Early this morning, word leaked from ESPN’s Marc Stein that the Sacramento Kings were potentially showing interest in former Golden State Warriors and Milwaukee Bucks guard Monta Ellis. The interest wasn’t exactly new as Ellis himself suggested a desire in playing for the Kings last month after he opted out of his deal with the Bucks.
Ellis grew close with current Kings head coach Michael Malone during their short tenure together in Golden State and was open to a reunion. The only problem? The ability of the Kings to make it financially possible. After signing Carl Landry this past weekend, the Kings, outside of offering an extremely small contract couldn’t afford Ellis outright. That’s where the salary cap flexibility of trades come into play.
Sources say that the Kings, meanwhile, have been shopping the likes of Jimmer Fredette and Chuck Hayes to the Cavaliers to create the requisite salary-cap room to try to sign Ellis comfortably. Hard to see Cleveland wanting Hayes, whose contract runs through 2014-15 and thus potentially cuts into Cleveland’s reserves earmarked for a free-agent run at LeBron James next summer. Fredette’s $2.4 million salary is a virtual expiring deal.
As the ESPN scribe points out, you have to wonder exactly what would be in that for Cleveland (outside of Fredette’s addition) especially considering their own gluten of power forwards. It’s possible Cleveland could attempt to send back a small contract like Alonzo Gee which would still help the Kings cut nearly $5 million dollars off their cap, just to offset the Hayes addition. But overall for Cleveland? Either they feel Fredette can help them spread the floor (which they do need) and grow into the player many hoped for out of BYU or they have alternative plans to move the former Cougar elsewhere in a separate deal, assuming the rumor has any teeth to it.