So the Kings have offered Bonzi Wells something north of $5 million a year, assuring that Detroit and Denver cannot play ball with finding a trading partner.
Even though I do not support re-signing Bonzi long-term, I obviously think this is a smart move. The Kings have a few very specific needs, and keeping that offer over the mid-level exception ensures (almost) that Bonzi isn't getting away for only $5 million per year. So if Bonzi comes cheap, either the Kings get him, a previously uninterested team with cap space like Chicago or Atlanta gets involved, or a sign-and-trade gets worked out. This isn't a season the Kings want to watch a nice asset walk away for nothing. There's just nothing else out on the free agent market.
Why don't I support re-signing Bonzi, by the way? Two words: Kevin Martin. This is a young player you cannot strap to the bench much longer. He's far more efficient than Wells, mostly because he can shoot and he doesn't turn the ball over in excess amounts. Martin has nothing in the post, and has a tough time guarding small forwards, which Bonzi can sometimes do. And Martin will never rebound like Wells. But everything else is in Martin's favor - age, speed, range, salary, future, need-fitting.
If Bonzi wasn't already a King and didn't have that stellar series against San Antonio, is he a player the Kings would be pursuing? "Of course not - we have Kevin Martin at the 2," everyone would say. So why pursue him beyond trying to get a return this offseason? Take the emotion of the game-winners against Toronto and Minnesota and the crazy playoff series out of the equation and you'd see Bonzi isn't the answer.
We don't need a post-up guard. We have two great post-up forwards. We need a speedster for transition and a shooter for the halfcourt. Kevin Martin is that player. He's our starter.
So that's where I stand. It looks like it will take a couple days for Bonzi rumors to heat up, as his biggest suitor, Detroit, wants to lock up Ben Wallace first.