The Sacramento Kings payroll currently sits at about 32-33 million dollars, depending on who you ask – by far the lowest in the league. And with the new CBA requirements, the Kings are going to be mandated to spend about 18 million dollars this offseason just to meet the NBA’s new minimum salary threshold (85% of the league cap). In short, expect an extremely active two or three week stretch coming up.
But this brings me to a bigger point – the need for the Kings to spend their available money now, within the next two seasons.
The free agent crop for the current year and next are pretty sub-par, especially for un-restricted free agents. You have Nene this year, Josh Smith next – certainly very solid players, but not franchise altering talent (not that the Kings could lure any via free agency anyway…) but back to the initial point of the Kings spending their cash. With Tyreke Evans due a contract extension after next season and DeMarcus Cousins due one the following year, the Kings simply wont have money (or it’ll be limited) to bring in any free agents (or trades via cap space) past next season so the Kings must spend quickly, but more importantly, wisely.
I’ve made it clear that if the situation presented itself, the Kings should amnesty John Salmons, which would give them (assuming they did it this current offseason) around 25-27 million dollars just to meet the NBA’s minimum payroll requirements. Again, that’s just the minimum they’re required to meet – not the actual number of the NBA’s soft salary cap. We don’t know that yet, but, we do know it wont be any less than last years $58 million dollars.
Granted, the Kings still need to re-sign Marcus Thornton (6-8 per year?), add in the rookie contracts of Jimmer Fredette (2 mill), Isisah Thomas (500K), Tyler Honeycutt (500K) and figure out what they’re going to do with Samuel Dalembert, but no matter how you slice it – the Kings are still going to have a boatload to spend.
After this season, the Kings will have the expiring contracts of both J.J. Hickson and Jason Thompson to deal with, eating further into their cap (assuming they keep one, or both – not to mention the annual salary percentage increases) so the time to spend is approaching quickly. How they do it will be all on Geoff Petrie (in addition to what the Maloofs allow) – he may use it via free agency – he may use it via trades, but he needs to use it and within the next two seasons, before it’s gone.
Hopefully given the new CBA and teams looking to shed money, the Kings will have set themselves up for a big time move. *rubs hands together*.
Strap on your seatbelts, Scooter – it’s going to be a fun couple weeks.