Looking towards next year, there are signs that Kenny Thomas isn't getting any time with the Kings, Quincy Douby and Shelden Williams are gone after this season and Moore will be bought out. Brad Miller being traded (hopefully wiith K-9) is also a possibility but right now, it looks like they'll be here. Looking at next year's frontline before the draft and free agency, the main guys at the 4 and 5 will be Miller, Spencer Hawes and Jason Thompson.
So what if one of those guys gets hurt? The last thing this team needs is a shortage of bigs, again. Should the Kings go after a good free agent or go after someone in the draft? If Miller is traded for an expiring contract next year and Hawes and JT become starters, who backs them up, because it won't be K9. Will the Kings get someone in return? Here are some of the options in both pools so far.
2009 Free Agency: David Lee, 26 (Restricted), Drew Gooden, 27, Charlie Villanueva, 24 (Restricted), Anderson Varejao, 26 (Player Option), Chris Wilcox, 26
Draft: Blake Griffin or Hasheem Thabeet (w/ Kings pick), Andrew Ogilvy (w/ Rockets' pick)
They can't afford Carlos Boozer or Jermaine O'Neal for sure. David Lee and Charlie Villanueva will want to get paid big and Drew Gooden is already making over $7 million this season. The Kings could also go for a point guard in next year's draft instead of a big man. Ricky Rubio, Stephen Curry, James Harden and Ty Lawson are possible. The only reason why I'm not saying Brandon Jennings is because he's coming off the bench and only has 6 assists through 5 games in Europe. He was supposed to play against Rubio next week, but he's been out for almost 2 months after hand surgery. But he is close to returning.
Before next year's draft, when B-Jax's contract is done and Douby's and Williams' options not picked up, the Kings will be paying $61,181,070 according to the SacBee. Sign B-Jax to the veteran's minimum (if he still wants to play), add a 6-10 pick or a potential top 3 pick, a mid 20s pick and a 2nd round pick. They could pay over $65-67 million next season, depending on their pick in the lottery. They can potentially save $25,237,960 if Moore is bought out and if some magical way Miller and K-9 get traded for an expiring contract(s) like Miami offering Shawn Marion. That would potentially have them paying only $40-42 million next season.
The salary cap might be $60 million next season. I think that the cap might be around $63 million in 2010. That means that the players looking for the max deal can get around $19 million. At the rate the Kings are going, they're on their way to paying under $34 million going into 2010, and that's before they re-sign Bobby Brown if they want to. If they go out and and sign someone for next year under $7 million, I'd have no problem. As long as it doesn't interfere with 2010. They'd still have over $20 million to spare.
Assuming that Moore is bought out, even if Miller or K-9 are still on the team, the Kings can't get a good free agent this summer. There's already been some interest in Brad from Miami and contenders could be interested in him. Depending on how bad a team might want him, K-9 could go too. So far, that hasn't happened.
No doubt, the Kings will be in the race in 2010. A free agent class that could include LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudemire, Joe Johnson, Yao Ming, T.J. Ford and Richard Jefferson. The Kings will land someone big (please, Bosh or STAT), maybe they can get someone good this summer too.