At $44 million, the Sacramento Kings have the lowest payroll in the NBA this season.
Still, at the trading deadline they will be sellers with their primary motive is to keep costs down and preserve their cap space heading into the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, according to Sam Amick of FanHouse in a detailed post on what the Kings are thinking.
The only way they will take on more salary is in a “can’t miss” opportunity, Amick says. Those are rare. Teams don’t really give away “can’t miss” guys.
That doesn’t mean that Omri Casspi, Carl Landry or particularly Samuel Dalembert will not be moved. Amick says that New York, Chicago, Denver and the Los Angeles Clippers have all expressed interest in Casspi. A lot of teams need front line help and may want Landry or Dalembert.
However, any deal with the Kings almost certainly will have a couple of features:
First, some other team will take on one of the Kings long-term contracts they want to dump. You can have Casspi or Landry, but you need to take on Francisco Garcia, too (owned $11.9 million over the two seasons after this one). The Kings would sorely miss Garcia in the locker room and on the court, Amick notes, but such is their cost-saving mentality right now that they would move him to save money.
Secondly, any deal will be for other expiring deals with picks thrown in as sweetener. The Kings want to rebuild around DeMarcus Cousins — who has played better in recent weeks — and Tyreke Evans. They want to keep salary costs down. They are not shipping out Garcia and some talent to take on equally bad (or worse) deals.
Still, the Kings are a team to watch as we start to move to the trade deadline.