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The Sacramento Kings might have had their best summer of Free Agency ever

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Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

What a difference a few weeks make.

The Sacramento Kings are a much different team now than the one we saw back in April.  Not even taking into account the addition of Willie Cauley-Stein, Vlade Divac has managed to add five rotation players through Free Agency and might still not be done wheeling and dealing.

Vlade's strategy of trying to rebuild the Sacramento Kings through Free Agency is not unique to the NBA but it has been extremely rare here in Sacramento.  Vlade himself is the best Free Agent signing the Kings have ever made and thus far the only signing the Kings have ever made that has made an All-Star team during his tenure in Sacramento.

In Sacramento's 30 year NBA history, the Kings have only signed more than four players in an offseason just three times:  this summer, last summer and the summer of 1998, and only this summer likely features more than four new actual rotation players.  Here's a historical look at all of Sacramento's Free Agent summer free agent acquisitions:

(Note: for this exercise I did not include any re-signings or signings that occurred after the season started.  For example, Scot Pollard was signed early in the lockout-shortened season of 1998, but after the offseason had ended.  Also, I did not include signings that were waived before the season began or who did not play a game for the Kings.)

Players in Italics played less than 15 games for Sacramento

2015: Rajon Rondo, Marco Belinelli, Luc Mbah a Moute, Kosta Koufos, Caron Butler

2014: Darren Collison, Eric Moreland, Ryan Hollins, Omri Casspi, Ramon Sessions

2013: Carl Landry

2012: Aaron Brooks, Hamady N'Diaye

2011: Travis Outlaw*, Chuck Hayes

*Technically the Kings claimed him off the Amnesty waiver wire.

2010: Antoine Wright, Pooh Jeter, Luther Head

2009: Sean May, Desmond Mason, Ime Udoka

2008: Bobby Brown

2007: Mikki Moore, Orien Greene, Darryl Watkins, Beno Udrih

2006: John Salmons, Maurice Taylor

2005: Ronnie Price, Jamal Sampson, Shareef Abdur-Rahim

2004: Greg Ostertag, Maurice Evans, Matt Barnes, Erik Daniels

2003: Anthony Peeler, Tony Massenburg, Rodney Buford, Brad Miller*

*Miller was technically a sign-and-trade acquisition.  The Kings lost Hedo Turkoglu and Scot Pollard in the process.

2002: Keon Clark, Damon Jones, Jim Jackson

2001: None

2000: Bobby Jackson

1999: Darrick Martin, Tony Delk, Bill Wennington, Tyrone Corbin

1998: Jon Barry, Vlade Divac, Vernon Maxwell, Oliver Miller, Kevin Ollie

1997: Terry Dehere, Michael Stewart

1996: Kevin Salvadori

1995: Clint McDaniel

1994: Alaa Abdelnaby, Doug Lee

1993: Randy Breuer

1992: Marty Conlon, Vincent Askew, Carl Thomas

1991: None

1990: Rick Calloway

1989: Henry Turner, Greg Stokes

1988: Ben Gillery

1987: Michael Jackson

1986: None

1985: David Cooke, Carl Henry, Rich Kelley


That's.... that's not a great list to be on.  The Kings have had an incredibly poor Free Agent history aside from a few big hits here and there (Vlade, B-Jax, Collison, etc.), which makes this summer's multiple signings of solid NBA players (each one was a key rotation player on their previous team) a welcome anomaly.

Much attention has been given to what the Kings did to acquire their cap space, or the players that they missed out on, and not enough to how well Vlade Divac has used the space.  It's not an easy thing to convince players to come to Sacramento, especially given the years of dysfunction and losing.  What Vlade has done here is no small thing, and while the jury's still out on how everything will mesh, he deserves praise for trying a different approach and seemingly doing well with it.