Add Sam Cassell’s name to the list of guys who were traded to the Sacramento Kings at the end of their careers but never played a game.
Sam Cassell spent 15 successful years as an NBA player. He averaged better than 15 points and 6 assists over the course of his career and nearly 20 points per in his six year prime. He was a three-time champion and even made the All-Star team in 2004. But Cassell played for eight different franchises and was traded seven times. One of those times he got traded to the Sacramento Kings.
Cassell was already past the twilight of his career. After enjoying some of his best seasons in Milwaukee and Minnesota, he played for the pre-Lob City Clippers from 2005 to 2008 and was the elder statesmen on a team that featured youngsters like Shaun Livingston, Corey Maggette, and Elton Brand.
The Boston Celtics signed Cassell from the free-agent veteran buyout market during their championship run in 2008. He played 12.6 minutes and scored 4.5 points per game in the playoffs as he won his third and final championship ring.
The next season, he fell out of favor. Cassell was technically a part of the Celtics roster during the 2008-’09 season, but did not play a single minute. According to an ESPN article from the time, he was serving more as an assistant coach than a reserve player.
But Boston had some high priced commodities on their team and needed to shed some salary in order to save some money on their luxury tax bill.
Enter the Sacramento Kings.
Two days before the trade deadline in 2009, Sam Cassell was traded to the Kings along with cash considerations in exchange for a heavily protected second round pick. It was a pure salary dump done by Boston, who never saw the second round pick from the Kings.
As for Sacramento? They waived him a day later, before he could ever even think about putting on a Kings jersey. It is believed that the Kings used the cash considerations that they were sent to buy out Cassell’s contract, but maybe they were able to pocket some? The benefits for the Kings in this trade are unknown.
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