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The Kings might use cap space to absorb bad contracts

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This would be a smart way to use space.

NBA: Washington Wizards at Boston Celtics Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Sacramento Kings enter free agency in a difficult position. The biggest names in free agency that the Kings might actually have a shot at signing, such as Aaron Gordon, Julius Randle, or even a Clint Capela, are all big men. The Kings currently have 17 centers on the roster (estimated).

Their biggest need is at small forward, and the free agent crop at small forward is dicey. Mario Hezonja and Jabari Parker could be intriguing, but Hezonja is still mostly unproven and Parker has a history of serious knee injuries. The other options, like Trevor Ariza, are too old and would be awful signings in line with Kings mistakes of the past.

It would make sense, then, for the Kings to look at trades. And according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, that’s exactly what the Kings are doing.

The legacy of the 2016 cap spike and resulting spending orgy: Only a half-dozen or so teams have pathways to meaningful cap space, and three of them -- Atlanta, Chicago and Sacramento -- are signaling they plan to use it to take on bad salary and extract draft picks as the price, sources say. (That is a particularly interesting, and smart, decision for the Kings, considering they don’t own their 2019 pick and as a result have some incentive to compete. But they have zero chance of being good and should look at the lost pick as a sunk cost. If they hunt players instead of dead money, I’d expect them to chase younger free agents -- including restricted guys such as Aaron Gordon, Jabari Parker and perhaps Zach LaVine.) >

There are several teams that could be looking to free up cap space this summer instead of waiting for 2019. The Kings could capitalize on that to acquire young players or draft assets as sweeteners. This is how smart teams rebuild. It’s the reason the Kings don’t own their 2019 pick. Vlade Divac traded it to Sam Hinkie to clear cap space.

If nothing else it’s encouraging to hear the Kings are at least exploring all options.