Kings Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.

August 11, 2006
Forest for the tree

The Kingsí search for a big man has led them into the woods Ė Loren Woods, that is.

The 7-foot-2 free agent and five-year veteran worked out for the Kings last weekend, according to a team source. Woods, a second-round pick in the 2001 draft by Minnesota, played sparingly in Toronto the past two seasons. The Arizona product has rebounding and shotblocking capabilities that could come in handy if he flourished, but has always struggled to see court time.

His best season was in 2004-05, when he averaged 3.9 points, 4.9 rebounds and 15.8 minutes in 45 games. Since playing in 60 games as a rookie, the 45 games was his highest total.

Mostly, Woods could fit the bill as a relatively cheap, young, perhaps promising option for the team that has little financial room left before the luxury tax threshold hits and needs a big man to back up Brad Miller big time. They have already considered Michael Olowokandi, Kelvin Cato and Scot Pollard. But it looks like the Kings are headed for Woods.

Stay tuned.

Ė Sam Amick


August 10, 2006
It's always something

Every team has issues, and the Kings are no different.

Do issues keep teams from winning? Not always. They just give media types more to talk about, truthfully. And hereís what Iím talking about.

1) Forward thinking: They have two power forwards with two things in common: Kenny Thomas and Shareef Abdur-Rahim both envision themselves as starters; and both lack the sort of well-rounded game the Kings need. The line Iíve heard more than once now is how the Kings would have quite the power forward if they could combine the scoring ability of Abdur-Rahim and the defense of Thomas. They canít though, which may have something to do with the rumblings of their interest in Seattle power forward Chris Wilcox.

According to the Seattle Times, the Kings are among three teams that made contact with the SuperSonics regarding trade options for the 23-year-old. Wilcox, who was traded from the Clippers to the SuperSonics midway through last season, showed promise in his 29 games in Seattle. For the first time in his four-year career, he saw significant playing time and responded by averaging 14.1 points and 8.2 rebounds in 30.1 minutes.

2) On the rebound: They have been unable to land big man help for center Brad Miller. The Team USA member will always be an asset offensively, but heís a declining rebounder (from 10.3 per game in 2003-04 to 7.8 last season) on a team that just lost its second-leading boards man in Bonzi Wells. Word is former Kings center and free agent Scot Pollard has tried to get back to Sacramento. Thatís a bit of a change from early in the free agency period, when Kings president of basketball operations Geoff Petrie pursued then-free agent center Joel Pryzbilla of Portland.

3) Whatís the point? Point guard Jason Hart, who exercised his $1.68 million player option for the following season, doesnít seem to be part of the plans. That could make for one unsatisfied player come October. Hart is as classy as they come, but heís a competitor, too.

But hey, at least they donít have to pay for a language coach for Sergei Monia anymore. The Russian small forward who was released by the Kings last month signed on with MBC Dynamo Moscow in his homeland, according to Eurobasket.com.

- Sam Amick

August 8, 2006
Where's Bonzi?

Has Bonzi Wells found a new team yet?

Feel free to e-mail in and let me know. Iíve been burning a bit of vacation time, but didnít get any news releases or calls to that effect. Last I heard, Wells and his agent, William Phillips, had - according to one Western Conference general manager - hit the free agency period looking for a $10 million annual salary and a five-year deal, this for an almost 30-year-old who missed 30 games to injury last season and is only one year removed from a time when character issues still surrounded his name.

Hmmm. Wonder whatís taking so long?

As was the case when negotiations began on July 1, the only way Wells is going to find any sort of big payday is through a sign-and-trade, which Phillips insists is still a possibility. But on numerous occasions, Kings president of basketball operations Geoff Petrie has indicated that heíll only do so if he receives someone to make a significant difference. Or maybe not. Maybe the Kings would play hardball in not offering Wells the money he wanted, then bring aboard mediocre talent just to push them over the luxury tax threshold of which theyíre not too far from now. Iím picking the former.

According to numerous agents and league sources, the Wells camp inaccurately gauged his worth on the current market and may have felt entitled because of other deals done (see Peja Stojakovic, Wellsí former teammate, signing for five years and $64 million with New Orleans). Perhaps, as the Rocky Mountain News has suggested, heíll take a one-year contract at the $3 million-per-year range with the Denver Nuggets to, essentially, delay his free agency and try again next offseason.

- Sam Amick



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