When’s the last time we’ve heard a player openly talk about wanting to join the Kings? We’ve seen it with young guys before the draft like De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley, but it’s been rare for the Kings to get the same kind of love from Free Agents.
Nets forward Jared Dudley did just that while on the latest Tampering podcast with Sam Amick and Joe Vardon. Dudley’s a smart player on and off the court and it was interesting to hear his take on free agency and the NBA in general. He mentioned the Kings as a potential destination for him specifically because they’re a young team that’s close to the playoffs that has money to spend (He also mentioned Charlotte and Atlanta).
Dudley has seen the trend around the league of young teams offering roleplayers like him lucrative one year deals to help mentor young players, while playing spot minutes. Dudley is quite frank that he still wants to get paid more than he necessarily wants a ring right now, as he knows he’s on the downswing of his career. He has made a living as a veteran mentor, providing key depth and leadership for an upstart Nets team this year and wants to keep doing so instead of taking minimum contracts to chase a ring.
The Kings themselves have seen the value of having veteran leadership on a young team, giving out big, short-term deals for guys like Vince Carter and Zach Randolph. But the Kings have big question marks at Center and backup Point Guard, so while Dudley might be hoping for a one-year, $8-9 million deal from the Kings or another young team, Sacramento’s probably looking to spend that money elsewhere. There’s only so much cap space to go around, and the Kings are dead set on going to the playoffs next season. It wouldn’t hurt having a guy like Dudley around, but he’ll likely be out of the team’s price range.