The Kings had the opportunity to offer Jason Thompson a contract extension by Jan. 25.
The deadline passed without an extension for the fourth-year power forward. That didn't go unnoticed by Thompson.
"That was on my mind, but it wasn't on my mind," he said. "It was just about playing consistently."
Thompson has done that and become a player the Kings want to keep.
By reaching a buyout agreement and waiving forward J.J. Hickson on Monday, the Kings showed Thompson is someone they see playing a part in their future.
Hickson and Thompson were in position to receive qualifying offers and become restricted free agents this offseason. The Kings would be able to match any offer to their restricted free agents.
"At some point, if you go back to the beginning of the season, we were going to have to make a decision on both of those players in regards to a qualifying offer or not to give them a qualifying offer," Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie said.
"We felt we were going to qualify Jason, and his play continues to be in the home improvement aisle."
For the season, Thompson is averaging 8.4 points and 6.6 rebounds, but as a starter, he was averaging 9.5 points and eight rebounds entering Tuesday's game against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Thompson beat out Hickson for the starting job after Chuck Hayes was injured in January.
After acquiring Hickson from Cleveland last June, the Kings expected him to be a major contributor. Instead, Hickson shot a career-low 37 percent before being waived.
Thompson used Hickson's acquisition as motivation.
"That just shows how the NBA is a business and it's about competition," Thompson said. "For teams to be elite, they have to bring in different guys to see what works. That just made me want to go harder and work harder in the offseason and not slack off."
Kings set to add Williams Free-agent swingman Terrence Williams was at Tuesday's game and is expected to sign a 10-day contract today.
Williams was released by Houston last week after averaging 4.5 points in 12 games this season.
After starring at Louisville, Williams was drafted 11th overall in 2009 by New Jersey, which traded him to Houston last season. His career scoring average is 7.4 points.
Deflection game The Kings count on creating turnovers to get them into their transition offense, which they had done very effectively in their last two wins before Tuesday.
The Kings scored 58 points off turnovers against Boston and Minnesota, their highest two-game total this season.
Coach Keith Smart credited players creating deflections partly by getting to where they're supposed to be on the floor early and disrupting passing lanes.
Entering Tuesday, the Kings were averaging 17.8 points off turnovers, sixth-best in the league.