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Wearing Floaties In The Shallow End Of The Free Agent Pool

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I was thinking about the Beno Udrih situation yeserday and it struck me - never has so much been made over a potential MLE signing. And that's justified, given the fact that Sean Singletary is our most experienced PG (once he signs) because he has been in the Kings' practice facility once. Nevertheless, it is ridiculous unfortunate a testament to where we are right now in the rebuilding process that we have to go bargain shopping for a short term solution for perhaps the most important position on the floor.

When I peruse the list of unrestricted free agents, my loins do not exactly well up in excitement (visualize, everybody!). It is a veritable "who's not who" of NBA journeymen. But I think that is where our next floor leader may come from, as we do not want to overpay by bidding on a restricted free agent. For example, I like a guy like Louis Williams from Philly, but they have already tendered him a qualifying offer. My fear is that the only offer that won't be matched by the 76ers would be one that is far too expensive. I would prefer seeing Garcia and Singletary at the point this year than paying too much money for a guy. And point guards are at a premium this year, so expect the best of the free agent bunch to get overpaid.

Also, for our purposes here let's figure that we are not going to be trading for guys like Felton, Lowry or Hinrich. Not that it won't happen, just that it most likely won't happen.

OK, let's take the lids off of these buffet entrees and see what we have to choose from:

  • Darrell Armstrong
  • Carlos Arroyo
  • Earl Boykins
  • Anthony Carter
  • Dan Dickau
  • Keyon Dooling
  • Chris Duhon
  • Eddie House
  • Lindsey Hunter
  • Anthony Johnson
  • Shaun Livingston
  • Tyronn Lue
  • Jannero Pargo
  • Sebastian Telfair
  • Beno Udrih
  • Jason Williams

Mmm, mmm. Who's hungry?

Now, let's systematically eliminate some of these guys and really get down to brass tacks. Armstrong is 40, Boykins is 5-5 and thinks he's worth more money than he really is, Dickau only scores points against us, Dooling and House both average 4 assists per 40 minutes, Hunter is 37, and Telfair is smaller than the gun he packs.

So, we're down to Arroyo, Carter, Duhon, Johnson, Livingston, Lue, Pargo, Udrih and Williams.

My bet is that someone is going to offer Beno a five year MLE and we won't. I also think that someone (Clippers or Knicks) will offer Duhon more money than we would want to pay him. New Orleans will resign Pargo (that's part of the reason that they sold their #27 draft pick).

At this point I'm also going to eliminate Shaun Livingston. I wouldn't mind taking a $1-2 million flier on Livingston for the next couple of years, but we are talking about signing an opening night point guard. Livingston has 60 career starts under his belt, has not played in over a year, and there is no proof that he can still be an NBA point guard. Had there been any proof the Clippers would have at least tendered him a qualifying offer, as they will need to spend at least that much money securing another PG.

Next to go is Jason Williams. Sorry J-Will, but your inability to play anything even resembling defense will be more than Reggie Theus can handle.

Alrighty then. Our search has been narrowed to four candidates. Wow, this is a lot like "Hell's Kitchen." No one can cook but someone has to win. Let's continue. Our remaining choices are Carlos Arroyo, Anthony Carter, Anthony Johnson and Tyronn Lue.

For what it's worth, Carter and Johnson will both be 34 at the beginning of the season. Johnson knows the Kings system. The Kings waived Lue (he'll be 32) as a favor last year, something that Lue and his agent would hold in high regard should the Kings be interested in signing him as a starter. Arroyo, at age 29 looks like the best overall fit. What I don't know about Arroyo is how he would feel about signing a short term contract with a rebuilding team, nor do I have any idea as to whether or not he would consider going back to Puerto Rico to play. But, because ignorance is bliss (and in my case standard operating procedure), I've made my decision and I'm sticking with him.

Please join me in welcoming your newest Sacramento King and opening night point guard - Carlos Arroyo.