With NBA Lockout Over, Kings' Salary Cap Picture Comes Into View

The NBA lockout is over! Free agency is about two weeks away (December 9). The Sacramento Kings, who have more cap space than anyone, will be right in the thick of it, both with a big free agent of the team's own (Marcus Thornton) and the space and ability to chase another high-dollar player. 

The salary cap will remain at $58 million despite the lower revenue split for players. Ignoring that all salaries (and the cap) will be pro-rated, here's what the Kings have on the books.

* John Salmons: $8.5 million

* Francisco Garcia: $5.8 million

* Tyreke Evans: $4.15 million

* DeMarcus Cousins: $3.6 million

* Jason Thompson: $3 million

* J.J. Hickson: $2.3 million

* Donte Greene: $1.7 million

* Hassan Whiteside: $800,000

They will sign Jimmer Fredette to a normal rookie scale contract for the No. 10 pick; reports have indicated that the rookie scale will remain flat for the next two seasons. That would put Fredette at $1.9 million in terms of a cap hold and eventual salary. Second-round picks, of which the Kings have two in Tyler Honeycutt and Isaiah Thomas, do not carry cap holds, and neither will sign for more than $800,000 for a full season, in all likelihood.

Ignoring Honeycutt and Thomas but including Fredette, that gives the Kings salaries of $31.75 million.

That also fills nine roster spots, with Honeycutt and Thomas making 11. The Kings would have to sign two more players (one of which could be Thornton) and could not sign five more without waiving a player under contract or sending either second-round pick overseas.

That gives the Kings $26 million to keep Thornton and acquire other players. Once the team reaches the cap, it can use the new Poor Man's Exception (worth a starting salary of $2.5 million), which is available to teams who start free agency legitimately below the cap.

Of course, the amnesty clause could change things. Should the Kings use the amnesty on Garcia, another $4.3 million (75 percent of his $5.8 million salary) will be opened up. The team will not use it on Salmons unless there's the urgent opportunity to grab a really fantastic free agent, so the most cap space the team can really expect is $30.3 million.

Of course Part 2: the team may not want to give up Garcia. We'll see. They could keep the amnesty around for a trade acquisition.

Update: I am terrible at simple addition. Post has been edited.

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