After four seasons in Sacramento, Jason Thompson knows the Kings want him back.
The Kings plan to extend a qualifying offer to Thompson that would make him a restricted free agent and guarantee him a salary of about $4.1 million. Sacramento would have the right to match any offer the forward receives from another team.
"I can't predict the future, but for now it's clear they want me to stay here," Thompson said.
Thompson appears to be the most likely of the Kings' free agents to return next season.
Forward Donté Greene could become a restricted free agent if the team extends him a qualifying offer worth $2.5 million. Swingman Terrence Williams, who impressed after joining the Kings in March, is an unrestricted free agent.
The Kings hold options on center Hassan Whiteside and forward Tyler Honeycutt. Both figure to be back with hopes of improvement during a full offseason and summer league play.
Thompson this season averaged 9.1 points and 6.9 rebounds, both below his career marks of 10.5 points and 7.5 rebounds. However, he averaged 10 points and eight rebounds in 47 games as a starter.
At the beginning of the season, Thompson came off the bench as new additions Chuck Hayes and J.J. Hickson were tried at power forward.
Thompson's consistency eventually won him the starting job from Hickson, who held the position after Hayes dislocated his shoulder.
"Who knew what would have happened at the start of the season?" Thompson said. "Us signing Chuck, trading for J.J., having Cuz (DeMarcus Cousins) already on the team and maybe re-signing Sammy (Dalembert), and all that type of stuff. I never put my head down and never tried to let it show on the court. I just tried to go out there with an open mind and be solid."
Williams, who joined the Kings as a reserve after being waived by Houston, averaged 8.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 18 games. He was immediately one of the best passers on the roster, a skill the Kings lack and have been trying to develop.
"I don't want nothing to be drawn out until August, September or anything like that," Williams said of free agency. "I want to get it over with."
Williams said he prefers to return to Sacramento. He fit in well with the team after stops in New Jersey and Houston in three seasons.
"I'm looking forward to (free agency), but at the same time, I want it to be over," Williams said. "I'm hoping me and Sacramento come to a good deal for a couple a years and just take it from there. At the end of the day, you want to be wanted."
Greene has shown flashes of being an effective defender. He finished the season playing a lot at power forward, where he started most of his games in 2009-10, when he had 50 starts. This season, Greene averaged 5.4 points in 14.7 minutes, the lowest figures since his rookie season.
"Hopefully, I can come back here," Greene said. "I want to be here. This is home for me. But it's a business at the end of the day, and so if I have to move on, I have to move on."
Note The Kings won a tiebreaker with the New Jersey Nets and will be slotted fifth for next month's NBA draft lottery.
Both teams finished with 22-44 records.
Sacramento has a 7.6 percent chance of winning the first pick in the draft. New Jersey has a 7.5 percent chance.
The lowest the Kings will end up in the lottery is eighth.
They will have either the fifth or sixth pick in the second round. If Sacramento picks ahead of the Nets in the first round, the Kings will pick after them in the second round.