The Sacramento Kings came into the NBA free agent period looking to make a splash as they have the most money to spend in franchise history. The Kings struck out the first two days of free agency but finally broke through on day three by signing guard Marco Belinelli.
The Sacramento Bee reported that the Kings started the offseason $10 million under the NBA salary cap and that number increased to $26 million after their trade with the Philadelphia 76ers. The Kings cleared about $16 million off their books by trading Nik Stauskas, Jason Thompson, and Carl Landry to the Sixers for the rights to two international players and a second round draft choice on Thursday. As part of the deal, Sacramento sent their 2018 first round draft (top-10 protected) to the Sixers while also agreeing to give Philadelphia the right to swap first round draft picks in 2016 and 2017.
Breaking News: Rajon Rondo signs 1-year, $10 million deal with Sacramento per Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
The Kings have missed out on Monta Ellis and Wesley Mathews, two of their top free agent targets this offseason, as both signed with other teams despite the fact that Sacramento offered more money. Ellis agreed to a four-year, $44 million deal with the Indiana Pacers, while Matthews inked a four-year pact worth $52 million with the Dallas Mavericks. The Kings reportedly offered a four-year, $48 million deal to Ellis and a four-year, $64 million deal to Matthews.
Sacramento finally broke through their free agent drought by inking Belinelli to a three-year, $19 million deal according to CBS Sports on Friday. Belinelli, who spent the previous two season with the San Antonio Spurs, is a good role player who likes to fire up three-pointers. He averaged 9.2 points and shot 37.4 percent from the three-point line last year. Belinelli has made 39.2 percent of his shots from beyond the arc in his nine-year career.
The Belinelli signing is a good start, but the Kings are far from done this offseason. Sacramento is still pursuing Rajon Rondo and was expected to start discussions with free agents Josh Smith and Lou Williams today, Sports Illustrated’s Jake Fischer tweeted.
Rondo and the Kings are also supposed to talk today as Rondo is reportedly in Sacramento. SB Nation is reporting that the Kings are the frontrunners to sign Rondo, who has also drawn interest from the Los Angeles Lakers. Rondo is coming off his worst season of his nine-year career, averaging 8.9 points and 7.3 assists to go along with 5.5 rebounds a game while splitting time between Boston and Dallas — he averaged 9.3 points and 6.5 assists in 46 games with the Mavericks. Rondo also shot 42.6 percent from the floor and 31.4 percent from the three-point arc a season ago.
Rondo is a superb athlete and great distributor, but struggles with his long-range shot. He is expected to sign a one or two-year deal.
Smith would be interesting addition for the Kings as he can be very good on both ends of the court when he is at his best. He doesn’t shoot the ball, particularly from long-distance, but does have the ability to score. Smith averaged 16.9 points and 8.4 rebounds in 55 games with Houston last season.
Smith has said he wants to stay in Houston.
Williams, the NBA’s sixth-man-of the-year, is coming off a career year. He averaged 15.5 points, 2.1 assists and 1.9 rebounds while shooting 41 percent from the field and 35 percent from beyond the arc with Toronto. The Raptors, New York Knicks, and Miami Heat (among others) are also interested in the 10-year pro.
Sacramento has also signed guard James Anderson and are believed to be interested in Corey Brewer, who spent last season with the Rockets.
Anderson was selected 20th overall by San Antonio in the 2010 draft. He spent two seasons with the Spurs before stints with Houston and Philadelphia. Anderson played in Lithuania last year.
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