Samuel Dalembert Signs With Rockets, And Kings' Bizarre Offseason Gets More Weird

PHOENIX AZ - FEBRUARY 13: Samuel Dalembert #10 of the Sacramento Kings reacts to the crowd during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on February 13 2011 in Phoenix Arizona. The Kings defeated the Suns 113-108. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and or using this photograph User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Things just keep getting weirder and weirder for the Sacramento Kings.

On the first day of free agency, the Kings reached a four-year deal with Chuck Hayes, who would be the new defensive anchor of the club. Five days later, he failed a stress echo test. Five days after that, the contract was voided.

In the aftermath, reports linked the Kings back to center Samuel Dalembert, the team's previous defensive anchor who remained a free agent. Yesterday, reports indicated that the only other suitor -- the Houston Rockets -- were out of the running. Last night, Dalembert told a reporter that he basically had a deal with the Kings, that only the final details on the structure of the contract needed to be worked out.

Today, with that deal expected to go down, the Kings sent out a one-sentence press release stating that the club had revoked its offer to Dalembert -- an offer the team had never previously publicized or confirmed. Within a minute or so, ESPN's Marc Stein reported that Dalembert had reached a two-year deal with the Rockets.

The Dalembert saga on its own deserves attention -- the Kings never take contract negotiations public. Geoff Petrie is more likely to quote Tolstoy than show his hand on a free agent signing or trade. To put out a quick release disclaiming interest in Dalembert as Dalembert signs with another club is just ... completely abnormal for this GM and this team. In my crude estimation, that means someone pissed Petrie off. And that someone is likely Dalembert's agent.

But after Hayes and Dalembert, with most other suitable defensive big men off the market, the question becomes a simple one: who now? I argued yesterday that going into the season with the current roster is completely tenable if inglorious. Unless Andrei Kirilenko is picking up his phone and it's Petrie -- not Billy King -- calling, it looks like that will have to do.

The team's only newcomer via free agency in this grand summer of spending could be Travis Outlaw. What a weird offseason.

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