sports California. “I think we’re really excited to see Buddy kind of let free in this system. I think he’s going to be fantastic.”

The Kings are aiming to increase their tempo on offense this season. As Ham notes, that would seem to be a good fit for Hield’s outside shooting ability.

“‘Buddy is such an incredible talent, especially his shooting is at an elite level,” McNair said. “(That) is something we saw this offseason was at a premium. I think we’re really excited to see him in this system.”

Here’s more on the Kings:

  • Asked during his media availability this week about the Kings’ decision not to match Bogdanovic’s offer sheet, McNair provided many of the same reasons that were reported at the time of the move. As Ham writes for NBC Sports California, the Kings’ GM said the team wants to “maintain as much (salary cap) flexibility as we can” and cited the presence of Hield and Tyrese Haliburton as the backcourt as factors in the decision to let Bogdanovic go.
  • Using McNair’s comments as a jumping-off point, Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee explores how not having Bogdanovic’s contract on their books will affect the Kings’ projected cap room in 2021 and beyond.
  • The Kings used part of their mid-level exception to sign free agent forward Chimezie Metu to a three-year, minimum-salary contract, according to Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Metu only has a $50K partial guarantee for now, though that would increase to $250K if he makes the opening night roster, Smith adds.

Kings Sign Robert Woodard II To Four-Year Deal

1:00pm: Woodard’s first NBA deal will be a four-year contract with a $1.5MM guaranteed salary in year one, reports ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter links). It’ll feature a $3.3MM overall guaranteed, according to Marks. That sounds like two guaranteed seasons with a small partial guarantee in year three.

12:48pm: The Kings have made it official with one of their second-round picks, announcing that they’ve signed former Mississippi State forward Robert Woodard II to his first NBA contract.

After playing a modest role off the bench as a freshman in 2018/19, Woodard moved into Mississippi State’s starting lineup last season and took an impressive step forward as a sophomore, averaging 11.4 PPG, 6.5 RPG, and 1.1 SPG. In 31 games (33.1 MPG), he posted an impressive .495 FG% and .429 3PT%.

Woodard, who declared for the draft as an early entrant, was selected with the 40th overall pick last month and was sent from Memphis to Sacramento as part of a draft-night trade.

Terms of Woodard’s deal aren’t yet known, but the players picked at No. 39 (Elijah Hughes) and No. 41 (Tre Jones) each got fully guaranteed salaries for the next two seasons, so I’d be surprised if Woodard doesn’t get a similar commitment from the Kings.

Assuming his 2020/21 salary is guaranteed, Woodard will be the 13th player on the roster with a full guarantee for the coming season. That would leave just two spots on the 15-man regular season roster for some combination of Frank Kaminsky, Glenn Robinson III, Chimezie Metu, and No. 43 overall pick Jahmi’us Ramsey. Sacramento does still have a two-way contract slot still open too, so I’d guess the team will try to sign Ramsey to a two-way deal.

Rockets To Sign KJ Martin To Four-Year Deal

The Rockets are signing rookie KJ Martin, the son of former NBA player Kenyon Martin, to a multi-year contract, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

It’s a four-year contract with the first year fully guaranteed, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon (Twitter link). The Rockets will use a portion of their mid-level exception to sign Martin.

Martin was the 52nd pick of the draft. Houston acquired the draft rights to the 6’7” forward from the Kings. He prepared for the draft at IMG Academy.

Kings To Sign Glenn Robinson III

9:13pm: Robinson is signing a one-year, minimum-salary contract with a partial guarantee, reports Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee (Twitter link).

8:03pm: The Kings have reached an agreement with free agent forward Glenn Robinson III, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link).

Robinson had attracted interest from a number of clubs before agreeing to terms with Sacramento, holding past experience with the Wolves, Sixers, Pacers, Pistons and Warriors in his career.

He averaged 11.7 points, 4.4 rebounds and 28.8 minutes with Golden State and Philadelphia last season, appearing in 38 games with the Warriors before being dealt to the Sixers. The 26-year-old was drafted with the No. 40 overall pick back in 2014.

The Kings have had a busy offseason to date, signing De’Aaron Fox to a five-year extension and declining to match Bogdan Bogdanovic‘s offer sheet with the Hawks. The team also signed free agent big men Hassan Whiteside and Frank Kaminsky.

Kings Among Teams Hoping To Sign Glenn Robinson III

The Kings are among a group of four teams that have expressed the most interest in adding Glenn Robinson III, according to Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee.

Sources tell Anderson that the Lakers, Clippers and Jazz are considered Sacramento’s main competition to sign the free agent forward. Sources also say new Kings general manager Monte McNair and assistant GM Wes Wilcox have been diligent in their pursuit of Robinson.

Sacramento could offer regular playing time to Robinson, who is one of the top free agents still left on the market. The Kings need wing depth after declining to match the offer sheet Bogdan Bogdanovic received from the Hawks, and Robinson would get an opportunity to compete for back-up minutes at small forward.

Robinson, 26, averaged 11.7 points and shot 39.1% from three-point range last season in a combined 62 games with the Warriors and Sixers. Philadelphia acquired him at the trade deadline to add bench depth, but his numbers declined after the deal and he was barely used in the playoffs.

A second-round pick in 2014, Robinson has also played for the Timberwolves, Pacers and Pistons.

Kings Sign Lottery Pick Haliburton

The Kings have signed their lottery pick, guard Tyrese Haliburton, according to a team press release.

Haliburton was the 12th overall pick in the draft. Assuming he received 120% of the rookie scale for his draft slot, as virtually all first-rounders do, Haliburton will make $17,878,995 over the next four seasons. His first-year salary will be $3,831,840.

Haliburton was one of the top point guards in the draft, though he could often play in two-point looks with the Kings. As a sophomore at Iowa State, he averaged 15.2 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 6.5 APG and 2.5 SPG and 36.7 MPG in 22 games before a wrist injury ended his season.

“We are thrilled to have drafted Tyrese and excited to welcome him to the Kings family,” GM Monte McNair said. “He is an incredibly talented athlete whose shooting, creative passing and ball handling skills combined with his ability to defend either guard position will be a valuable addition to our backcourt. Tyrese also has an engaging personality and is just the type of high character individual who fits the future of what we are building in Sacramento.”

Kings To Sign Vince Edwards To Camp Deal

The Kings are signing small forward Vince Edwards to a one-year, minimum-salary deal, reports Kelly Iko of The Athletic (via Twitter). Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee tweets that it’s an Exhibit 10 contract, while Jason Jones of The Athletic says (via Twitter) that Edwards will have the chance to compete for a regular season roster spot.

Edwards, who was the 52nd overall pick in the 2018 draft, spent his rookie season on a two-way contract with the Rockets, but appeared in just two NBA games during his stint with Houston. He has spent the majority of his first two professional seasons playing in the G League.

In 69 total NBAGL games for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, Canton Charge, and Oklahoma City Blue, Edwards has averaged 9.5 PPG and 4.9 RPG on .417/.347/.654 shooting in 26.5 minutes per contest.

New Kings general manager Monte McNair previously worked in Houston’s front office, so he got a first-hand look at Edwards when he was a Rocket in ’18/19.

Assessing The Kings' Offseason Moves

The Kings may have been savvy to let shooting guard Bogdan Bogdanovic walk in restricted free agency, Jason Jones of The Athletic posits. The addition of promising rookie shooting guard Tyrese Haliburton via the 2020 draft made Bogdanovic superfluous to Sacramento’s long-term team-building plans.

The replacement of former Kings GM Vlade Divac with Monte McNair this summer also yielded a different assessment of Bogdanovic’s value with the still-developing club, Jones writes. Bogdanovic’s four-year, $72MM contract extension also would have put Sacramento, a team that has not made the NBA playoffs since 2006, well above the salary cap.

  • Jason Jones of The Athletic takes stock of Kings GM Monte McNair‘s patient approach to his first offseason in Sacramento. Jones suggests that McNair’s reticence to make a big splash on the free agent or trade market indicates a confidence in the development of the club’s young core.

Kings Sign Frank Kaminsky

NOVEMBER 30: The deal is official, according to a press release issued by the Kings.

NOVEMBER 26: The Kings have agreed to sign free agent forward/center Frank Kaminsky to a one-year contract, his agent Kevin Bradbury tells ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Kaminsky’s one-year deal with Sacramento is non-guaranteed, per Jason Jones of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Kaminsky, 27, averaged 9.7 PPG and 4.5 RPG on .450/.331/.678 shooting in 39 games (19.9 MPG) for Phoenix in 2019/20. A patella stress fracture shortened his season, however, and he played a very limited role during the Suns’ 8-0 run in the bubble at Walt Disney World. The team declined his $5MM option for 2020/21 last week.

Having lost Alex Len and Harry Giles in free agency, Sacramento has fortified its frontcourt by agreeing to a deal with Hassan Whiteside on Wednesday and now lining up a contract for Kaminsky.

The two incoming veterans will join a rotation that also features Richaun Holmes, Marvin Bagley, and Nemanja Bjelica up front.

Kings Re-Sign DaQuan Jeffries

NOVEMBER 28: The signing is official, per team press release.

NOVEMBER 26: The Kings have agreed to re-sign guard/forward DaQuan Jeffries to a two-year, $3MM contract, his agents inform Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

It sounds like it’s a minimum-salary deal, which would be worth about $3.15MM over two years. Jeffries’ first year will be guaranteed, with a team option on year two, according to James Ham of NBC Sports California (Twitter link).

Jeffries, a former Tulsa standout, signed an Exhibit 10 contract with Orlando in 2019 after going undrafted. He was released by the Magic before the regular season began, but was claimed off waivers by the Kings, who converted him to a two-way contract.

The 23-year-old played out the full season on that deal, averaging 3.8 PPG and 1.4 RPG in 13 games (10.8 MPG) for Sacramento. He saw more action for the club’s G League affiliate, recording 16.5 PPG and 6.9 RPG on .460/.342/.705 shooting for the Stockton Kings in 27 games (31.0 MPG).

Jeffries received a qualifying offer from Sacramento last week, which made him a restricted free agent. He wouldn’t have been able to sign outright with another team without the Kings getting a chance to match the offer.