The Sacramento Kings will have some decisions to make when it comes to shaping the roster under the NBA’s salary cap.
With starting forward Bogdan Bogdanovic slated to be a restricted free agent whenever the 2020 NBA offseason begins, it’s no surprise the Kings are focused on retaining him.
Jason Jones of The Athletic hosted a mailbag and was asked what Sacramento’s thought process will be going into the summer.
Here is what he had to say:
“Part of the plan will depend on exactly how this season ends. Missing the playoffs would give the Kings a lottery pick, but the Kings aren’t inclined to get younger. A top-five pick (should the Kings get lucky again and move up in the lottery) would be a valuable trade chip if the Kings want to acquire veteran help.
The “young core” is getting older, and the only core player who would be relatively inexperienced going into next season would be Bagley. Do the Kings want another 19- or 20-year-old player in the mix? If he could help quickly, sure. But odds are a lottery pick would not crack the top eight in the rotation.
Re-signing restricted free agent Bogdan Bogdanovic will be the top priority. The Kings intend to match any offer sheet from another team, should Bogdanovic sign one.
If Bogdanovic is taken care of, look for the Kings to seek out help defensively, especially on the wing. The Kings do not have enough size on the perimeter and could use some players in the 6-foot-8 range who can play either forward spot.”
Bogdanovic has been a reliable scorer and contributor for the Kings this season, averaging 14.5 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. He’s also shooting 36.1% from deep.
Head coach Luke Walton inserted Bogdanovic into the starting lineup in January, swapping places with Buddy Hield, who signed a four-year extension prior to the season that could be worth up to $106 million. Couple that with the fact that De’Aaron Fox is eligible for a big extension this year as well and the team will have some tough decisions to make.
Sacramento should get some flexibility though, with Kent Bazemore’s contract expiring and it could get an extra $10 million if Alex Len, Yogi Ferrell and Harry Giles don’t return.
How do you think the Kings’ wing rotation will look next season?
Speaking of Giles, Bleacher Report’s Mandela Namaste wrote up a piece predicting the nine biggest steals in 2020 NBA free agency and listed Giles as one of them.
“On one hand, it makes sense that the Sacramento Kings would decline Harry Giles’ fourth-year option. He’s played 96 total games in two years and is averaging just seven points and four rebounds per game while shooting 52.4 percent from the field for his career. Plus, with Marvin Bagley III a higher developmental priority and Richaun Holmes breaking out this year, Giles was naturally getting pushed out of the rotation anyway. However, it’s also silly for the Kings to decline that option. In flashes, Giles has shown that high ceiling many predicted in high school, and if he gets on a team with a good medical staff that puts him in the best possible position to succeed, he could be a game-breaker. While not a primary scoring option, Giles could function as a poor man’s Al Horford in his best-case scenario, facilitating offense from the high post and guarding multiple positions on defense. The best part about Giles’ current situation from a front office perspective is that it’s a no-lose situation. He’ll likely just be worth a minimum contract, so if he continues to have health issues, cutting him barely even registers as a loss. However, the potential rewards of him finally shaking those injury troubles and becoming a stalwart NBA player are great. He’d be a great pick-up for a team like the Pistons or Spurs that lacks salary cap space and needs to take personnel gambles in order to create excitement for the future.”
Giles was picked 20th overall in the 2017 draft and his first year was used as a redshirt season. He played in 58 games his second season and averaged 7 points and 3.8 rebounds.
Despite missing the first eight games of the year and being benched for 14 straight games by Luke Walton, Giles took advantage of injures to other Kings’ big men and showed what he is capable of.
Giles is averaging 7.8 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1 assist a game since getting back into game action in late December.
As Namaste points out, Holmes has come along this year, but passing on the cheap option on Giles didn’t make a ton of sense, but this regime hasn’t been known for making sensible choices during their tenure.