Dewayne Dedmon three-years, $40 million (partially guaranteed third year)
Oof. In his 34 game stint in Sacramento, Dedmon played a lot like the NBA players in Space Jam after they got their talent stolen by the Monstars. Dedmon completely forgot how to shoot a basketball, as he shot 19.7% from three and turned the ball over an inordinate amount of times for a big man. After Richaun Holmes took his spot in the rotation, Dedmon requested a trade. The Kings cut bait quickly, sending him back to Atlanta for Jabari Parker and Alex Len.
Cory Joseph: three-years, $37 million (partially guaranteed third year)
This contract was a definite overpay, but at least Joseph was as advertised during his first season with the Kings. Joseph can lock up opposing point guards but is pretty uninspiring on offense. Joseph is one of the better backup point guards in the league, but the Kings overpaid, considering his lack of verve on offense.
Trevor Ariza: two-year, $25 million deal (partially guaranteed second year)
Ariza, who was coming off of the worst season of his career in 2018-’19, continued his downward trend in Sacramento. The 30,000 plus regular-season minutes he played in his career prior to the season were evident as he had clearly lost a step on defense and couldn’t do much with the ball in his hands besides spot up. The Kings improved immensely after they traded Ariza for Kent Bazemore, in Janruary who was a much better fit on the roster.
Richaun Holmes: two-years, $9.8 million
Although most of the second half of Holmes’ season was taken away due to injury, he was the most consistent player on the roster when he played. Holmes quickly supplanted Dedmon as the team’s starting center and brought consistent energy and effort that was a joy to watch. Holmes is a guy the Kings should look to retain past his current contract.
2019 overall free agency grade: C-
Getting Holmes for less than $5 million a year keeps this out of D range, but Ariza and Dedmon were off the team within a couple of months and never made the impact that the front office would have hoped.
Final Thoughts And Overall Grade
Overall free agency grade: D+
There is an obvious “Sacramento tax,” that the Kings will have to continue to pay to players to sign with them until the organization improves, but so many of the contracts that Divac and company gave out looked pricey at the time, and look even worse now.
A disturbing trend has been the Kings signing players only to get rid of them during or after their first season. Belinelli, Barnes, Hill, Dedmon, and Ariza are some examples of this trend.
If the Kings are going to ever make it back to the playoffs, they are going to need to hit on a higher percentage of their free-agent signings.
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