The Bee's Sam Amick kick-starts those Mike Bibby to Miami rumors one more time.
Salary cap space would come sooner than expected for the Kings, and the collective EKG of their frustrated fan base could receive a decent spike with J-Will and his once-dazzling game back in town. If it's going to be a transitional period for the franchise, why not make it an exciting transitional period?
Williams and Haslem for Bibby always made sense around here, but that was before the Mikki Moore signing. Haslem is a stud rebounder and defender and can stick the 15-footer. He's not a bench player; anyone remember watching him shut down Dirk Nowitzki in the NBA Finals in 2006?
And Williams... he's the cap relief. The deal wouldn't change the salary cap situation for 2007-08 (few deals would), but it would save the Kings $7-8 million in 2008-09 (assuming Bibby doesn't opt out next summer). With the Kings dangerously close to luxury tax (with a 33-win team), that bit might help. (Remember, Kevin Martin's new contract -- with a $9 million starting salary -- kicks in next summer.)
Of course the frontcourt is a disaster. Buying out Kenny Thomas only helps the psyche of the fan base and makes more room for Chuck Person on the bench. If you make this deal, you start Haslem and Moore is your first man off the bench. You'd basically have a four-man frontcourt rotation (with Shareef Abdur-Rahim) until someone gets injured or freed (or until March when the playoffs are out of reach). There's also this: Shareef had knee surgery a few months ago. They said then he'd be ready for training camp. But we've heard that before. (See: Webber, Chris.) Reef's a warrior (see: playing with your jaw wired shut), but is a move like this more palatable if Shareef's on the shelf into November? (The cons outweigh the pros, though, as Shareef is the most tradeable frontcourt veteran at this point. Any prolonged recovery kills his trade value.)
The biggest killjoy in previous Bibby-to-Miami rumors was Pat Riley, who essentially announced his team would not be paying the luxury tax this year. But he tried to sign Charlie Bell while already about $2 million over the tax level -- the Bell deal would've put the Heat roughly $5 million over the tax threshold. Williams+Haslem for Bibby gets the Heat to... $1.5 million over the tax level, essentially in better cap position than they are now. (For this year. 2008-09? Wildly different story.) The Kings would still have a touch of breathing room.
Two things are left at play, I think: Either Geoff Petrie is not enamored with Haslem (possible, Petrie loves high-scoring PFs with touch) or Riley's not ready to relinquish a draft pick (a stance which must be losing steam by this point). All I know is there's no better chance of this happening than now, while Miami panics and the Kings look to free Martin and Artest from Bibby's oncourt ego.