In just a few short days, the spending bonanza that is NBA free agency will begin, and after a decade-plus of striking out on big names on the open market, the Sacramento Kings are determined to land an impact player this summer. The front office believes their combination of cap space and an exciting young core should make them major players with the largest batch of free agents in recent history.
Let’s take a look at where the Kings stand heading into Sunday evening.
Cap Space and Exceptions
According to “The Shams Charania of Carmichael” Dave, the Kings and Harrison Barnes are nearing an agreement in the range of 4-years, $88 million. Assuming the contract is an ascending deal with eight percent annual raises, Barnes will make about $19,500,000 next season. These numbers could change slightly depending on the final terms. For now, Sacramento projects to possess $41,027,188 in cap space, with that number increasing to $44,001,392 if the non-guaranteed contracts of Frank Mason and Yogi Ferrell are waived.
The Kings will also qualify for the room mid-level exception, projected to land at $4.7 million, which they can use to sign additional free agents after using up their available space. That amount can be used to sign one player or can be split between multiple contributors.
6/29 – The final day to make the qualifying offer of $6.2 million to Willie Cauley-Stein. If the Kings extend the Q.O, Willie will likely decline the offer and enter restricted free agency, causing a $14 million cap hold (money they cannot spend) to be placed on Sacramento’s cap sheet. That would grant the Kings the right to match any contract that Willie signs with another team, while still retaining the ability to renounce his status as a restricted free agent, and therefore the $14 million cap hold, at any time they desire.
If the Kings decline to submit the qualifying offer to Willie Cauley-Stein, he would become an unrestricted free agents and the Kings would no longer preserve the right to match offers on the open market.
6/30 – Start of free agency
7/4 – Yogi Ferrell’s salary of $3.1 million becomes fully guaranteed if the Kings do not waive him.
9/5 – The final day for teams to issue tenders to unsigned second round draft picks. If the proper tender isn’t offered, those players become unrestricted free agents.
10/15 – Frank Mason’s salary of $1.6 million becomes fully guaranteed if the Kings do not waive him.
|H. Barnes (estimation)||$19,500,000|
|M. Barnes (dead money)||$2,133,542|
With Harrison Barnes all but signed, but the Kings will need to acquire 4 – 6 additional players this offseason to round out the depth chart of at least 14 members.
While free agency is most often associated with acquiring players through new contracts, the month of July usually offers a robust trade market as well. The Kings have been linked to multiple centers already employed by other teams, and someone like Steven Adams or Clint Capela could be headed Sacramento’s way.
The good, and somewhat scary, news for the front office is that they fully control their first round pick for the first time since 2011. If a team like Houston or Oklahoma City is looking to shed a starting caliber center in exchange for a protected pick, the Kings will be able to meet those demands. Overall, Sacramento owns nine draft picks over the next two years, as Vlade Divac has evolved into the sexy version of Danny Ainge when it comes to hoarding second rounders:
Future Draft Assets
|2020||Second||Golden State/Houston||Less Favorable|
The Kings have locked up Harrison Barnes long-term, and they’re still walking into Sunday afternoon with a bevy of assets, from loads of cap space to future draft assets to quality young players. With the Western Conference only getting tougher and deeper, the front office cannot afford to rest on its laurels from keeping Barnes, and must continue to find major upgrades in the coming weeks.