We’re now roughly 24 hours away from NBA free agency taking hold of the entire news cycle, and the Sacramento Kings’ quiet draft night sent a loud and clear message that there will be big splashes come Thursday.
With a robust roster trying to round into form, a new head coach and big decisions coming out of the front office, Sacramento will likely be busy when spending season tips off.
When does NBA free agency officially begin?
Free agency tips off for the NBA on 3:00 PST Thursday, June 30th. Although agreements are verbal and won’t go into effect until July 6th, players can begin negotiations and trades are actively being made.
How much do the Kings have to spend?
The Sacramento Kings are over the cap, and will likely remain there during this offseason. But they do possess the non-taxpayer mid-level exception, which could end up clearing the runway for a free agent if possible from Monte McNair and his front office staff.
What do the Kings need this offseason?
Solid defense and 3-point shooters. The hottest commodity on the NBA market right now, the wing spot is highly malnourished in Sacramento. Having true wings who can stretch the floor and work around Fox, Sabonis and alongside Davion Mitchell beyond the arc will be essential in the Kings’ free agency haul.
Who will the team bring back?
It’s hard to imagine De’Aaron Fox or Domantas Sabonis leaving the team in any capacity, despite the trade rumors surrounding Fox. McNair’s move at the trade deadline was to go all-in on Fox in letting go of Haliburton, and are functioning on him timeline.
Mitchell also seems like a piece Sacramento is committed to building around. Thriving in his starting role at point guard when Fox was down last winter, Mitchell has shown flashes that he can be more than a bulldog and a truly efficient player in the club. He’s still on his rookie deal, and Sacramento will likely keep him to forego extension talks that can begin starting in the fall of 2023.
Who will they probably let go?
It’s hard to imagine Harrison Barnes staying in any kind of trade package, especially with the talks surrounding last season’s deadline where he was a focal point of many league propositions. Barnes is a missing piece to a championship-level competitor, and I anticipate that if the right team asks at the right price, he will likely not return.
Damian Jones will have an extremely enticing off season, as during the trade deadline last February he was wanted by teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks. Teams vying for a title want Jones as their big man, and I anticipate Jones will be receiving a pay raise this summer.
How heavily will free agency impact the Kings’ season?
According to DraftKings betting, the Sacramento Kings are +80000 to win the NBA championship in 2022-23. We know that Sacramento won’t be competing for a title, but with some good moves, they could see the end of their near two decade playoff drought. Although the level of competition in Sacramento has remained stale the last two decades, the win-now mantra is surrounding this team loud and clear. Moving to the Fox and the Ox and how they can best be supported should be the primary goal for free agency.