Sam Amick of The Athletic:
That’s a lot for Barnes, but at least the Kings did it in a smart way – spending more now, when their money doesn’t go as far. This franchise is only beginning to shed its reputation as “basketball hell.” Free agents frequently spurn Sacramento. As De'Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Marvin Bagley III and Bogdan Bogdanovic lead the next era, the Kings could become far more appealing down the road. And because of Barnes’ contract structure, they’ll have more flexibility then.
If Barnes’ deal is as frontloaded as possible
- 2019-20: $24,147,727
- 2020-21: $22,215,909
- 2021-22: $20,284,091
- 2022-23: $18,352,273
That’s also a lot of money for Dedmon. But the fit looks strong, and again, I’m not sure the Kings had a better way to use their cap space.
The 29-year-old Dedmon should provide an immediate upgrade at center. If his young teammates are ready to take the next step, he could make the difference between making the playoffs and not. Dedmon is a good defender who shoots 3s and just generally plays hard.
This makes it more likely incumbent starting center Willie Cauley-Stein will get his wish with Sacramento pulling his qualifying offer and making him an unrestricted free agent. But the Kings have enough cap room to sign Barnes and Demon and keep Cauley-Stein restricted.