Reviewing The Sacramento Kings First Week Of Free Agency


Well it’s been one hell of a ride to say the least for the Sacramento Kings front office. The team has been under heavy fire from the national media, it seems no matter what decision they make, it always turns out to be the wrong decision.

The Kings first decision was to trade away Nik Stauskas, Carl Landry, Jason Thompson, and a slew of their draft picks, in a complete money dump of a deal. Though the trade is not something to brag about, it is something that I see is fair and understandable, at this stage for the franchise.

The team has never built through the draft. Arguably the best player they have drafted is their current franchise center piece, DeMarcus Cousins. So while it is never good to put the future on the line, the team has not seen a winning season in nearly a decade, and with the new arena on the way, they want a winning product that people want to pay to see.

So in short, they need to take risks or how I like to phrase it (from the comedy Fired Up) “you got to risk it, to get the biscut.” This may not be the quote that the fans want to hear, but hey it surely seems that way.

More from Kings News

After acquiring right around $20 million in cap relief, the biggest question was, who are they going to spend it on. The Kings first signing was of shooting guard James Anderson.

Anderson was drafted with the 20th overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft, but did not find his footing in the league till this past season in Philadelphia, where he averaged 10.1 points, with a 43% field goal percentage (stats courtesy of basketball-reference). Not great numbers, but throughout the year he showed flashes of what he can do on the court so maybe Vlade and his team in the front office see something that we don’t.

The initial reports were Rajon Rondo, Wesley Matthews, and Monta Ellis, were Sacramento’s top three targets heading into the free agency period. The Kings no doubt swung for the fences to try to acquire Matthews or Ellis, but unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) the Kings were unable to sign either of the two, as both decided that while the money the Kings offered was tremendous, they wanted to head in a different direction.

Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Kings did however, come to terms with what seems to be their new starting point guard, Rajon Rondo. The nine year veteran and the Kings agreed upon a one year deal worth $9.5 million.

No doubt is this a gamble for Sacramento. Rondo had one of his worst seasons in his career this past year, and was a total joke during the Mavericks playoff run. He also still looks to be healing from his ACL injury back in 2013; his athleticism and quickness just seems to have taken a hit.

Here is the positives of this signing; let’s assume the worst case scenario (like good Kings fans do) and assume that this locker filled with three strong minded individuals (Rondo, Cousins, Karl) does not work out. Well at least its only a one year deal and then the Kings are free from their experiment.

Live Feed

4 positions the Blue Jays need to invest in during free agency
4 positions the Blue Jays need to invest in during free agency /

Jays Journal

  • 4 players the Cavaliers should pursue in 2024 free agencyKing James Gospel
  • Blazers News: Portland re-signing failed lottery pickRip City Project
  • Boston Celtics to keep offseason acquisition in 'developmental pipeline'Hardwood Houdini
  • Yankees-Cody Bellinger rumor is massive free agency mistake waiting to happenYanks Go Yard
  • 4 Cavaliers looking to make a name for themselves in training campKing James Gospel
  • Another reason this could work is that this one year deal helps Rondo rebuild his once great name. Remember when fans were debating whether or not he was the best point guard in the league? Remember when he locked down LeBron James in the playoffs?

    It’s been awhile since anyone has talked about that Rondo and with his age now rolling over into the 30’s, this is his last chance to prove he is worth a big payday. Everyone also likes to bring up the fact that both he (Rondo) and small forward Rudy Gay are close friends, but honestly that should make people a little nervous. I know that Gay was a huge voice/reason that the Kings were able to acquire the playmaking point guard, but what should make people worried is if this could divide the locker room? Only time can tell on that one, but having them two being “best friends” could be a blessing or a curse.

    Before the Rondo signing, the Sacramento Kings made a deal with former San Antonio Spur, Marco Belinelli ($19 million over three years). One of the biggest problems for the Kings last season was their three point shooting and acquiring a guy like Belinelli helps that problem instantly.

    Belinelli is a career 39% three point shooter, and this past season averaged 14.7 points, 2.4 assists, and 2.2 three’s per game (stats from basketball-reference). This guy can ball and to be perfectly frank, everyone that is complaining that they could have had these numbers from Nik Stauskas in year two, please just stop it.

    With the two pickups of Rondo and Belinelli, not only did they add players that upgrade this teams roster, but the team now has two players that have made it to the top of the NBA and become league champions.

    Now that the Kings traded away their depth at the power forward position, it was now time to find a player that can come in and be that relief off the bench for Cousins and rookie Willey Cauley-Stein. The Kings were able to make a deal with former Grizzly, Kostas Koufos. The deal is looked at as a bargain for the talent they just acquired, four-years at $33 million.

    Koufos is a guy that many expected to be in a sign-and-trade deal to a place such as Lakers or Clippers, where he could possibly be a starter for either team. The Kings have expressed interest in the 26 year old center for quiet some time now. Back in 2014, the Kings were one of the many teams trying to pry away Koufos from the Grizzlies, but had no such luck; it looks like persistence pays off.

    Kosta Koufos and George Karl will now be reunited from their days in the Nuggets organization. Under his final year with coach Karl, Koufos put up averages of 8 points, and 6.9 rebounds, in only 22.4 minutes per game (stats courtesy of

    Look at this past season with the Grizzlies: 5.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, in only 16.6 minutes per game. While those numbers don’t shoot of the page, in only 16 minutes per game Koufos is putting up solid numbers, and had per 36 averages of 11.2 points and 11.4 rebounds.

    Lets rundown the Kings roster as of now:

    Rajon Rondo / Darren Collison / Ray McCallum

    Ben McLemore / Marco Belinelli / James Anderson

    Rudy Gay / ?

    Willie Cauley-Stein / Eric Moreland

    DeMarcus Cousins / Kosta Koufos

    The team seems to be coming along quite nicely and Vlade Divac seems to be making all of the right moves right now. The Kings still need to address their wing position (as you see by the question mark after Rudy Gay’s name) and the player Sacramento really wants this front office to bring back is Omri Casspi.

    Casspi became a fan favorite here in Sacramento, not by putting up crazy numbers, but game-in and game-out was putting up 100% effort on the floor. During his last 18 games of the season Casspi found himself in the starting lineup as the teams stretch four, and really flourished under George Karl’s system.

    There has been mulitple reports and a blurry Rudy Gay snapchat photo, that suggests the Kings and forward Josh Smith could be the next player the Kings sign.

    Though the name Josh Smith is considered a “big” name, I believe he’s not a player the Kings need to go after. He had a great playoff run with Houston and was the main reason why the Rockets were facing the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals, but that still shouldn’t make the Kings want to sign him.

    He struggled in Detroit next to two big men, when traded to the Rockets, Smith was outplayed by a Terrance Jones, who was coming back from injury.

    He shoots too many mid-range jump shots, he shoots too many three’s, and has a history of having a bit of an ego in the the locker room. Now if the team did agree to a deal, it wouldn’t surprise me. Josh Smith has borderline all-star talent; he can pass the ball well, block shots, and on special occasion can hit the open three.

    If there is a choice to be made between Casspi and Smith, the team should choose Casspi. He may not be good at any one thing, but the things he does do well at is knowing his role on the team and bringing 100% effort every time he is on the floor. We also now know what he can do under coach Karl, cause we got to see it throughout the end of the season.

    The Kings have a few more moves to make before training camp, and though their money seems to be all spent, I wouldn’t be surprised if you see a player like Ray McCallum start getting mentioned in trade talks.

    If we are looking at the Sacramento Kings from when the season ended, and looking at that same team now, at least on paper that team has completely gotten better. As fans or even as the front office of the franchise, that is what you are striving for–progression, to ultimately build a team into a contender.  This roster as it stands today is arguably the best “paper” roster the Kings have had in a long time.