The Rocky Mountain News, which has been on top of The Race for Bonzi more than any other mainstream publication, says the Kings offered Mr. Wells $36 million over 5 years.
That's a (small) pay cut, and we've heard Bonzi's agent tell anyone who will listen Bonzi doesn't want a pay cut. Not at this stage in his career.
But it's still more than any other interested teams (Detroit, Denver, Indiana) can offer. They're maxed out at the mid-level exception, which comes in at about $30 million over 5 years. The difference is small (about a million a year, obviously) but not negligible.
In the end, it makes Geoff Petrie look like a genius. Wells can't decide to join a capped out team without self-inflicting a deeper pay cut. No team as yet mentioned in The Race for Bonzi can offer a couple bucks more than Sacramento to take him away without compensation for the Kings. Wells can't complain about Sacramento's offer, because there's a reasonable chance he could be back with them come October. If teams wants Bonzi, they must deal with Petrie. And very few GMs deal with Petrie and come out looking like a genius. (See: Donnie Walsh, Billy King.)
$7 million per year is a good rate for Bonzi Wells. Five years is a bit long for me, but I'm not sure you'd have tons of trouble unloading him at that price. According to 82games, Bonzi's "fair salary" last season was $4.78 million, and he missed have the year with a fairly flukey injury. It's not unreasonable to think his fair salary could be at $8 million or higher for the next couple seasons, though you have to worry about a 34-year-old swingman known for his athleticism and strength.
Will Detroit, Denver, or Indiana be willing to both pay Bonzi more than $7 million a year AND give something back to Sacramento in return? Will Bonzi take the mid-level somewhere else? Will he end up back in Royal Purple?
I'm thinking it can't be too much longer until we find out. Big Kings news last offseason (Bonzi-BoJax, Shareef) always happened on Friday. Stay tuned.