Many Kings fans, myself included, are upset that the Kings seem prepared to move forward with Darren Collison instead of Isaiah Thomas. It sucks. And yes, a lot of it has to do with money. But no, that doesn't mean Pete D'Alessandro and Vivek Ranadivè are acting like the Maloofs.
There's a big difference between being too cheap to exceed the salary floor and being too hesitant to overpay a player when the team is nearing a hard cap. We were conditioned for years to hear "cap flexibility" and think "cheap owners". This is a vastly different situation.
The Kings put themselves in this position. They acquired Rudy Gay knowing what his salary was. They actively encouraged him to opt-in to the final year of his contract at $19.3 million. And yes, they signed Carl Landry to a contract that looks like a pretty dramatic overpay. Yes, we have way too many guys on difficult-to-move deals. All of these factor into the inability to retain Isaiah. But these aren't matters of being cheap, these are issues of team-building strategy and talent evaluation.
Disagree with how the Kings value Isaiah all you want, I'll join you. But I won't sit by as the comment threads are filled with "seems maloofian" garbage. We endured one of the worst ownership groups in the history of professional sports. The team's current ownership and management have been the opposite. They're spending on infrastructure, players, and they're being open and transparent with fans. It's a delight. Disagreeing with the evaluation of one player doesn't change that.