The Power Forward position is one that the Kings new management have reportedly been trying to upgrade ever since taking over the team last summer. Their first signing in fact was at the Power Forward by signing Carl Landry to a 4 year, $26 million contract. They also acquired Quincy Acy, Derrick Williams and Reggie Evans in trades throughout the year to go along with incumbent forward Jason Thompson.
The problem of course is that none of these players are ideal fits next to DeMarcus Cousins. Landry, when healthy, is a poor rebounder but a good and efficient scorer. Thompson is good at many things but does not excel at any one thing. Williams isn't sure whether he's a Small Forward or a Power Forward and isn't really good at either. Evans is a rebounding machine and little else. Acy brings energy and effort but little else.
So it's not surprising that the Kings want to free up some of this logjam and perhaps get a better fit in the process as Jason Jones reported a couple days ago:
Kings are still looking to free up their logjam at power forward through a trade. Team has a lot of PFs but they don't address Kings' needs— Jason Jones (@mr_jasonjones) July 5, 2014
Kings are still looking for a defender/shot blocker to help the interior defense while freeing up the $20-plus million tied up in PFs now.— Jason Jones (@mr_jasonjones) July 5, 2014
There was also a tidbit in Ailene Voisin's piece on Isaiah Thomas that touched on a few potential targets the Kings might have had in mind:
Attention now turns to power forward and the amount of money tied up in Jason Thompson, Carl Landry, Reggie Evans and Derrick Williams. According to league sources, the Kings have been shopping several frontcourt players. In recent weeks, they have been linked to the Pistons' Josh Smith (three years, $13 million) and declined interest in Milwaukee's troubled, if talented Larry Sanders.
Other players thought to offer some intrigue include Charlotte Bobcats free agent Josh McRoberts, the Mavericks' Brandan Wright (one year left at $5 million), and Nick Collison, the Oklahoma City veteran who has one year left at $2.2 million and might be available if the Thunder lands Pau Gasol.
(McRoberts is now off the table, having gone to the Miami Heat for their Mid-Level Exception)
The Kings of course, used their own mid-level on Darren Collison, and as such can only really offer up to the Bi-Annual Exception (2 years, $2.077 million) to any Free Agent big man, barring a sign and trade. Any player the Kings sign for that amount is not likely to be a big upgrade to what they currently have.
As such, any upgrades at the position will have to come via trade, and therein lies the problem. Sacramento's current Power Forwards aren't exactly great assets themselves. The Kings have a lot of money and years tied up into both Jason Thompson and Carl Landry, making both difficult to trade without being attached to another asset. Williams is probably Sacramento's most attractive asset at the position, more for his expiring contract than his potential. Getting Williams last year cost the Kings Luc Mbah a Moute, who they had acquired for two second round picks. Williams' value has only increased due to his contract status, and not by much: in today's CBA, expiring contracts are not nearly as valuable as they were before when contracts could stretch for as much as 7 years.
One potential scenario for the Kings to upgrade could involve a sign-and-trade with Isaiah Thomas, but this is not a particularly promising scenario for a few reasons. For starters, the Kings can't choose which team Thomas wants to sign with. They also don't really have all that much leverage if the other team doesn't really want to trade one of their players (for instance if the Pistons didn't want to trade Josh Smith) or take back a guy like Jason Thompson.
The more likely scenario would be a trade in which the team combines two players to get a better player on a worse contract, like Larry Sanders (who Voisin says the Kings aren't interested in, although that might have been at a certain price) or an Ersan Ilyasova. There's also the possibility of using Ben McLemore or Ray McCallum as sweeteners in any potential trade, although the upgrade would likely have to be significant for the Kings to part ways with some of their young and cheap assets.
This will not be an easy problem for Pete D'Alessandro and Kings management to solve, so I wouldn't be surprised if most if not all of our current Power Forward corps are still here come October.