Upon looking at our holes as a team there are a couple glaring needs. Firstly we need a SF of the future and we need frontcourt depth, which SF's are a part of. In this specific Fanpost I will be addressing our need for a SF of the future, as I am currently not comforted with Donte Greene as our savior at the position. Our current SF's consist of Cisco, Nocioni, and Donte Greene; Cisco has always been more productive coming off the bench and can play any guard position for us and Nocioni albeit gritty is slow, inconsistent, and getting old (thus not a part of our long term solution). He is also saddled with a long contract, three years plus a team option for a fourth, thus I will target a possible replacement. There are plenty of free agent SFs in this free agent class with many all star caliber players available: Shawn Marion, Ron Artest, Trevor Ariza, Lamar Odom, Grant Hill and many others. The problem with all these players is that they will command too high of a price tag for a rebuilding team like the Kings.
Enter my solution! Linas Kleiza.I can already hear the naysayers, but mo Linas is a restricted free agent. The Nuggets currently sit at a cool $71 million dollars in salary which does not include Dahntay Jones and Chris Andersen, which should eat up their entire MLE and push them to around $77 million. This being the Nuggets current quandary they have not yet extended a qualifying offer to Linas, coupled with a season where he was given a reduced role mainly due to multiple acquisitions from trades could make him expendable or easily acquired.
Even with his reduced minutes he was still able to produce getting around ten points in 22 mpg. He also has good size being 6'-8" and 245 lbs and can fit into our future plans as he is only 24 years old. He has an extremely developed offensive game where he is comfortable driving the lane or spotting up from three. Its hard to gauge his defensive prowess playing for an up tempo team like the Nuggets, but he did not complain about his reduced role and went from in the future plans of the Nuggets to the bench without a peep.
For those of us who have been StR members for awhile now, this name should be extremely familiar as he was the sticking point in a Ron-Ron to Denver trade that was axed as he was not included. This obviously means that Petrie and the Kings organization are familiar with his skill set coupled with the fact that he can be had for much less than the MLE it would seem like a FA acquisition worth considering. The fact that we can gain a young player with promise for not that much money (well a lot for you and I but you get the point) is quite enticing and why I think a team like the Kings looking to build for the future should give a long hard look towards offering Linas a contract.