The Sacramento Kings are interested in Jabari Parker and Mario Hezonja in free agency, according to a new report from James Ham of NBS Sports Bay Area. There are several interesting nuggets of information included in Ham’s rundown of potential free agent targets for the Kings.
Regarding Parker, Ham writes:
NBC Sports California has confirmed that Sacramento is interested in Parker, but the money has to be right. It will be a balancing act between trying to woo a player, paying enough so the Bucks don’t match and keeping the team’s salary flexibility long-term.
And regarding Hezonja:
NBC Sports California has confirmed that Sacramento is interested in Hezonja if the money is right. He’s an unrestricted free agent, which will help keep his value lower. He’s also only 23 years old and has ties to Peja Stojakovic.
The Kings will enter this offseason as one of the few teams with significant cap space. The few other teams seem primed to primarily target big names. The Dallas Mavericks will probably target a center, such as Clint Capela, DeMarcus Cousins, or DeAndre Jordan. The Los Angeles Lakers will use their cap space to try to land multiple top tier stars. And many teams will try to preserve their cap space for 2019 when many more players will become available and bad contracts from the spending spree of 2015 come off the books.
But the Kings can spend this summer and still have significant cap space for 2019, somewhere around $19 million. I’m fine with the Kings maintaining financial flexibility. But if they insist on not overspending for a wing, I wonder what their plan for that cap space could be. Perhaps the Kings might forgo overspending in free agency and instead use their space to absorb a contract from another team and acquire draft assets, something Kings fans have lamented the team not doing in years past.
One final note I found interesting was Ham’s comments on Aaron Gordon.
NBC Sports California has confirmed that the Kings like Gordon as a player, but they consider him more of a power forward. After drafting Marvin Bagley, they are unlikely to chase the 22-year-old, especially at the dollar figure he is about to command.
Vlade Divac told Kings fans that Marvin Bagley III could play small forward, but now Bagley would be the reason the Kings don’t sign a power forward? It’s also worth noting that, per Basketball Reference, Jabari Parker played 60% of his minutes at power forward last season and for his career he’s played roughly 78% of his minutes at power forward. Parker is listed at 6’8” and 250lbs. He’s a wing-style player, but it’s curious that the Kings would view him as a viable option while Gordon is seemingly being eliminated as an option based on position.
It’s going to be an interesting summer for the Kings. Most of us believe the Kings need help. Will the front office sign or trade for a wing, or does Vlade truly believe he has his super team, but they’re just young?