April 18, 2012; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings center Jason Thompson (34) controls the ball against San Antonio Spurs forward DeJuan Blair (45) during the third quarter at Power Balance Pavilion. The San Antonio Spurs defeated the Sacramento Kings 127-102. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE
The Kings landed power forward Thomas Robinson with the No. 5 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, a surprise to a huge number of people. Most folks had Robinson going No. 2 to the Charlotte Bobcats, but that team took Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Robinson figures to challenge for a starting spot next to DeMarcus Cousins early on, putting Jason Thompson's role into question. Thompson becomes a restricted free agent on Sunday. The Kings have issued a qualifying offer, meaning that the team can match any offer sheet he signs.
Of course, the Kings could also sign him to a deal without other teams getting involved, as they did with Marcus Thornton in December. That seems to be the plan. From the Sacramento Bee's Jason Jones.
Petrie said Jason Thompson remains the top proiorty for the Kings in free agency.— JasonJones (@mr_jasonjones) June 29, 2012
One would think that Robinson's presence drops J.T.'s price point a little from Sacramento's perspective, but it's not as if the team will be able to spend money it clearly does not have on other free agents. So the final dollar amount might be much ado about nothing.
In case you're wondering, the Kings do still have a hole at small forward. Filling that would seem to be a priority going into free agency.