After striking out at the NBA trade deadline, the last thing King fans want to hear is how the 2012-13 season will be more of the same as it pertains to the sub-par play, but given the poor free agent market – it’s a reality we might be facing.
This isn’t a complete doom and gloom scenario. The Kings will once again have a high quality pick in what is seemingly (at least on paper) proving to be a solid NBA draft. In addition, they’ll also be sitting with some of the most (if not the most) cap room in the NBA once again – but that’s where the problems begin to arise.
Yes, the opportunity for trade is still there – if the right scenario presents itself, the Kings could easily use their cap space for incoming talent, but as far as buying some off the market? The 2012 offseason isn’t very promising at all. You don’t need to take my word for it – have a gander. Nauseating, eh?
When the top free agents (outside of Deron Williams) are essentially that of Nicolas Batum, JaVale McGee and D.J. Augustin, all of whom are restricted, it’s not exactly the things that Championships are made out of. Now granted, I’m a big Batum fan and would love him in Sacramento but there are so many things going against that idea right now. First off, the lack of a free agent market is only going to raise Batum’s already elevated price tag compared to a free agent market in say, 2013 which is saturated with high level talent. In addition, being a restricted free agent gives the Blazers the right to match any contract – so even getting Batum to commit to Sacramento isn’t enough as the Blazers will have final say in that. And outside of the French product, there just isn’t much available on the ’12 free agent market.
The Kings will have the opportunity to amnesty a player who was on the roster prior to the new CBA being signed, like a John Salmons or Francisco Garcia which, if needed will reduce the already slim Kings financial commitments to an even lower number (say for a player like Batum) but the Maloofs will still need to pay for the said amnesty, which given their financial situation isn’t something I see them doing right now.
For the Maloofs and the Sacramento Kings, the 2012-2013 season is going to be another of growing for the future. Another year for young players like Jimmer Fredette, Isaiah Thomas, Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins to grow as a unit – with the inclusion of their new talent from the draft and potentially trades/free agency. The focus of the Maloofs will now shift to the new arena and fielding a playoff team to open the new venue in 2015. We’ve seen it so many times before – teams will purge and start fresh when they have a new arena/stadium on the horizon with intentions of playing at a high level when the said venue has its opening season and the Kings will be no different.
So if you’re expecting a big change for the purple and black in 2012, a roster overhaul if you will, I hate to burst bubbles but I just don’t see it.
The Kings, the Maloofs have their eyes on a bigger prize now, so while the ’12-13 season might be another filled with bumps and bruises, I will say the wait will be worth it come 2013/14/15 as the Kings glue together their final puzzle pieces for what should be another decade of extended playoff runs.