The Kings have agreed to trade guard/forward Garrett Temple to Memphis for shooting guard Ben McLemore and center Deyonta Davis, league sources confirmed Tuesday. The Kings will also receive cash and a 2021 second-round draft pick.
The moves put the Kings $20.5 million under the salary cap. Temple is due $8 million this season, McLemore is owed $5.5 million, and Davis is due $1.5 million. All three players are in the final year of their contracts.
The Kings could use that cap space to take on a big contract in a trade or make a play for one of the remaining top restricted free agents, among them Houston Rockets center Clint Capela, Cleveland Cavaliers forward Rodney Hood and Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart.
The Kings have 14 guaranteed contracts, leaving one available spot.
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As the roster stands now, the Kings are without an important player on and off the court.
Temple opted in for the final year of his three-year deal last month. He was the Kings’ best defender and a leader in the locker room who had immersed himself in community activism. He averaged 8.4 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists last season.
Away from the court, Temple had adopted Sacramento High School and became a mentor to students. He was also active in working with the community after the protests following Stephon Clark’s shooting death by Sacramento police.
In acquiring Davis and McLemore, the Kings add players at two positions in which they’re already loaded.
McLemore was the Kings’ first-round draft pick in 2013 (No. 7 overall) but had a rough time in Sacramento, playing for four coaches in four seasons before leaving as a free agent last year for Memphis. He started 216 of his 293 games for the Kings and averaged 9.4 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists while shooting 41.7 percent overall. He averaged 7.5 points in 56 games with the Grizzlies, including 17 starts.
The Kings already have Bogdan Bogdanovic and Buddy Hield as priorities at shooting guard, as well as veteran Iman Shumpert, so McLemore could have a tough time cracking the rotation.
The same could be said for Davis. The 6-foot-11, 237-pound center from Michigan State is entering his third season after being selected in the second round (31st overall) by Memphis in 2016. He averaged 5.8 points and 4.0 rebounds last season.
The Kings used the No. 2 pick in last month’s NBA draft on big man Marvin Bagley III. They also have Willie Cauley-Stein, Harry Giles and Skal Labissiere, all bigs who have played no more than three seasons in the NBA. Sacramento also has veterans Zach Randolph and Kosta Koufos that can play center.