Despite falling short on their free agent targets last season (Jamal Crawford, Andrei Kirilenko, Nene, etc), the Maloof family did pony up funds to make a small free agent splash – unfortunately, as is the case with most small market teams, overpaying is the requirement and none of the said options were worth the excessive spending.
A season gone by and the free agency period for the upcoming ’12-13 now open, it appears as if the Maloofs may have opened their tight purse strings yet again, assuming the Sacramento Bee’s Ailene Voisin got the right read on Kings GM Geoff Petrie:
But, interestingly, while most of the more intriguing free agents are restricted – meaning their current teams can match any offer – Petrie sounded as if the Kings planned to be aggressive. (They love Portland’s small forward Nicholas Batum, for example, but who doesn’t?) “Initially our thoughts are on Jason,” he said. “We’ll try to get an early feel on that. Then look around. There are a lot of players out there, a lot of restricted free agents. I think it will be a process over a number of days.”
Now, Petrie’s “aggressiveness” is subjective – is it an aggressiveness to get their own free agents (Jason Thompson, Terrence Williams, both of whom have already been contacted) re-signed? Or is he just generally speaking in reference to the entire free agent field?
Teams were knocking down agent doors soon as the clock struck midnight on the East Coast this morning, some potential King targets already receiving hefty contract offers (Minnesota has offered Nicolas Batum a 4 year, $50 million dollar deal) so if they’re being aggressive outside of their own free agents, it’s being done on the hush.