After finally making the playoffs for the first time since 2006, the Kings did not make a big splash in free agency or on the trade market this summer. Compared to other teams, they had a very quiet, underrated offseason and that is a good thing. The front office kept its cool and did not overreact.
The reality is that at this point, the Kings don’t have to make any big changes. Yes, they lost in the first round of the playoffs, but under the circumstances, it was not a bad loss. Most Kings players had never played in the postseason before, and they had to face a battle-tested, veteran Golden State Warriors team. The Kings gave them all they could handle, though, and, in the end, it took a heroic game-seven performance from Stephen Curry for the Warriors to move on.
Now, it is time to see how far this team can go with more experience and some tweaks around the edges. Accordingly, the front office made all the right moves to ensure that all their key players would be back. They re-signed Domantas Sabonis (5 years, $217 million), Harrison Barnes (3 years, $54 million), and Trey Lyles (2 years, $16 million). This does not only mean that all key pieces of last season’s successful squad will be back, but now Sabonis, Barnes, De’Aaron Fox, Keegan Murray, and Kevin Huerter are all locked up until the end of the 2026 season.
All three deals were easy decisions. Sabonis is a crucial part of the Kings’ high-scoring offense, Lyles was great off the bench, and once it became clear that it would be tough to land another younger high-level wing, bringing Barnes back was the logical choice.
Even though he struggled at certain points in the playoffs and will probably age out of his prime soon, he provides important veteran leadership on and off the court alike. Last season, the 31-year-old was still the Kings fourth-leading scorer with 15 points per game behind only Fox, Sabonis, and Huerter. Any future decline might not even be much of an issue if the Kings can slowly but surely transition some of his on-court responsibilities to Murray and the newly signed Sasha Vezenkov (3 years, $ 20 million).
Grade for re-signing Sabonis: A
Grade for re-signing Barnes: B-
Grade for re-signing Lyles: B+