Tag: Darren Collison

Report: Kings signing Eric Moreland

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The Kings waived Eric Moreland in late July rather than guaranteeing his full salary.

They haven’t signed anyone since.

So – after Moreland explored contracts with the Pistons and Lakers – Sacramento will bring him back.

Shams Charania of RealGM:

The Kings still have the $2,814,000 room exception available, so it’s possible they’ll pay him more than they would have simply by guaranteeing his previous contract. But – unless they went overboard on this new deal – the flexibility provided by having him off the books for a month would justify the deal. Even though they didn’t sign anybody else, process trumps results (a test Sacramento has too often failed lately).

Moreland, an intriguing shot-blocker and rebounder, will likely compete with point guard David Stockton (unguaranteed) for the final roster spot behind the 14 Kings with guaranteed salaries. Moreland’s guarantee, ability and position give him the edge.

Sacramento doesn’t exactly need another big man behind DeMarcus Cousins, Kosta Koufos and Willie Cauley-Stein. But Rajon Rondo, Darren Collison and Seth Curry seem to have point guard covered.

The Kings can always bring more players to training camp, but at this point, Moreland appears likely to make the regular-season roster.

Sneaky good summer move: Spurs trade for Ray McCallum

Sacramento Kings v Los Angeles Lakers

If you didn’t see the 30 games Ray McCallum played as a starter for the Sacramento Kings to close out last season, I can’t blame you. By the time they got around to hiring George Karl things had gone sideways in the California capital and this team was not headed to the playoffs.

But the second-year point guard looked pretty good. The son of a coach who plays a high IQ game and does a lot of the little things right, he averaged 11.2 points a game as a starter, shot 34 percent from three at that time, and dished out 4.3 assists a night. He’s a solid defender (but not a stopper, as he had been billed). He’s got good handles and uses that skill to weave through a defense to create havoc and open up angles. While his shot and shot selection could still use some work, this is an improving young player entering just his third season who can be a solid part of the point guard rotation on any team.

The Spurs snatched him up for a second round pick.

It was one of the quieter moves of a busy summer, but it was about the most Spurs thing ever. They pick up a solid player making less than $1 million a year for next to nothing. (You can see why the Kings made the move, they have Rajon Rondo and Darren Collison, McCallum would be buried on their bench.)

The Spurs are high on him as someone they trust to step in and guide the offense, something mentioned in Buck Harvey’s feature on McCallum in the Express-News.

While they don’t think McCallum will be the defender Cory Joseph is, they see him as someone who can run a team. If Tony Parker suffers injuries again, McCallum could be a key to the season.

McCallum is not Parker — if the French guard suffers an injury again it’s a big blow to the Spurs. And they can’t afford those kinds of setbacks with the quality of teams at the top of the Western Conference.

But mixed with Patty Mills, McCallum will play a significant role for the Spurs getting Parker time on the bench in games, plus nights off. McCallum will step right in and do Spurs-like things, making smart plays and focusing on doing what he does well, not trying to do too much.

I expect McCallum will thrive this season. And we’ll all look back at the McCallum trade and say “it’s the Spurs doing Spurs things again.”

Report: Kings sign Vince Hunter to partially guaranteed contract

Los Angeles Lakers v Philadlephia 76ers
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The Kings, despite their macro problems, continue to make good micro moves.

Shams Charania of RealGM:

I rated Hunter a high second-rounder. The forward rebounds very well and can capably guard multiple positions. His offense is a work in progress. He’s hardly a can’t-miss prospect, but he’s worth this small gamble.

As Sacramento’s roster stands now, Hunter would likely make the regular-season roster. The Kings have 16 players, including David Stockton (unguaranteed). Considering most teams carry three point guards and he’s behind Rajon Rondo, Darren Collison and Seth Curry, Stockton is the most likely cut. Sacramento could also consider waiving Duje Dukan or even Seth Curry (guaranteed minimum salaries) if both Stockton and Hunter play well in training camp.

The Kings also have the $2,814,000 room exception (Carlos Boozer?), which could push Hunter down the totem pole. If they waive him, they could assign his D-League rights to their affiliate.

Either way, at this cost, Hunter is a nice addition.

Report: Lakers, Rockets, Pistons interested in trading for Ty Lawson

Denver Nuggets v Portland Trail Blazers

Ty Lawson’s trade value — already not very high, Denver has been trying to move him since the draft to no avail — plummeted this week when he was arrested for his second DUI this year.

But it is not dead.

At least three teams are still interested in potentially dealing for Lawson — the Lakers, Rockets, and Pistons, reports Chris Mannix at Sports Illustrated.

While Lawson’s off-court problems have raised red flags, teams remain intrigued by his talent. Last season, Lawson averaged 15.2 points per game in 75 games with the Nuggets. His 9.6 assists per game was good for third in the NBA—the second straight season he finished in the top three in the category. And with this summer’s exploding salaries—five years, $80 million for Detroit’s Reggie Jackson; four-years, $70 million for Dallas’s Wesley Matthews—the two years, $25 million Lawson has left on his contract is a reasonable number.

As Mannix notes, do not leave Sacramento off the list of potential Lawson suitors. Kings coach Goerge Karl was a huge fan of Lawson and coached him in Denver, he might want him back (although with Rajon Rondo and Darren Collison why they would add Lawson is beyond me… or logic).

Any team that brings him in needs to be concerned about the potential locker room distraction, and what punishments he could face for the multiple DUIs. Maybe a fresh setting can change things for Lawson (especially if there is a potential playoff berth and something worth playing for on the line), but if he has an addiction issue a move alone will not be enough. There’s a lot for teams to assess.

There is not much interest in Lawson, but it is more than zero.

Report: Sacramento Kings may be interested in Eric Bledsoe trade

New York Knicks v Phoenix Suns

The Phoenix Suns are reportedly about to sign Brandon Knight to a five-year, $70 million deal and move Eric Bledsoe out the door, less than a year after giving Bledsoe a similar deal. It’s an interesting choice, if for no other reason than Bledsoe is the better player. But there are concerns about Bledsoe’s long-term health (he’s had a couple of knee surgeries) and how well he will play within a team system. Clearly the Suns have made their choice.

What team might be interested in Bledsoe?

How about the Sacramento Kings, pairing Bledsoe with his old Kentucky running mate DeMarcus Cousins. It’s one possibility, reports Sean Deveney at the Sporting News.

The Kings, one source said, are expected to express interest in Bledsoe. While Sacramento has been buried in rumors involving center DeMarcus Cousins, a league executive said the Kings have been far more focused on improving the point guard position. The Kings started Darren Collison at the position, but would like to move him into a backup role. And if Sacramento keeps Cousins, bringing in his former Kentucky teammate and good friend surely would help to keep him happy.

Whatever happens with Bledsoe, expect it to happen later rather than sooner.

“I would expect that to be a situation that you would be OK with extending into the late summer,” the league executive said. “There is no hurry and you have to know someone is going to be out there looking to make a move once the dust settles.”

The Kings are looking for a point guard who can quarterback George Karl’s up-tempo system, and Bledsoe has potential there. He averaged 17 points and 6.1 assists a game with the Suns last season, and he had the highest PER of any player on the roster at the end of the season.

However, the Kings may be looking hard at Ty Lawson, who is likely on his way out of Denver. George Karl has some interest in a lot of his former Nuggets players (from a team that won 57 games, but a few years ago).

As noted above, expect this to take some time to play out, but the Kings are at least one team to watch.