When Samuel Dalembert was beasting during his best Sixer days in 2006-2007, I drooled over the prospect of bringing the Haitian big man to the Capitol City. Then when rumors began to swirl that Dalembert was interested in Sacramento, it couldn’t have been better.
Fast forward three plus years and Sam I Am was rocking the purple and black, giving the Kings a much needed big man with a shot blocking pressence – one we hadn’t seen since the likes of Keon Clark.
So now we sit after Dalembert’s one lone year in Sacramento, waiting, to see if there will be a return or if the stop in Sacramento will be nothing but a blip on his career radar.
As free agency officially began today, we see the rumors of potential contracts leaking out:
- Tyson Chandler to the Knicks potentially at a 4 year, 60 million clip.
- Golden State planning to offer Clipper DeAndre Jordan a multiple year deal starting at 10+ a year.
- Nene Hilario, quite possibly the most desired free agent big man, hasn’t had too many rumors on his price tag – but like your Mother always told you – if you have to ask, it’s too much.
- Hell, even the Kings own rumored deal with Chuck Hayes for 4 years, 20 million is expensive – fair market value, but still pricey.
So given what we know of the above deals, it’s safe to assume Dalembert’s certainly going to cash in wherever his shot blocking skills take him. The question begs, will it be the Kings doing the direct depositing? And if not, can they get by without him?
Sam’s one of the nicest guys you’ll come across in the NBA – a heart of gold in all honesty, which makes him a true asset to any franchise and that’s not even taking into account his on court abilities. The Kings could most certainly use his skill set – but given the soon to be upcoming price tag, it’s hard to justify the price for the results. Sure, Dalembert is a very solid defender who has a unique ability to not only block shots, but alter them – a combonation you don’t generally see much of in the NBA. You have players that may be effective at one or the other, but both is a bit more rare – another reason you’ll see Dalembert’s price tag rival those mentioned above.
The Kings financially, can’t and wont be able to compete at the same level other teams will for Dalembert’s services and for once, that’s the smart move. I love Sam and his game as much as the next guy, but paying those type of funds for a player who, while talented, is nothing more than a role player isn’t justifiable. There’s no doubt Sam on the Kings versus a Dalembert-less Kings team is an improvement – he simply makes the team better, but good enough to justify an eight figure annual salary? No – not when you’re trying to use cap space to build around your two building blocks in DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans.
I, much like the Kings front office and most fans, would love Sam returning at a financially reasonable price – but that’s simply not going to happen barring a minor miracle. I understand that. So does the Kings front office, hopefully. Samuel Dalembert isn’t going to be the single difference in the Kings improving by 5 wins, 10 wins, or 15 wins. There are particular players worth that amount of money that CAN individually alter a teams record – it’s just that Sam isn’t one of them. Paying him like one is asking for problems, especially when you can get a player (who while given a different skill set is very talented) like Chuck Hayes for half the price. No, it’s not ideal – but sometimes it’s the smart route to take. They say sometimes the best move is the one not made, and as much as we’d all like Sam to return, at an annual salary of 9 or 10 million+ a year – it’s just being careless with your finances.