During the first six days of free agency, the Kings appeared to be a team that overslept. While others were building out their rosters, Sacramento’s only transaction was signing De’Aaron Fox to a massive contract extension that was months in the making.
In a flurry of moves nearly a week into the signing period, though, new general manager Monte McNair started chipping away at the holes on the Kings' roster, coming away with strong budget adds on short-term contracts.
As the dust settles, we’ve learned the Kings weren't just hanging out, basking in their draft-day haul that included Tyrese Haliburton, Robert Woodard and Jahmi’us Ramsey. They were flying under the radar, searching for players that fit their style of play without committing to massive free-agent contracts.
Sacramento was unsuccessful in its chase of Derrick Jones Jr., but managed to sign Hassan Whitside to a low-risk, high-reward contract. And Glenn Robinson III put pen to paper after being aggressively pursued by the Kings, too.
“I think free agency was definitely interesting this year, and the Kings, Sacramento, the interest level from the beginning when free agency opened up was there,” Robinson III said. “That stuck with me as the process kind of unwinded. I see a huge opportunity here.”
After putting up the best numbers of his career last season between stops with the Golden State Warriors and Philadelphia 76ers, Robinson signed a one-year, league minimum contract with the Kings. According to a league source, the contract is guaranteed for just $100,000.
With the Kings, he’ll step in when starting small forward Harrison Barnes either shifts to the four or heads to the bench. The 26-year-old averaged 11.7 points and 4.4 rebounds in 28.8 minutes per game last season and shot 39.1 percent from 3-point range.
Robinson III has electric athleticism, which helped him win the NBA’s Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star weekend in New Orleans in 2017. He’s built for the Kings’ uptempo style of play and has expanded his game to include the 3-ball.
“I think the pace, that’s the way I play, I like to run, obviously being able to defend and shoot the ball,” Robinson III said. “I think it’s a perfect fit for me. Obviously I have to adjust to the system, the team, but as far as running and playing defense, I think it’s the perfect fit for me.”
The Kings lost veteran Kent Bazemore to the Warriors in free agency. Consequently they’ll need Robinson III to not only step in and play minutes, but also mentor some of the younger players on the roster.
The son of Glenn Robinson Jr., the first overall pick of the 1994 NBA Draft, Robinson III has had to work hard to carve out a niche for himself in the league since being drafted 40th overall in 2014. He has played for six different teams and the 76ers twice over his six seasons in the NBA.
“I’ve been cut my rookie year, I‘ve had to make the team, I’ve started, I’ve backed up Paul George,” Robinson III said. “I’ve got a lot of experience in the league.”
Robinson III said he hopes to impart some of that knowledge on the Kings’ younger players. He’ll be tasked with not only eating some minutes, but being a mentor and a good teammate if the Kings need to shift to the rookies at some point during the season.
This isn’t a franchise-altering free-agent acquisition, but it’s the kind of deal that could pay dividends in a season of transition. It’s the type of low-risk, high-reward transaction that McNair has favored during his first offseason at the helm, which is very different from what we have seen in the past.