The Sacramento Kings’ have had a strange offseason.
They met with their number one goal, getting forward Rudy Gay not to opt out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent, but since he hasn’t signed an extension, that only delays the process by a year (although the Kings will reportedly attempt to extend him, it isn’t in Gay’s best interest to re-sign before becoming a free agent next year). They signed Los Angeles Clippers’ reserve point guard Darren Collison to a three-year, $16 million deal and dealt Isaiah Thomas and his new, very reasonable four-year, $27 million contract to the Phoenix Suns is a sign-and-trade. Collison has been best used a backup while Thomas averaged 20.3 points, 6.3 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game last season and shot 45.3% from the field, 34.9% from beyond the arc and 85.0% from the free throw line.
Those moves have caused many to question whether or not the Kings have a plan. However, Larry Coon of Basketball Insiders thinks that’s an unfair criticism.
I think it’s unfair criticism of Sacramento to say that they don’t have a plan. They needed to unwind some of the decisions they inherited from the previous regime, and rebuild the roster both in terms of the style of basketball they want to play and in terms of having a roster they can be nimble with — focusing on either short-term assets that can contribute, or value contracts they can either build on or package in the right way. And the Stauskis draft pick was made in that mold — Pete D’Alessandro went with the best player available, concentrating on value, rather than drafting for need. Needs are ephemeral — it’s easy to adjust for needs later. It’s harder to create value when you don’t have any.
The Kings have also reportedly shown interest in trading for Detroit Pistons’ forward Josh Smith, who has three years and $40.5 million left on his contract.