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Vivek's Offseason To-Do List: Free Agency and Trades

In the final part of this series, we take a look at how the Kings can improve the team through Free Agency and trades this summer.

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Free Agency is one of the few topics Kings fans don't claim to have expertise on because for the most part, the Kings have historically not been very active on the Free Agent market. The highest profile signing in Kings history was back in 1998 when the team made Vlade Divac one of the top paid Centers in the NBA (6 years, $62 million). In recent memory the biggest signing the Kings have made was Chuck Hayes in 2011 (4 years, $22 million).

Might that reputation change with new ownership?

Sacramento is fortunate to not be burdened with overly burdensome contracts. Jason Thompson currently has the longest deal of any King but is very reasonably priced for a big man. Marcus Thornton has the most expensive contract, although that will likely be surpassed by Tyreke Evans if he is re-signed.

In terms of cap space, the Kings have $41.3 million committed in salary for 2013-14 if you don't include cap holds. Of Sacramento's Free Agents (Tyreke Evans, Cole Aldrich, James Johnson, Toney Douglas) only Evans really has a solid chance of being retained. The Kings also own the #7 pick, which will add about $2.5 million to Sacramento's salary number.

Last year the Salary Cap was set at $58 million. It likely will go up for the first time in a couple years for next season. Let's assume a Salary Cap of $60 million. Without taking Tyreke Evans into consideration, they will have about $16.2 million in cap space.

If the Kings were to attempt a big move this offseason, who is out there to spend on? Here are the biggest names:

  • Josh Smith, F, Atlanta Hawks
  • Andre Iguodala*, G/F, Denver Nuggets
  • David West, PF, Indiana Pacers
  • Chris Paul, PG, Los Angeles Clippers
  • Dwight Howard, C, Los Angeles Lakers
  • Brandon Jennings**, PG, Milwaukee Bucks
  • Monta Ellis*, SG, Milwaukee Bucks
  • J.J. Redick, SG, Milwaukee Bucks
  • Kevin Martin, SG, Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Manu Ginobili, SG, San Antonio Spurs
  • Al Jefferson, F/C, Utah Jazz
  • Paul Millsap, PF, Utah Jazz
  • Jeff Teague**, PG, Atlanta Hawks
  • Andrew Bynum, C, Philadelphia 76ers
*Iguodala and Ellis must first exercise options before they become Free Agents. It's possible, if unlikely, that they could choose not to exercise those options.
** Jennings and Teague will be Restricted Free Agents

There are also some smaller names that could help the Kings fill positions of need:
  • Kyle Korver, G/F, Atlanta Hawks
  • Anthony Morrow, G/F, Dallas Mavericks
  • Corey Brewer, SF, Denver Nuggets
  • Jose Calderon, PG, Detroit Pistons
  • Jarrett Jack, G, Golden St. Warriors
  • Tony Allen, SG, Memphis Grizzlies
  • Mike Dunleavy, SF, Milwaukee Bucks
  • Dorell Wright, SF, Philadelphia 76ers
  • Toney Douglas*, PG, Sacramento Kings
  • Tiago Splitter, PF/C, San Antonio Spurs
  • DeJuan Blair, PF/C, San Antonio Spurs
  • Gary Neal*, SF, San Antonio Spurs
* Neal and Douglas can both be Restricted Free Agents

There is also another tried and true method of improving the team and that involves trading. The Kings definitely have some assets that can be used to acquire other pieces. I would rank Sacramento's assets in terms of trade value (I am leaving Tyreke Evans off this list due to his current Free Agent status) thus:

1. DeMarcus Cousins
2. The #7 Pick
3. Isaiah Thomas
4. Patrick Patterson
5. Marcus Thornton
6. Jason Thompson
7. Jimmer Fredette
8. The #36 Pick
9. John Salmons
10. Chuck Hayes
11. Travis Outlaw

With those pieces the Kings can make a big trade or two, but also a couple of small ones. One example of a small one I could think of is trading the #36 pick to Portland for the rights to International SF Kostas Papanikolaou. There was a report today that Papanikolaou is seeking a trade before coming to the NBA because Portland is already set at SF with Batum and Victor Claver. Papanikolaou plays for Olympiakos, the reigning Euroleague champions. He also shot well over 40% from three in over 50 games last season.

The Kings enter a new era with a wealth of options before them. Finding the right one(s) is not always easy, but I have faith that Vivek and this new ownership group are committed to making the Sacramento Kings a winning organization once again. It should be an exciting summer of change, one that hopefully sees the Kings soar to new heights in the next few years.