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The State of Play in July '09

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Allofasudden, there's a lot more clarity on how the books should look come July. Remember: Geoff Petrie's plan is to clear cap space for the summer of 2010. This can be done by chillin' and not signing non-vital players. This summer, Petrie only signed Beno Udrih (arguably vital, given the positional drought) and Bobby Brown (cheap as tusks). He extended Francisco Garcia (arguably important, though the timing can be debated) and added negligible future salary in trading Ron Artest (Donté Greene and Houston's 2009 pick will make a bit of scratch the next few years). Petrie has said he will not likely pick up the 2009-10 options on Shelden Williams ($4.3 million) and Quincy Douby ($2.2 million).

Here are the salaries on the books for the 2009-10 season (via's salary database -- I'm a convert!):

Kevin Martin $9.68 m
Brad Miller $12.25 m
Kenny Thomas $8.775 m
Mikki Moore $2 m*
Beno Udrih $6.03 m
John Salmons $5.456 m
Spencer Hawes $2.333 m
Francisco Garcia $6 m**
Jason Thompson $2.036 m
Donte Greene $870,000***
Bobby Brown $736, 420***
Kings 2009 First $2.5 m**
Houston 2009 First $1 m**

* If the Kings cut Moore by June 20, 2009.
** Estimate.
*** Friggin' larceny!

As predicted back when Garcia signed his deal, the Kings will be just outside the edge of the salary cap next summer. That means -- barring a trade -- the Kings won't be able to nab any free agents of note in July 2009. If the Kings can lose Brad Miller, a $14-15 million player might be within range. (That's a potential Danny Granger.) If the Kings lose Kenny Thomas, a $10 million player might fit. (More like Ben Gordon.)

Here comes the dead horse: the greater/greatest possibilities come in the form of trades. With Thomas and Miller combining to form some sort of ungodly Theo Ratliff duo, a mysteriously disgruntled superstar could be had in 2009, if the timing is right. It's worked for Boston and L.A. Why can't us?