The Sacramento Kings should have a plethora of interesting options to use their cap space on, both in free agency and the trade market.
The Mid-Level Exception allows teams over the salary cap — but below the luxury tax apron — to sign a player to a contract up to $9.5 million. This could prove vital in rebuilding the frontcourt and picking up a quality piece. Additionally, since the Kings did not utilize their Bi-Annual Exception last year, they could add another minor player on a short-term deal up to $3.7 million.
The Kings currently only have five players on the roster that do not primarily play the guard position: Barnes, Bagley, Thompson, and Woodard. This means we will likely see them use the MLE, the BAE, and Buddy Hield as a trade chip to fill out the small forward, power forward, and center positions.
Although Sacramento’s front office has been nearly airtight about free agent rumors, it has been reported the team would potentially be interested in bringing Nerlens Noel aboard with one of their exceptions. A center rotation of Holmes, Noel, Thompson, and Queta would be very strong and would allow the Kings to use the rest of their resources in filling out the forward spots.
Free agents worth watching could include Bobby Portis, Otto Porter, Doug McDermott, Reggie Bullock, and Andre Iguodala among many others.
The Kings may also look away from the free agent market in favor of swinging a Hield trade that rounds out the forward spots nicely. I’m not certain the front office is committed to making a big move and building a winner now, but there are plenty of options on the table should Monte McNair wish to pursue that route. A splashy move could involve moving Hield and Bagley for someone like Tobias Harris, who is rumored to be on the trade block.
If the Kings do want to get involved in free agency, they’ll need to pick up the phone fast. Much of their flexibility hinges around the ability to execute a few trades, and if they wait too long the best free agents will have already put pen to paper for another team.