Throughout the season and at times during the offseason, Bee staff writer Jason Jones answers readers’ questions about the Kings in a Twitter mailbag. Tweet your questions with the hashtag #JonesHoldsCourt.
Q: Who are realistic options for the Kings to address SF position in free agency?
— Jesus Wenceslao, @jcwkings
A: The choices at small forward aren't overwhelming after you get past max-contract types like LeBron James and Paul George. There are a lot of young options that would help the Kings (Kyle Anderson, Rodney Hood, Doug McDermott), but all are restricted free agents. That makes landing them tricky because the Kings might have to pay above market-value to convince a team not to match an offer sheet or negotiate a sign-and-trade.
Unrestricted free agents like Trevor Ariza and Rudy Gay are likely to target winning situations and have enough game left to not settle for signing with Sacramento, where they'd serve as mentors.
That leaves the Kings sifting through the rest, like Mario Hezonja or James Ennis, who could sign for a contract that's favorable to the Kings for a chance to re-enter free agency next summer.
For some, these options only make passing on Luka Doncic in the NBA draft last week hurt even more. But the Kings can also explore trades to find help at small forward (and no, Kawhi Leonard is not coming to Sacramento).
Q: Chances you see the Kings targeting Jabari Parker or do you think they settle for a Hezonja type?
— Matt Bohmbach, @bohmbac_matt
A: Parker is a restricted free agent with a history of knee injuries. He's extremely talented, but it's hard to imagine the Kings committing the kind of money in an offer sheet to Parker needed to scare off Milwaukee from matching the deal, given that he just returned from a torn ACL last season, plus the recent investment in frontcourt players like Marvin Bagley III and Harry Giles.
There's also the problem that many consider Parker a power forward, not a small forward (which is what the Kings need). To invest more money to create more of a glut of bigs seems foolish.
But if the price is right and the Kings think Parker can play small forward, he makes sense with the ideas the Kings have for building for the future. Parker is only 23, so he'd be part of a young core rather than being an older player, the kind the Kings do not want to tie up money in beyond next season. Someone like Hezonja makes more sense because he's an unrestricted free agent, so the Kings do not have to worry about his offer being matched.
Q: Can Harry Giles earn a starting spot next season with a strong performance during Summer League?
— Kings Thoughts, @ThoughtsKings
A: From summer league alone? No.
Playing well against players that might not make an NBA roster is not enough to land a starting spot for Giles. But it would give him great momentum heading into training camp.
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And though it would be a great story if Giles were to win a starting job in the fall, remember he hasn't been completely healthy for some time while playing competitively. The Kings coaches aren't going to rush to put too much on him.
Q: Let’s entertain the thought of LeBron James coming to the Kings, what would need to happen if that happened? An ownership stake, let some players go and take in Kevin Love with him? Etc.
— Victor Monjaras, @Jouneyman15
A: The Kings would have to swap rosters and management with the Los Angeles Lakers, relocate and become the Lakers. That's the only way I can entertain James in Sacramento. But if he signs in the West, he'd be at Golden 1 Center twice instead of once a season.
By the way, active players cannot be owners of their team.
And for today's non-Kings question, courtesy of the BET Awards...
Q: From 1-10 how hard was that nipsey slap? And should he have did a back hand instead?
— xavier, @XAVIER__
A: The idea that Nipsey Hussle would slap another grown man is sick. It's a level of disrespect that cannot be measured. That alone makes it a 7. Might be more, but it's not like he knocked the man to the ground.
And for the record, I'm not condoning slapping anyone, merely commenting on what Nipsey did Sunday.