While last year's free agency class was the year of the super star, this year's class is the year of the super role players. Yahoo came out with their list of the top 10 unrestricted free agents. Are any of these free agents right for the Kings? The top ten free agents in reverse order are:
10. Michael Redd
9. Yao Ming
8. Tracey McGrady
5. Caron Butler
3. Nene Hilario
2. David West
1. Tony Parker
Lets look at each free agent:
10: Michael Redd - Only 10 games played last year due to injury. Its too bad the Kings couldn't have the Michael Redd a few years ago. The sharp shooting guard/forward would be a great fit with the current roster. However, injuries have robbed Redd of most of his ability and he is to the point in his career that he will be looking for championships. While the Kings need a veteran player, we also need a player who will play more games then we won last year. Michael Read will go to a top team who needs depth off the bench to drain threes, ala Paja in Dallas.
9. Yao Ming - Another great player who had a season ending injury last year. He would be great on any team and he would give a good veteran presence on the Kings. However, his injury concern is higher then Redd. Also, I have a feeling he is going to be loyal to Houston and stay with them. If he is lured away he will go to a team who can promise him a championship run in the next few years. The Kings should steer clear.
8. Tracey McGrady - Another veteran, but one who did play a good number of games last year with the Pistons. He is 32 years old, which means he is getting close to the end of his career. He would want to go to a championship team. Also, he is a shooting guard which is one position the Kings do not need. They could get a cheaper, more valuable shooting guard by resigning Marcus Thorton. The Kings could make a run to add depth, but should not commit serious money to him.
7. Samuel Dalembert - Here is where the Kings start to serious look at the free agents on this list. Sammy D, and surprisingly Sammy O at times, was a great anchor in the middle this year for the Kings. He was also a great contrast to DeMarcus. The Kings should try to sign Sammy back onto the team, but needs to be careful not to go too far. Spending too much to keep a player like Dalembart would put us back where we were 4 years ago with too much salary spent on role players. I would say a fair deal would be 10 Million per year for a 3-4 year deal. It would just be a smaller amount under what he makes now, but it would ensure he is a King long enough for DeMarcus to mature into the superstar we all think he can be.
6. Jamal Crawford - Kings need a veteran and a point guard. Jamal Crawford is a veteran of 11 years and a point guard. The Kings should seriously look at him as an option. He made almost 11 Million last year, but I think he is worth that money. I would say 4 years, 12 Million is a fair deal for his talant. I think that he would be a great backcourt mate to Evans and would allow Beno to come off the bench as an effective sub. The Kings should look hard at Crawford, but not max money.
5. Caron Butler - Another guard/forward who is getting up there and was injured recently. He made almost 11 Million last year but that will not be what he is worth next year because of his injury. He is also probably going to look for a contender if he is taking less money. This means the Kings are not on his radar, which is fine because he should not be on theirs.
4. Tyson Chandler - Chandler would be a great addition to the Kings. If it was between getting Sammy or Tyson, Tyson would be my choice. He is young but a veteran and is a skilled player. Just think of him next to DeMarcus. it would be our own version of the twin towers. Unfortunately he is playing for a Dalas team that is headed to the finals. Mark Cuban will not let him go and he will make it worth his while to stay. As much as he would be great on the King, not even all the cap space the Kings have will pry Chandler out of Dalas.
3. Nene Hilario - I remember a few years ago when Nene was the top choice of Kings fans. He is still a good option, up there with Chandler. He does have an injury history which should keep the Kings from spending max money on him. Also, with no Melo the Nuggets will be able to spend more to keep Nene. He probably is not going anywhere. Like with Chandler, the Kings will give him a serious look, but he will stay with his present team based on the progress they made last year.
2. David West - West is a player the Kings could look at spending close to max money on. Even though he just had a knee injury, he would be a great small forward or power forward to the put on the starting line up. He can defend and score and would relieve any pressure on the younger players to score on the time. He is also a veteran who could help lead the team. Those who are worried he won't leave New Orleans should remember that Chris Paul is just one year away from leaving and West will see the writing on the wall. With a cheaper replacement in Carl Landry, he will want to leave so he can get a better deal in a place where the team can revolve around him. The Kings should offer max money for him. It is quite possible to sign West, Sammy and Thorton with their cap room. This is a player who is worth the money and the Kings should try to make him an offer he will have a hard time refusing.
1. Tony Parker - Parker is the biggest prize in this free agent class. He is a great play maker and scorer. Despite his past injuries he is still quick. Another thing going for the Kings is that San Antonio is getting older and are probably done being a serious contender. If there is a lockout of any kind Duncan is gone. With the most cap room this year the Kings should offer Parker Max money and not a penny less. With the cap room they would be able to sign Parker to a Max deal and maybe keep Sammy. He would be a great piece and would go far to making the Kings playoff bound.
So there you have it. Only a few players are worth max money, but there is defiantly players that can help the Kings improve. The Maloofs can definitely put their money where their mouth is this year and get some players that will propel the Kings into a bright future.