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Report: Free-agent shooting guard Dion Waiters will visit Kings

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dion Waiters (23) shoots as Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles (2) defends in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Friday, Jan. 9, 2015.
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dion Waiters (23) shoots as Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles (2) defends in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Friday, Jan. 9, 2015. AP

The Kings are in the midst of their annual offseason pursuit of a starting shooting guard.

This summer, they finally might land one.

General manager Vlade Divac has made restricted free-agent shooting guard Dion Waiters a top priority during free agency, according to league sources, including one who says Waiters will visit the team in Sacramento this weekend.

The sources did not want to be identified because they are unauthorized to speak on the matter.

Last summer, Sacramento pursued free-agent guard Wesley Matthews, who spurned the Kings for the Dallas Mavericks, and Monta Ellis, who took less money to sign with the Indiana Pacers.

But Oklahoma City recently acquired guard Victor Oladipo from Orlando, so the Thunder might not be inclined to match an offer sheet for Waiters. This would put the Kings in good position to land him.

Players cannot sign offer sheets until Thursday.

Waiters, 24, was the fourth overall pick by Cleveland in 2012. The Cavaliers sent him to Oklahoma City in January 2015 in a three-time trade also involving the New York Knicks.

He averaged 9.8 points on 39.9 percent shooting in 27.9 minutes per game last season for the Thunder, starting in just 15 of 78 games played. Waiters’ best season was his second with Cleveland in 2013-14, when he averaged 15.9 points and shot 43.3 percent from the field.

For his career, Waiters has averaged 12.8 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists. His conditioning and attitude have been questioned, and the Kings have had chemistry problems for years.

Sacramento remains interested in shooting guards Courtney Lee and Allen Crabbe. Lee, who finished last season with Charlotte, is an unrestricted free agent who reportedly is being pursued by the Knicks.

Crabbe is a restricted free agent from Portland, and the Trail Blazers reportedly plan to match any offer for the former Cal star.

The Kings have been unable to solve their shooting guard woes through the draft and free agency.

Ben McLemore, drafted seventh overall by the Kings in 2013, has not developed into a consistent shooter. Repeated coaching changes have affected McLemore, and his confidence appeared to suffer last season. It would not be a surprise to see McLemore traded.

Sacramento drafted Michigan sharpshooter Nik Stauskas eighth overall in 2014 and a year later traded him to Philadelphia. Veteran Marco Belinelli arrived as a free agent last summer, had the worst shooting season of his career and was a defensive liability.

The Kings traded Belinelli to Charlotte for the 22nd pick in last week’s draft, which was used to select Syracuse freshman shooting guard Malachi Richardson.

But the Kings are still searching for a competent veteran shooting guard.

Point guard also continues to be an area of need. Rajon Rondo, 30, led the NBA in assists last season but could depart as a free agent. That would leave Sacramento with only Darren Collison and rookie Isaiah Cousins.

The Kings reportedly reached out to Cleveland restricted free agent Matthew Dellavedova. However, he reportedly agreed to sign an offer sheet with the Milwaukee Bucks worth $38.4 million over four years.

Dellavedova would have been a defensive boost for the Kings, who allowed an average of 109.1 points – easily the most among all 30 NBA teams last season. Too often last season, opposing guards had season or career highs in points.

Jason Jones: @mr_jasonjones, read more about the team at sacbee.com/kings.

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