NBA free agency has begun, but the Kings aren’t preparing a series of fancy sales pitches.
When Rudy Gay exercised his player option for next season, the Kings landed their big fish of the offseason. That was preceded by signing DeMarcus Cousins to a contract extension last September.
So when NBA free agency kicked off Monday night, the Kings weren’t lining up for a meeting with LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony or Chris Bosh.
Kings general manager Pete D’Alessandro prefers to take a pragmatic approach to this time of year. Unless there is a marquee player available the Kings might be able to secure early in the free agency process, D’Alessandro likes to see how the market takes shape after the maximum-contract players have committed to deals.
That was his approach last year, and there are no plans to change that philosophy. Of course, on the rare chance a player like Bosh expressed interest in the Kings, D’Alessandro would not turn up his nose at the opportunity to add all-star talent.
But all indications early in free agency are the Kings will not spend big money. The Kings are already about $3 million above the projected salary cap of $63.2 million before making a decision on restricted free agent Isaiah Thomas.
So like last year, the most likely avenue the Kings will take is to continue pursuing trades and waiting for the second wave of free agency when players’ contract demands come down as they look for guaranteed employment.
The Kings aggressively pursued Andre Iguodala last year, only to see him balk at their offer and take less money in a sign-and-trade with the Warriors.
After losing out on Iguodala, a first-team All-NBA defender, and having Jose Calderon pass to sign with Dallas, the Kings signed one free agent to a multi-year deal, forward Carl Landry. The Kings did not get the return they’d hoped for on Landry’s four-year, $26 million deal as he was limited to 18 games because of a hip-flexor injury during training camp and a knee injury at the end of the season.
All the other players the Kings brought in during the offseason were via trade or the draft, and making deals is something D’Alessandro is always open to.
The Kings aren’t opposed to taking on salary beyond next season when they will become a bigger national player. The team is still in the market for a defensive-minded big man and more facilitators on offense.
A deal could come in a sign-and-trade with Thomas, if the Kings do not re-sign him.
Travis Outlaw, Derrick Williams, Jason Terry and Reggie Evans all have deals that expire after the season, making them more attractive to teams looking for cap space for 2015.
New partnership – The Kings announced Monday that adidas will take over managing its retail operations through the 2016-17 season.
Adidas is the official team outfitter of the NBA and will run the team store at Sleep Train Arena, merchandise store and other retail stores away from the arena.
There will be adidas signage in the arena and in the stores. The deal takes effect today.