Kings Rumors

NBA Players Who Can’t Be Aggregated In Trades

The NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement includes a rule that states players who are acquired using an exception (ie. not using cap space) can’t be aggregated in a second trade for two months after the original deal.

Aggregating a player in a trade refers to the act of combining his contract with another player’s contract for salary-matching purposes. For instance, an over-the-cap team can’t trade a player with a $5MM salary straight up for a player with a $13MM salary. But if the team aggregates that player with a second player who also earns $5MM, the deal would work.

[RELATED: Hoops Rumors Glossary: Traded Player Exception]

The rule against including a player in an aggregated trade for two months after he’s acquired doesn’t preclude the player’s team from adding him to a multi-player deal. His salary simply can’t be combined upon with another player’s for matching purposes in such a trade.

For instance, even if a player earning a minimum salary can’t be aggregated in a trade, his team could still include him in a swap involving a pair of $10MM players, since his minimum-salary cap hit wouldn’t be needed for salary matching.

With those rules in mind, here’s the list of players who have been acquired using a cap exception within the last two months and can’t be aggregated in a deadline trade this season:

Starting Lineup Change Paying Dividends So far

  • For the first time since the 2017/18 season, the Kings removed Buddy Hield from their starting lineup over the last two games, starting Bogdan Bogdanovic in his place. It seems safe to assume that experiment will continue for the time being, as Hield scored 63 points and made 14-of-23 three-point attempts in those two games, both Sacramento wins. Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic explores how grief from Kobe Bryant‘s death fueled a historic night for Hield on Monday.
  • Replacing Hield with Bogdanovic in the starting lineup gives the Kings‘ first unit stronger ball-handling, play-making, and defense, according to Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. As Anderson points out, head coach Luke Walton said that Hield’s move to the bench isn’t necessarily permanent, but it’s working for now.

LeBron James, Others React To Kobe Bryant’s Death

LeBron James issued his first comments since the tragic death of Kobe Bryant, which were posted on the Yahoo Sports Twitter feed and by other news organizations. James spoke with Bryant – who died in a helicopter crash on Sunday morning – on Saturday evening after passing him on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.

“Didn’t think for one bit in a million years that would be the last conversation we’d have,” James wrote. James also vowed to carry on Bryant’s legacy. “It’s my responsibility to put this (bleep) on my back and keep it going!! Please give me the strength from the heavens above and watch over me!”

We have more reaction from around the league on the loss of the Lakers legend:

  • The Lakers brought in grief counselors to the team’s offices on Monday to help not only players and staff members cope with Bryant’s tragic death but also employees throughout the organization, Dave McMenamin of ESPN tweets. Bryant had many relationships with other Laker employees during his 20-year playing career, McMenamin notes. The counselors provided comfort and guidance in both group and one-on-one sessions, McMenamin adds. The league decided on Monday afternoon to postpone the team’s scheduled game with the Clippers on Tuesday out of respect for the Lakers organization.
  • The organization thanked fans and well-wishers from around the world for the overwhelming support it has received since the tragedy. It issued a statement via the team’s PR department (Twitter link) which read, “The Los Angeles Lakers would like to thank all of you for the tremendous outpouring of support and condolences. This is a very difficult time for all of us. We continue to support the Bryant family and will share more information as it is available.”
  • Kings coach and ex-teammate Luke Walton said the loss has not only deeply affected him but everyone around his team, as he told Chad Graff of The Athletic and other media members. “We talked about it. Life is hard. There are moments that challenge us,” Walton said. “What I’ve found is together we can get through that easier and more efficiently than we can alone. Guys here are hurting whether you knew him or not. He was that type of guy, and he had that type of impact on the NBA world that everybody is hurting.”
  • Pop music icon Michael Jackson fueled Bryant’s passion for excellence, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski recalls in a November 2010 interview he did with Bryant. “He would teach me what he did: how to make a ‘Thriller’ album, a ‘Bad’ album, all the details that went into it,” Bryant told Wojnarowski. “It was all the validation that I needed — to know that I had to focus on my craft and never waver. Because what he did — and how he did it — was psychotic. He helped me get to a level where I was able to win three titles playing with Shaq (Shaquille O’Neal) because of my preparation, my study. And it’s only all grown.”
  • The fact that three teenagers, including Bryant’s daughter Gianna, perished in the helicopter crash was especially heartbreaking for Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, as Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel relays. “Obviously this has been a horrible 24 hours,” he said. “And, as a parent, it absolutely crushes your heart to think about this. When something like this happens it can be so wrong and so arbitrary.”
  • Bryant played the game with ferocity but he wasn’t fearless, Ramona Shelburne of ESPN writes. However, Bryant’s determination allowed him to overcome his fears. “To a certain extent, every day I was vulnerable,” he told Shelburne. “You’re always dealing with fear, with something in your imagination. Something that you think can happen. But you just say, ‘I don’t know if I can do that. But I’ll give it a try.'”

Kings Willing To Reconcile With Dedmon

The Kings are willing to retain and mend their relationship with center Dewayne Dedmon, according to Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee.

Dedmon was fined $50K by the league after publicly requesting a trade late last month.

“I would like to be traded,” Dedmon said at the time. “I haven’t been playing, so I would like to go somewhere where my talents are appreciated.”

The Kings are willing to deal Dedmon but only if they get a fair return, Anderson adds. The Kings signed Dedmon to a three-year, $40MM contract during free agency over the summer, but when Richaun Holmes emerged as a starter, he fell out of the rotation.

With Holmes (shoulder) and Marvin Bagley III (foot) dealing with injuries, Dedmon has received an increase in playing time lately. He had a 13-point, 10-rebound outing against the Pistons last Wednesday and saw 19 minutes of court time against Chicago on Friday.

Overall, Dedmon hasn’t been able to duplicate the success he had in Atlanta last season, when he averaged 10.8 PPG and 7.5 RPG while shooting 38.2% on 3-point attempts in 25.1 MPG. He is shooting 21.3% from 3-point range this season with averages of 6.4 PPG and 5.9 RPG in 14.5 MPG.

No Coaching, Management Changes Coming For Kings

Appearing in their first game as members of the Kings on Wednesday, Kent Bazemore and Anthony Tolliver were part of the team’s sixth consecutive loss and 15th in the last 18 games. While Sacramento’s playoff chances appear to be slipping away, the two newcomers remain optimistic that they can help turn things around.

“Me and Kent both feel exactly the same way — it’s not unfixable,” Tolliver said this week upon joining the Kings, according to Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. “It’s not something where we feel, ‘Aw, crap, we’re just gonna have to ride it out.’ We really feel we have an opportunity to do something with the guys we have.”

The Kings are now 5.5 games back of the No. 8 seed in the West, but Bazemore isn’t convinced that deficit is insurmountable, as Anderson relays: “You win two or three games in a row, you finish strong going into the (All-Star) break and you have plenty of time to make up that slack. This league is about getting hot at the right time.”

Despite the disappointing stretch, the Kings have no changes planned for their coaching staff or management group, according to James Ham of NBC Sports California, who tweets that the club will need to work things out with the current group in place.

Kings Unlikely To Trade Bogdan Bogdanovic

Bogdan Bogdanovic has been considered a potential trade target for contenders this winter, but the Kings are unlikely to move the third-year swingman, a league source tells James Ham of NBC Sports California.

Bogdanovic, 27, has battled injuries this season but is still averaging a career-best 14.3 PPG to go along with 3.6 APG and a .376 3PT%. There has been speculation that the Kings may look to move him before the February 6 trade deadline, since he’ll be a restricted free agent in July and the team has already committed big-money, long-term contracts to Harrison Barnes and Buddy Hield. Pricey new extensions for De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley could be on tap during the next two years as well.

The Lakers and Kings reportedly discussed a deal involving Bogdanovic and Kyle Kuzma, but those talks didn’t go anywhere. Earlier today, Jon Johnson of WIP tweeted that Bogdanovic was one of two trade targets the Sixers are focusing on, along with Robert Covington.

However, all season long, reports have suggested that the Kings aren’t looking to trade Bogdanovic, and today’s update confirms as much. As Ham explains, Sacramento recognizes what kind of player Bogdanovic is when he’s healthy and knows how important he is to the franchise.

Barring a change of heart within the next couple weeks, the Kings would like to try to retain Bogdanovic and work out a long-term solution in the offseason, even though they know his value in restricted free agency could end up being in the range of $15-18MM per year, Ham writes.

The Kings reportedly offered Bogdanovic a four-year, $51MM+ extension in the fall, which is the most they can offer prior to free agency. The team will be able to increase its offer in July. A sign-and-trade would also be a viable possibility during the summer — six RFAs were signed-and-trade during the 2019 offseason.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

James Ham Examines Kings' Deadline Options

Kings, Trail Blazers Complete Five-Player Trade

JANUARY 21: The trade between the Kings and Trail Blazers is now official, according to press releases issued by both teams.

JANUARY 18: The Kings and Trail Blazers have agreed to a trade that will send Kent Bazemore and Anthony Tolliver to Sacramento in exchange for Trevor Ariza, Wenyen Gabriel, and Caleb Swanigan, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). Shams Charania of The Athletic first reported (via Twitter) that the Blazers are trading Bazemore to Sacramento.

The Kings will also receive Portland’s second-round picks in 2024 and 2025 as part of the deal, a source tells Sam Amick of The Athletic (Twitter link). ESPN’s Bobby Marks notes (via Twitter) that the swap can’t be officially completed until Tuesday, when Gabriel’s trade restriction lifts.

For Portland, the deal represents a cost-cutting move that shouldn’t impact the team’s on-court performance too drastically, if at all. Both Ariza and Bazemore have had down years so far, but Bazemore’s drop-off has been more precipitous —  he has posted a career-worst .347 FG% to go along with a .327 3PT%. Ariza is at least still knocking down his threes (.352 3PT%) at his usual career rate, even as his role was reduced in Sacramento.

Tolliver had been a rotation player for the Blazers, with 16.8 minutes per game in 33 contests, but hasn’t been at his best either — his .368 FG% is his worst mark since he was a rookie in 2008/09.

Bazemore and Tolliver are earning a combined $20.89MM, compared to a total of $15.68MM for Ariza, Swanigan, and Gabriel. Besides trimming more than $5MM off the Blazers’ team salary, the deal will also reduce the organization’s projected tax bill by $12.6MM, according to Marks (via Twitter).

Additionally, the Blazers will create a pair of traded player exceptions, including one worth just over $7MM, since they have a disabled player exception available to acquire Swanigan. The team will have the opportunity to keep Ariza for the 2020/21 season if he finishes the year strong. His $12.8MM salary for ’20/21 is partially guaranteed for $1.8MM, per Basketball Insiders.

It’s not clear if Swanigan and Gabriel fit into Portland’s plans, though it’s worth noting Swanigan was originally drafted by the Blazers before being traded to the Kings a year ago. Both players are on expiring contracts. Portland won’t need to cut anyone to make room to accommodate the three incoming players, since the club already had an open roster spot.

As for the Kings’ side of the deal, Amick observes (via Twitter) that it opens up a roster spot immediately and also creates slightly more flexibility moving forward, since Bazemore and Tolliver are on expiring contracts. The Ariza signing hadn’t worked out like the franchise had hoped, so Sacramento will hope that Bazemore can bounce back and that Tolliver looks more he did when he was a member of the Kings in 2016/17 and shot .442/.391/.744.

There are no plans to buy out Bazemore, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, who tweets that the veteran swingman has a “great relationship” with head coach Luke Walton and the Kings’ front office.

Even if the Kings’ new additions keep slumping, the team will come away with a pair of future assets in the trade by picking up the Blazers’ 2024 and 2025 second-round picks. Sacramento had already acquired multiple extra second-rounders for 2020 and 2021, so the team is building up quite a stash of draft picks, which could be useful in future deals.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Reactions To Kings-Trail Blazers Trade

Today’s five-player trade with Portland is the start of an in-season reboot for the Kings, writes Jason Jones of The Athletic. Sacramento was willing to provide financial relief for the Trail Blazers by taking on the remainder of Kent Bazemore‘s $19.3MM expiring contract in the deal, which also netted Anthony Tolliver and a pair of future second-round picks.

By sending out three players in return, the Kings create roster flexibility that could be important in a potential trade of Dewayne Dedmon, Jones adds. The center, who signed a three-year, $40MM contract in free agency, lost his starting job after four games and has been vocal in his displeasure over a reduced role.

Jones notes that the deal is an admission that the summer’s free agency haul was a disappointment. Dedmon appears on the way out, and sending Trevor Ariza to Portland probably had to be done to make that happen. Jones relays that coach Luke Walton was fond of Ariza, but his contract is only partially guaranteed for next season so he may not have been part of the Kings’ future.

Jones believes anyone on Sacramento’s roster — apart from De’Aaron Fox, Marvin Bagley III and Buddy Hield — is a candidate to be traded by the February 6 deadline, even Bogdan Bogdanovic, who will be a restricted free agent this summer.

There’s more reaction to today’s trade announcement:

  • The Kings have been collecting second-rounders and were happy to add two more, observes James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area. With the addition of Portland’s picks in 2024 and 2025, Sacramento now has 13 second-round selections over the next six seasons. Ham adds that the value of those picks could increase once the league lowers the age requirement for the draft to 18, which is expected by 2022.
  • The trade is a signal that the Blazers have decided to “punt” the rest of the season, claims John Canzano of The Oregonian. He calls it understandable considering Portland had the highest payroll in the league and no playoff hopes other than possibly snatching the eighth seed. He also questions why president of basketball operations Neil Olshey decided to blow up a roster that reached the Western Conference finals last year, trading Evan Turner to the Hawks for Bazemore and sending Meyers Leonard and Maurice Harkless to the Heat for Hassan Whiteside.
  • Jason Quick of the Athletic talked to Bazemore on Friday night about the possibility of being traded. Bazemore had been hoping for a long stay in Portland, but he took a wait-and-see approach after several weeks of hearing his name in trade rumors. “I’ve been around long enough now, man, another day in the life, bro,” he said. “I ain’t even thought about it, honestly. Been traded before … I just go out and ready to go and continue to get better and be my best when the time is right.”

Kings Still Hoping To Trade Dewayne Dedmon

The Kings aren’t done shaking up their roster after agreeing to a five-player trade with the Trail Blazers. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets that Sacramento is still looking for a way to get rid of Dewayne Dedmon, who has been unhappy with his playing time.

The 30-year-old center was fined earlier this month for making his trade request public. The Kings signed Dedmon to a three-year, $40MM contract over the summer, but he quickly slipped behind Richaun Holmes in the rotation. Dedmon has played just 26 games and is averaging 4.9 points and 4.0 rebounds in 13.8 minutes per night.

A report earlier this week suggested the Hawks might be interested in reacquiring Dedmon, who was their starting center for the past two seasons. Atlanta has enough available cap room that Dedmon’s salary wouldn’t be a burden, but the Kings are reportedly asking for more in return than the Hawks are willing to pay.