Salary/roster notes of the upcoming off-season

Okay, since Section brought it up in this Reggie Theus Notes thread, I thought I would clear up any confusion on some of the contract status' up and down the roster (including Shelden Williams, on whom I just said I don't want to discuss again).

If you feel free to doubt me on any of this go ahead. Start reading Larry Coon's FAQ or Dan Rosenbaum's quality work on the subject as well. Good luck reading it. I suggest setting aside 10 hours or so.

However, before I kick start this, I thought I would explain a bit how rookie contract's work as the Kings currently have 5 players either ending (Martin), nearing the end (Garcia) , or on their rookie contracts (Williams, Douby and Shawes).

The way rookie contracts work is this: 2 years are guaranteed. The 3rd and 4th seasons are team options that the teams have to pick up a season before by October 31st. In otherwords, this means that in order for you to pick up an option of a Rookie for his 3rd year, you have to do it by the 1st game of  his 2nd season. I hope that's clear. This is equally true of the 4th option year.

Shelden Williams: The Kings still have to decide if he's worth another year beyond the looming upcoming season. Which is why I'm confused why the Kings A) didn't trade Artest and B) would consider any wins over 33 an improvement for a roster going nowhere in a stacked West.

Quincy Douby: Douby is in the same position as Williams. The quesiton is what's QD's future? Thanks Reggie for help in clearing this matter up for us.

Kevin Martin: His Extension kicks in this upcoming season. Every guess, based on the numbers released during the summer, is that the contract is a 5 year 55 million extension. Given the historical nature of the way the Kings do deals (backloading--which means they start you at a lower salary and it increases each year) I would bet that Kevin's starting salary is probably 9 million next season. Then to 10, 11, 12 and then 13 million in the final season (which I believe he has a player opt out--which Ron Artest has--or a early termination (ETO)--which Kenny Thomas has--after his 4th season, of which is currently the earliest time Kevin can opt-out of his contract, as per the CBA by-laws). I hope this makes sense.

Francisco Garcia: Of all the players, this is the guy I would be watching the most. Given Garcia's season, and the fact there is an extension looming, the question really remains for how long and at what type of money? Is it more than Salmons? is it less than Salmons? Does Garcia want to sign a contract with a team stuck several bars below the rest of the West elite? Garcia is a tell-tale sign of what kind of pulse Geoff Petrie has with what certain types of players command on the open market. His over-payment of Martin helped kick start a theory of mine (though I'm not completely alone on that tip--or the first to criticize him for that matter) that he may be somewhat out of touch. However, given Martin's rapid improvement over the previous 2 seasons, it was somewhat understandable. I can't see any argument that would apply to Garcia in the same situation. As I said, it's a good litmus test of what kind of money Petrie is willing to pay a role player that he's connected to (a player he drafted/traded for).

Ron Artest: He has a player opt out, that according to several diaries and sources which I'm not going to quote since we're probably going to hear five different stories since I write this, and that basically means only 1 thing for Kings fans until the draft. You can't trade him until he chooses to opt out or not. Again, I curse Geoff Petrie. You fucking gray haired Don Quixote piece of shit!

Kenny Thomas: Kenny has an ETO (Early Termination Option) that I very nearly explained in the K-Mart section of this monstrosity. What it basically is, is a different language than a player opt out. What's the difference, or why there is either such a thing, is beyond me. My only real guess, and this is just a guess, is that the ETO is a player option to express dis-satisfaction to make him a free-agent when it comes up. You can ponder that for yourselves. I have no real idea why there is such a thing as an ETO, versus say a player opt-out, but the language is pretty close to self-explanatory. It means Kenny can choose to terminate his contract early.

Now the question isn't whether he chooses to exercise the ETO or not. I doubt he will. From a money perspective it's stupid. From a realistic perspective it's stupid. The only reason Kenny would do so is to get some of the guaranteed money coming to him. Which leads me to this.

I would bet 10-1 odds that Kenny and the Kings do buyout's. The Kings will be very close to luxury tax level's as is, with the draft pick(s), and re-signing Beno Udrih. So Kenny's agent may believe that even though the Kings don't prefer to buy players out, they may do so in this instance to avoid the luxury tax for next season. However the question is for what amount, and what will each side take. I'm sure the Kings won't buy Kenny out for a minimal amount. I'm sure they will want a similar type buyout to what Adonal Foyle did for the Warriors in 2007. It was reported around 65% of the guaranteed money. If Kenny can live with 50% of the money coming to him, or his agent probably more so, then I could see that being beneficial greatly to the Kings for 2 reasons. They don't have to pay Kenny any more for 1 season, and second they could find 2 cheaper replacement's with the 2 2nd round picks at a quarter of the cost. In otherwords if Kenny makes it worth it for the Kings they will buy him out. If it drags out over the summer they probably will play hardball and make Kenny miserable. Should be interesting. As I said this is a strong litmus test for Geoff Petrie. On the K9 front this could be a valuable litmus test to see if the Maloof's have learned anything negotiating contracts with respect to their previous debacles in this area.

Spencer Hawes: Given his progress it's hard to imagine they wouldn't pick up his option for the 3rd season. That's all I'm going to say.

Brad Miller: Nothing to say unless he gets traded.

Mikki Moore: Ditto.

Shareef Abdur-Rahim: The question at this point is whether Shareef is healthy or not. I could see him taking a buyout like Kenny's if he was desperate to play for a winner in similar fashion to Grant Hill. If he's healthy wouldn't the Kings have to explore this option rather than trying to trade the guy and get a marginal player in return? You could essentially cut all of Kenny's salary for the 09-10 season off the books in savings you reaped from buying out these 2 players. What makes this more feasible is the luxury tax crunch the team could face by not doing this. The only way I don't see this happening is that Shareef medically retires. That's an entirely different question I don't even want to face at this point. I'll explain it farther down the road if it does come up though. I fear I'll have to. (And TZ will end up having to translate unfortunately. Or just beat me to the punch and explain it before I can. That's my personal hope.)

Anthony Johnson and Lorenzen Wright: Why would the Kings WANT to re-sign them?

Beno Udrih: The question at this point of Beno is whether he's healthy yes? The more important question I think for the Kings is what kind of worth this entails. That should be the 3rd thing worth watching this off-season.

Recap: Ignore Douby, Shawes, and Shelden for the offseason. Kevin's extension kicks in creating a salary crunch (which is why Petrie probably felt he had to dump Bibby for so little--and I say this in retrospect--he probably recognized that getting "something" for Bibby was too difficult to do next off-season) and Ron Artest's contract drama will continue on into the better part of this calender year. The real stories will be: Garcia's extension, if the Kings buyout Kenny Thomas, and for what price, and what the contract number and years for Beno Udrih will be if they re-sign him. Artest is just a good story that gets everyone in the worthless sack of shit (national media) pumped up to talk about because he has "name" value.

My only other question of the off-season is what the Kings do with 1st round picks. It hasn't been since the late 90's when the Kings could have used a quality 2nd round pick on the roster. It's mighty time the Kings use the 2nd 2nd rounders (Atl's and the Kings own 2nd rounder) on something good for a change. That makes sense doesn't it?

(This is a FanPost from a member of the Sactown Royalty community. The views expressed come from the member, and not Sactown Royalty staff.)

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