In our never-ending search for silver linings during the current pandemic, we have found another one for the Sacramento Kings and their money.
While none of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the sports world are promising, there are silver linings if you look hard enough. One negative effect that the current hiatus will have on the NBA is a lowering of the salary cap, giving teams less money to pay their players and spend on their roster. For a select few teams including the Sacramento Kings, this might actually be a good thing, at least temporarily.
We’ve known for some time that the 2020 free agent pool was going to be one of the weaker ones in recent memory, which was something that was going to hurt the Kings. Bogdan Bogdanovic, who is one of their most important players, was set to hit the open market as one of the most sought after commodities. Sacramento was going to have to spend big to keep him, which they were willing to do (subscription required), by all accounts.
But there will be sweeping changes to financial aspects of the NBA, and a lowering of the salary cap could end up giving Sacramento a better chance to retain the rights to Bogdanovic. The 27-year old Serbian is technically restricted free agent, meaning that the Kings have the right to match any offer that comes across the table.
With less money to spend, teams are likely going to be less willing to throw a load of guaranteed money at a player who tends to be streaky. Before the pandemic, there was a chance that the Kings were going to match any reasonable offer that Bogdanovic received. Now that the hiatus has greatly affected the financial aspect of the league, matching will be even easier and more affordable than it was before.
The Kings were never going to be big players in this free agency period anyway. They spent their money last year, for better or for worse, and don’t seem to have any big targets for the offseason. There is a strong possibility that Sacramento comes back with a similar roster, maybe with additions of veteran role player X and draft pick Y to fill a couple of holes. This outlook could completely change with a trade of Buddy Hield, though.
While much of the specifics and logistics are still up in the air, it is fair to assume that teams will have less money to spend given the revenue hit that the league has taken. There won’t be many teams that benefit from something like this, but the Sacramento Kings could be one of them.