Late last night, ESPN’s Marc Stein reported that the Sacramento Kings are targeting veteran free agent forward / center Matt Bonner. Bonner has spent the last nine years in San Antonio playing under Greg Popovich, and has two NBA championship rings to show for it.
At 35 years old, Bonner’s best basketball is certainly behind him, but you can’t quantify what adding a two-time NBA champion, nine year Popovich veteran to the Sacramento Kings locker room would do for this organization. Whatever Matt would give the Kings on the court is just icing on the cake.
The Kings’ interest in Bonner shouldn’t come as a shock, although I must say I had always assumed he’d just return to San Antonio. He still might, for what it’s worth, but the Spurs have retooled their roster this offseason, and Bonner could be without a spot at the end of the Spurs bench. Adding LaMarcus Aldridge, David West, and Boban Marjanovic in a matter of days is going to crowd your frontcourt.
We know Vlade Divac and Greg Popovich talk, and the Kings already landed former Spur Marco Belinelli earlier this month. If Bonner isn’t going back to San Antonio, there is a very good chance he lands in Sacramento.
Bonner is a career .414 three-point shooter. At 6’10", 240, being able to shoot the three at that clip over an 11-year career is a legitimate NBA skill. Bonner can still shoot, but outside of that shooting ability, I wouldn’t expect much else on the court.
This would be an off the court signing, and a perfect way to utilize the veterans minimum salary exemption. The Kings need winning veterans, and you’re not going to find someone from a better organization, with a richer history of success in the NBA, than Matt Bonner.