The Kings’ roster continued to evolve Sunday with the addition of two veterans, forward Matt Barnes and guard Garrett Temple, the departure of point guard Rajon Rondo and the likely end of guard Seth Curry’s stint with the team.
Last season, the Kings lacked defensive toughness on the perimeter and size in the backcourt, areas they attempted to address by agreeing to a two-year deal with Barnes worth $12 million, with the second year a player option, and a three-year deal with Temple worth $24 million, with the third year a player option, league sources confirmed.
Contracts with free agents cannot be signed until Thursday, when the NBA’s moratorium ends.
Rondo, who led the NBA in assists in his only season with the Kings, agreed to a two-year, $30 million deal with Chicago on Sunday, league sources confirmed, making Darren Collison the starting point guard again. Rondo wasn’t expected to return to the Kings after his one-year contract expired and he became a free agent for the second consecutive year.
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If the Kings want to add another pure point guard to join Collison and rookie Isaiah Cousins from Oklahoma, they’ll likely pursue a trade after rescinding their qualifying offer to Curry, league sources confirmed, allowing him to become an unrestricted free agent. The Kings could have kept Curry by matching any offer to him.
Barnes, a 36-year-old former Del Campo High School star, played for the Kings in 2004-05 and last season in Memphis for new Kings coach Dave Joerger.
Barnes averaged 10.0 points and 5.5 rebounds in 76 games (45 starts) for Memphis. Barnes, 6-foot-7 and 226 pounds, also has played for the Clippers, Golden State, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Orlando and the Lakers. Kings All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins has wanted Barnes as a teammate.
Barnes and Temple figure to add toughness to the Kings’ perimeter defense and an edginess that has been lacking on defense.
Temple is the second guard the Kings have reached a deal with since free agency opened Thursday. On Saturday, they agreed to a two-year, $25 million contract with veteran Arron Afflalo, who is expected to start at shooting guard. They also agreed to a two-year, $16 million contract with veteran power forward Anthony Tolliver on Saturday.
All of Sacramento’s additions are veterans and willing defenders, allowing the Kings to avoid rushing young players into service.
Temple, 30, played for the Washington Wizards the past four seasons and averaged a career-high 7.3 points in 80 games (43 starts) in 2015-16. Temple, 6-6 and 195 pounds, can play either guard spot or small forward.
Temple signed a 10-day contract with the Kings during the 2009-10 season and averaged 2.2 points in 4.6 minutes in five games. Before that, he played nine games as an undrafted rookie with the Houston Rockets. He finished his rookie season with the San Antonio Spurs. Temple also has played for Milwaukee and Charlotte and spent time in the NBA Development League. In 2011-12, he played in Italy before returning to the NBA with the Wizards.
The addition of Afflalo and Temple means the Kings likely will end their pursuit of free-agent shooting guard Dion Waiters.
The deals with Afflalo and Temple and the expected addition of rookie guard Malachi Richardson of Syracuse – the Kings’ deal to send Marco Belinelli to the Hornets for the No. 22 pick should be approved this week – also make guard Ben McLemore more expendable. But the Kings’ biggest trade assets remain small forward Rudy Gay and center Kosta Koufos.
The Kings are pursuing options for Gay, according to league sources. The market for Gay might take shape after Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant decides where he will sign.
Koufos is a solid center who could help a good team. The Kings were pleased with him last season, primarily as a backup, but the team loaded up on big men in the draft (Georgios Papagiannis and Skal Labissiere) and free agency (Tolliver).
Summer league prep – The Kings will hold a minicamp starting Monday in preparation for the NBA Summer League, which begins Friday against Toronto at Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas.
The Kings will work out at their practice facility in Sacramento for three days and in Las Vegas on Thursday.
The Kings are expected to announce their summer league roster – which typically features rookies, young players and free-agent additions – on Monday.