Posted by: Kingsguru21 | June 29, 2010

Free Agency: The Discussion

So, yeah. Free Agency and discussion. The Kings. Usually this is not something I’ve spent a ton of time discussing over the years because when the Kings did provide a destination for Free Agents, they did so at their own peril. Some of the moves worked (Bobby Jackson, Keon Clark, Jimmy Jackson, Scot Pollard, Tony Delk, Vernon Maxwell, Jon Barry), and some ultimately really didn’t (Shareef Abdur-Rahim, John Salmons, Terry Dehere). And then you have Beno Udrih who could, arguably, be in both categories at this point. This season, I believe, will determine which category Beno goes into. We shall see.

The Kings at this point have some money committed to the following guys:

Sammy Dalembert (13,278,129)
Beno Udrih (6,478,600)
Francisco Garcia (5,800,000)
Tyreke Evans (3,880,920)
Carl Landry (3,000,000)
DeMarcus Cousins (3,374,640) Note: This is with the 120% of scale included; not the salary slot only
Jason Thompson (2,178,000)
Omri Casspi (1,254,480)
Donte Greene (930,000)

Those are the 8 guaranteed salaries you can expect for next season. Additionally you have cap holds on Sean May, Ime Udoka, and a Qualifying Offer for Jon Brockman out there. As we already know, Sean May is not likely to be back with all the bigs the Kings now have on their roster. Brockman is likely to be back because the Kings tendered a QO for him, and if they didn’t want him they didn’t have to tender a QO otherwise. (That’s what the Wiz did with Randy Foye for instance. It effectively makes Foye unrestricted.)

Now, the other point is what to do with the Free Agent money. It’s not a matter of how much room the Kings have because they aren’t going after a max FA. It matters more whom the Kings are pursuing in Free Agency than the cap holds (which are minimal) and what kinda dollars they offer than anything else.

As of this moment, to the aforementioned 9, the Kings have 38,920,289 dollars committed to those 8 players. If you factor in Hassan Whiteside and his likely rookie minimum salary (which the Kings have until September 8th to offer), that takes the Kings up to 39,370289. If Brockman signs his QO, that will be 41,561,964. (This is assuming Nessie signs. He might sign a contract.) This still leaves open 2 roster spots.

I have a firm belief the Kings will sign Ime Udoka to a 2 year veterans minimum contract. Why? He keeps peace, helps the kids, and Paul Westphal trusts him to do his thing. He knows what he’s getting with Udoka. Even if that’s not sexy to fans out there, it’s nice to have a veteran on the team who is comfortable with what he does. I don’t expect Udoka to get many minutes, but he’s not likely to get better offers. (I’ll be surprised if the Kings don’t offer Udoka minutes. If they don’t, I wonder who gets them.)

However, for the 3 roster spots, and the Kings can’t just offer this money to 3 low paid rookies for this reason: They won’t be over the minimum salary cap. Here’s a little known rule because so many teams end up over the salary cap: There is a minimum salary cap of 75%. If teams don’t meet it? Per Mr Larry Coon:

At the other end of the spectrum there is a minimum team salary, which is defined as 75% of the salary cap. Any team that doesn’t spend at least that much is surcharged at the end of the season, and that money is given to the players. In practice, most teams’ salaries will be higher than the salary cap amount.

That’s why the Kings won’t be super stingy in contracts given. They can’t AFFORD to. (If David Stern is smart, he pushes for the salary cap to continue to be 75% as well. You can’t let the Donald Sterlings and Michael Heisley’s of the world be cheap and make your league look bad. They’ve already hurt the league enough with their ownership.) Besides, why would anyone waste that money giving it to the Players Association when you can give it to the player directly? UPDATE: I made a mistake in thinking the Kings were farther under the cap than they actually are. They can sign 2 minimum salary players and be well over the minimum cap line if the salary cap is at 56.1 million. Many apologies for the miscalculation.

So that’s one issue. The other issue? Who to give that money too.

The Kings need shooting in the backcourt, and right now at Summer League there are plenty of training camp options (Sylvan Landenburg seems to be the hot name right now). However, I’m intrigued by Anthony Morrow for a lot of reasons.

The question is can the Kings get him? The Warriors offered Morrow a Qualifying Offer, and who knows what they’ll match or not. I’m wondering: Will a 3 million base salary (front loaded) with a big bonus snatch Morrow away? And is he worth that?

Eddie House is another option, although older, to Morrow. He’s smaller which means you’re going to give up something defensively. (Which you give up with Morrow too.) Plus he’s unrestricted and has a history playing with the Kings in the 04-05 season. I actually might prefer House to Morrow if only because Morrow may be overvalued by the Warriors where House can get a FA contract from the Kings with only teams to offer money to House to be the only deterrent.

So, that’s my Free Agency discussion. I find the whole LeBron/Bosh/Wade process to be a bit boring and as such you’re going to get a small paragraph on Anthony Morrow & Eddie House instead. If you find that underwhelming, I apologize. Free Agency is one of the most overhyped and most overhyped times of the NBA season. Elton Brand signing for big money in Philly for big money was news in July of ’08, but now he’s just an albatross on Philly’s cap. Mark my words: One of the big money max FA guys will be an albatross no more than 2 years away. (One reason I’m not excited for the Kings to join this fray.)

This is why I think the Kings not only need to be smart with their money but target shooters in the backcourt who can complement Tyreke Evans as well. There aren’t a lot of guys out there, and Beno Udrih happens to be one of them.

Maybe Morrow can be had for a reasonable price. Maybe the Kings don’t like House. Maybe a player like Luke Ridnour is the guy the Kings would like. (He is available.) Personally? I’m going to sit back and wait to see whom the Kings might pursue. Because, as with recent history, just because you think there might be a player that makes sense for the Kings doesn’t mean Geoff Petrie thinks so.

Have fun with the Summer of ’10. The feeding frenzy with the greatest FA class in history is in play. If you enjoy on the minute updates on whether one of the “Big 3” scratches their balls, this is the summer for you. But if you aren’t? Be patient, drink a beer or two, and enjoy the summer. It’s not always the hare who wins.

UPDATE 2: Jason Jones says the same things and adds similar players in the go to list plus some choice quotes from Petrie. And, the Kings are very serious to stay away from the FA summer. They really don’t need to play the game. It seems like the blogosphere & the local media is a bit aligned right now. Or, maybe it’s just the start of the beat-writer outshining everyone else in the local media. (I hope it’s the latter myself.)


  1. I really would like to see a lights out shooter on this team. Not a scorer, not a rookie with a good looking stroke that everyone is sure to develop into a good NBA shooter. I want a guy that can shoot the lights out now.

    Defense? It sure would be nice, but I’ll take a shooter without the D for now…besides shooters who play defense cost money. I want someone on the cheap who can stroke like Paul Reubens.

    Reddick is my guy. I like the annoying hair with too much product. I like the work that he has put into improving his body. I like the “whiteboy” chip that I know he carries on his shoulder even if he would never admit it. More than anything though I like the stroke. The boy can fill it up.

    He still wants to get better. He still wants to prove himself. He is still hungry. And I like that at least someone (looking at you, Pook) thinks that his defense is better than advertised. Coming from a team whose coach that demands his player to defend is certainly a plus in SVG.

    Morrow is a close second for me. Doesn’t have the fire that I see in Reddick, but the stroke is just as enticing. Nearly as enticing. Hell, the boy can fill it up too.

    I am paying zero attention to the free agency moves of the big teams and the big names. The pre-draft homework was way too much information for me to process in such a short period.


    I think you forgot about Omri on your list of players under contract?

    • Omri: $1,254,480


      • Yeah You right Quick. I have to add Omri.

  2. I don’t think the Kings should spend huge cash on a guy like Lebron or Wade or whatever (they wouldn’t even come anyway but i wouldn’t want them) BUT the Kings could offer big money to a guy like Rudy Gay perhaps? He is a pretty good shooter, strong athlete, good defender, slasher, long.He is still very young so him and Tyreke will have plenty of time to gain chemistry and build a strong backcourt for the next 10 years.Tyreke at 6″6 220 PG and Rudy at SG 6″8 230 this could potentially be a backcourt that dominates for years to come using there size advantage on smaller guards…it could work? I’m not saying give Rudy Gay max money because there’s no way in hell he is worth that at this point of his career but 3 or 4 years down the road he might be so I think Kings should at least try to make a run at him and see what happens but Grizzles will probally match the offer or Timberwolves might offer him something stupid so if that happens I say no but if the price is right Rudy Gay is my man.

    I would pass on undersized tweener shooting guards like JJ Reddick and Eddie House.Eddie House is a veteran who will only get worse and isn’t going to really provide much for a young team like this.Where the fuck has he been since he made the championship run with Celtics anyway? I have not seen him play one game? Was in the Nate Robinson deal or something? Pass on him. JJ Reddick is pretty much a rich man’s younger version of Eddie House who I think isn’t a bad player but he isn’t going to turn into anything better than a good 6th man for the rest of his career.If that’s what the Kings are looking for off the bench this offseason they can take a deal with him but I would be pretty pissed if they overpaid him like giving him the MLE or something like that just way too much for what he does: shoot and thats it.

    The rest of the Free agents I am not interested in.

    • I agree that the Kings need to be choosy in whom they commit to. The worst of the options, potentially, is signing a guy to sign a guy. I don’t think GP will do that so I don’t think it’s all that bad if the Kings wait until the season until trades become available.

  3. […] Anyway, rather than bore you with my wisdom of all things small and streaky, I’ll let Pookey from EvilCowtown. Inc do so. He has a great piece touching on the benefits House and Morrow would bring to the Kings, which you can read by clicking here. […]

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