As NBA free agency approaches, the Sacramento Kings continue to make moves that will affect their cap space. This time, the Kings have made a move that does not save them money, but instead, they maintain wing depth.
Reports from Adrian Wojnarowski suggest the Kings are picking up Kessler Edwards’ $1.9 million team option for the 2023-24 season.
In February of 2023, the Kings acquired Edwards in a trade with the Brooklyn Nets and had a strong impact in Sacramento with limited playing time. The 6’8″ forward averaged 3.9 points, 2.1 rebounds, 1.0 assists, and 0.5 steals per game through 22 games, averaging 13.9 minutes.
Why does this move make sense for the Kings?
The decision to pick up Kessler Edwards’ team option was easy for Sacramento, as the 22-year-old has the potential for a breakout season if given the opportunity. Even if he does not have a surprising breakout year, it is worth keeping him in Sacramento for one more year for less than $2 million.
While the Sacramento Kings have questions about their wing depth, a young Edwards has proven he can come in and contribute if needed. Harrison Barnes’ talks with the Kings are heating up, making it more likely to see him return to Sacramento.
With career 40/34/79 shooting splits, Edwards has shown he can be valuable since entering the league and starting 23 games for Brooklyn as a rookie.
After being the 44th overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, Kessler Edwards has been one of the most surprising risers from that class. Edwards has come in for the Kings multiple times to knock down big shots and make big plays.
It is a good decision for the Sacramento Kings to keep Kessler Edwards and not let him hit the free agency market.
Why is this decision questionable for the Kings?
While it was good to keep Kessler Edwards in Sacramento, was there a better way to do it? By opting into Edwards’ team option, the Kings lose about $800k. Sacramento could have declined the team option, then went into free agency and signed him for a cheaper deal to keep him on the Kings for longer.
While Kessler Edwards can be a valuable player for the Kings, he is not worth much more than a minimum contract. If Edwards is not going to crack the Kings’ main rotation next season, it would have been wise to save some money.
After the Richaun Holmes trade that cleared up cap space, it is slightly surprising to see the Kings make this move that costs them money rather than saves it.
Nevertheless, it is a good move for Sacramento to keep Kessler Edwards around.