By Joseph Crevier @JosephMCrevier on June 29, 2014
Perhaps the most available draft pick in the lottery Thursday was that of the Sacramento Kings at No. 8. Many expected the Kings to trade the pick, however, owner Vivek Ranadive ultimately decided otherwise. As a result, Sacramento ended up with sharpshooting Nik Stauskas to solidify the shooting woes experienced last season. This may be a team just a move or two away from becoming a legitimate playoff caliber franchise.
Sacramento will not have any cap space this summer, cutting their chances of signing a marquee free agent. However, the team does have a back loaded PF/C position accounting for the overwhelming majority of the salary cap. Since every one of these players cannot be on the floor at the same time, Sacramento must find a way to cut down on the expensive big-men. Other issues are way more important to address.
After wavering back and forth, Rudy Gay decided to opt in to the final year of his contract, paying him slightly more than million. His next contract certainly will not yield such a substantial figure, so it is in the Kings' best interest to lock Gay up for a few more seasons. He proved to be the perfect complement alongside DeMarcus Cousins, making retaining him a priority.
Days prior to the NBA Draft rumors surfaced, stating that the Kings were interested in trading for the troubled Josh Smith. This may be easier than expected depending on how Stan Van Gundy views Smith vs. Greg Monroe. Smith's versatility on both ends of the floors instantly makes him into the ideal candidate to play at the PF next to Cousins. A team consisting of Smith, Gay and Cousins would really inject fear into opponents.
Hear me out on this one. In no way am I suggesting Isaiah Thomas is a bad player by any stretch of the imagination. He is possibly the most electrifying player in the entire NBA, partially due to his miniature stature. The supposed "Mr. Irrelevant" has catapulted his stock to almost immeasurable standards for the Kings. Overpaying for a PG who cannot create for others is simply not in the long-term plans, therefore trading him is necessary.
One more tremendous move is in Sacramento's forecast, as they will again make a strong push to acquire Rajon Rondo via trade. This links back to the Smith scenario, as the two are buddies dating far in the past. Possibly, if Smith was a member of the Kings, Rondo would be convinced enough to ink an extension next summer when he's a free agent. A creator-first, scorer-second is the type of point guard needed to give Cousins and Gay easier looks.
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