Potential point guards for Kings in free agency
Things have changed...
Before the draft, the Kings' biggest position of need was the point guard spot. We would be discussing the team’s potential to add a player like Jeff Teague, Jrue Holiday or George Hill, but after drafting De’Aaron Fox fifth overall and backing that up with the selection of Frank Mason III with the 34th pick, the need is diminished slightly. Fox is expected to play major minutes as a rookie and counting out Mason is probably the wrong decision. The Kings still need a veteran to help bring the young guys along, but it’s unlikely they dig deep into the top end of the free agent class in search of an answer...
Norris Cole/Brian Roberts/Ronnie Price
There are a bevy of other names that could fit the bill of mentor to the young Kings. Cole, 28, has bounced around the league over the last few seasons, including a 13 game stint in OKC last year. Roberts is a career 35.6 percent shooter from being the arc who played 41 games last year for the Charlotte Hornets. Price began his career in Sacramento 12 years ago. His stats won’t blow anyone away, but he’s a veteran leader than understands his role with a team.
Rumors have Teodosic ready to come to the NBA after an extended career overseas. The 30-year-old Serbian guard has long been considered the best player in Europe and the Kings appear primed to bring over his Olympic backcourt mate, Bogdan Bogdanovic. Would he take on a mentoring role with the Kings? Without a single game of NBA experience, is he the right player to mentor? There are a lot of questions that need answering, but Teodosic is an intriguing veteran player.
Farmar played just two games in the league last season, both as a member of the Kings. He was a footnote in an otherwise chaotic season in Sacramento. But he’s still just 30 years-old and he knows Dave Joerger’s system well. Farmar is a career 37.4 percent shooter from 3-point range and he would walk in knowing his role as mentor to Fox and Mason. It isn’t a headline maker, but it might pay dividends.
Break up the Warriors. The 31-year-old Livingston has seen the best and the worst of the NBA. Injuries ate huge portions of his career, but he’s a veteran leader that could show Fox and Mason the ropes. For a player that’s about to get a nice payday, Livingston has never posted a single season in double-digit scoring and he set his career-high in assists a decade ago. Livingston will have options, the Warriors being tops. But if getting one final cashout is on the table, he might chase money.
Mack put up big numbers when he was dealt to Utah a year ago, but he got lost in the shuffle of coach Quin Snyder’s four-headed hydra at the point in 2016-17. He can score and defend, but his 3-point shooting has been erratic to say the least. At 27, he’s one of the younger options that fit the Kings' needs. He’s a role player that can show the youngsters what it’s like to fight for your spot in the NBA.
Collison just finished a three-year stint in Sacramento and has done a media tour expressing his interest in returning to the team. He can shoot, pass and even play a little defense, but like Lawson, the 29-year-old Collison is still holding out hope for a starting spot. Collison posted 13.1 points and 4.6 assists for the Kings last season, including an impressive 41.7 percent shooting from long range. He’s said repeatedly he would accept a mentoring role, but that was before Fox fell to five. Mentoring might mean 20-24 minutes per game over the next 2-3 seasons.
Lawson, 29, spent last season backing up Darren Collison in Sacramento on a league minimum deal. At season’s end, he spoke glowingly about his experience with the Kings and said he wouldn’t mind a return. He’s looking for another shot to start, which he likely won’t find with the addition of Fox. Lawson became a favorite of coach Dave Joerger’s while posting a solid 9.9 points and 4.8 assists in 25.1 minutes per game last season.