Samuel Dalembert's time in Sacramento officially ended after one season Wednesday when the Kings withdrew their contract offer to bring back the free-agent center.
ESPN.com reported Wednesday that Dalembert and the Houston Rockets agreed to a two-year, $13.7 million deal, with the team holding an option for the second year.
The Kings had resumed talking with Dalembert's agent, Marc Cornstein, after Chuck Hayes' contract was voided Monday because of a heart abnormality discovered during his physical.
Before losing Hayes, the Kings were open to adding another post player. But they became more aggressive in pursuing Dalembert, 30, after voiding Hayes' deal.
"We tried to re-engage with them and see if we could try to get to something that I hoped worked for both of our interests going forward," basketball president Geoff Petrie said.
With the season starting Monday and still no deal with Dalembert, Petrie said it was "best" for the Kings to look at other options, which are slim at this point in free agency.
Petrie conceded "proven free agents" have already been signed, but the Kings still have options through trades. They are about $3 million below the NBA's minimum salary floor and can trade for a player without having to lose one.
Among the few free-agent veterans still available are centers Joel Pryzbilla, D.J. Mbenga and Francisco Elson.
Petrie said he wants to see the current roster get healthy but would like to add a player who would make the team significantly better.
If that doesn't happen today, Petrie said that's OK.
"I don't think it's near a panic situation at all," Petrie said.
Thornton, Salmons update Guard Marcus Thornton had to be taken to a hospital late Tuesday night and passed a kidney stone. He was listed as day-to-day. Coach Paul Westphal said Thornton could practice today or Friday.
Swingman John Salmons is still out because of a right quadriceps contusion. Salmons was able to work in some drills during practice.
"He's got a lot of pain in that bruised thigh, and we need to get him well," Westphal said.
Transactions The Kings waived guard Adrian Oliver and forward Lawrence Hill, leaving 13 players on the roster. The maximum number is 15.