How Kings' free-agency splurge impacts roster, salary cap position

How Kings' free-agency splurge impacts roster, salary cap position

The spending spree lasted all of 20 hours. Vlade Divac attacked the free agent market, checking off every box on his list of wants and needs.

It’s clear the Kings focused on adding players that fit their up-tempo style of play. They also prioritized flexibility for the future when their young core hits their second contract cycle and require major raises.

Lastly, the team brought in players who support the momentum that Sacramento built last season. 

Here is a look at the additions and what they mean long term to the Kings’ roster and salary position. 

Harrison Barnes

Barnes’ four-year, $85 million contract starts right around $24 million for the 2019-20 season and decreases by eight percent every season. A rough estimate of the contract broken down over the four seasons looks like approximately $24 million in year one, $22 million in year two, $20.3 million in year three and $18.7 million in the final season.

Barnes projects as the team’s starting small forward for the next four seasons. He played 28 games with the Kings last season after being acquired from the Dallas Mavericks. 

Dewayne Dedmon

Needing a replacement for Willie Cauley-Stein, Divac added Dedmon on a three-year, $40 million contract. According to a league source, the $40 million is broken down evenly over the three seasons at $13.3 million per year, with a $1 million partial guarantee for the final year. 

The 29-year-old 7-footer started 52 games last season for the Atlanta Hawks and will likely slide into the starting lineup alongside Barnes and second-year power forward Marvin Bagley on the Kings’ frontline. There is hope that Harry Giles will eventually develop into a starter at the position and until then, Dedmon is a quality rim protector who shot 38.2 percent from long range last season.

Trevor Ariza

Last October, the Kings walked into the season with Iman Shumpert and Justin Jackson as their depth at the wing. Divac successfully landed Barnes at the deadline, re-signed him as the team’s top priority and then inked a solid veteran in Ariza. 

According to an NBA source, Ariza’s two-year, $25 million contract starts at $12.2 million in year one and goes to $12.8 million in year two with only $1.8 million guaranteed in the second season. 

At 34 years old, Ariza put up solid numbers for the Washington Wizards last season and should be looked at as a rotational player behind Barnes at the small forward spot. 

Cory Joseph

Needing another perimeter defender, Divac chased one of the better backup point guards in the NBA. Joseph landed in Sacramento on a three-year, $37 million deal. According to a league source, Joseph’s deal breaks down to $12 million in year one, and $12.6 million in years two and three. The final year of Joseph’s deal has a $2.4 million guarantee.

Joseph averaged 25.2 minutes per game last season for the Indiana Pacers, but barring injury, he will see a substantial dip this season playing behind De’Aaron Fox. He’s an exceptional defender and posted a 3.9-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio last season. 

Richaun Holmes 

With Dedmon and Giles already lined up, Divac made another addition to his big rotation when he landed Holmes on a two-year, $10 million mid-level room exception contract. Holmes hasn’t put pen to paper yet because the Kings still have cash to spend, but he’ll make $4.767 million in year one and another $5.2 million in year two. 

Holmes is a big-time insurance policy with a huge motor and a tenacious style of play. He’ll be a fan favorite and at 25 years old, he fits the team’s player arc. 

Salary Cap

Sacramento walked into the summer with tons of cap space and they used almost all of it to support the young core. Divac had more than $60 million of the $109.1 million cap to spend. 

With $45.1 million already dedicated to Fox, Bagley, Giles, Buddy Hield, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Nemanja Bjelica, Yogi Ferrell, Caleb Swanigan and the $2.1 million owed to Matt Barnes (stretch provision), Divac spread the money around.

The Kings general manager spent an estimated $61.5 million for the 2019-20 season on Barnes, Dedmon, Ariza and Joseph, leaving the Kings somewhere around $107.5 million in dedicated salary before adding Holmes’ $4.767 million. 

Sacramento has options and a roster spot or two. The Kings already signed Kyle Guy and Wenyen Gabriel to two-way contracts. They just signed second-rounder Justin James to a three-year minimum deal, according to a league source. With a little more cash left to spend, the Kings might have one more addition in their sights. 

[RELATED: Ariza excited to reunite with Walton in Sacramento]

Divac could also use the stretch provision on Swanigan and clear up another $1.4 million in salary and move closer to $3 million in space. Whatever Divac decides, they’ll need to use that space before Holmes is officially signed. 

After winning 39 games last season, the Kings will walk into the 2019-20 season with their highest payroll in franchise history. The team has filled holes in the roster without damaging their long term financial flexibility. Divac found players who are willing to support the young core with the hopes of snapping the franchise’s 13-year playoff drought. 

Kings' 10 best NBA draft picks since team moved to Sacramento in 1985

Kings' 10 best NBA draft picks since team moved to Sacramento in 1985

Two weeks ago we looked at 10 of the biggest blunders in Sacramento Kings draft history. There were plenty to choose from over the 35 years the team has been in Sacramento, but it hasn’t been all bad for the Kings.

Despite having poor luck in the NBA draft lottery, the Kings have mined for talent and come up huge a few times during their three and half decades in Sacramento.

In no particular order, here is a look at 10 of the biggest draft successes during the Sacramento era of Kings basketball.


[PURPLE TALK PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

How Tracy McGrady credits Kings' Doug Christie for success as rookie


How Tracy McGrady credits Kings' Doug Christie for success as rookie

Tracy McGrady leaves behind an illustrious 14-season career with accolades including seven NBA All-Star and seven All-NBA selections, a two-time scoring champion as well as a Hall of Fame induction.

McGrady turned 41 on Sunday which was the perfect time to take a trip down memory lane to when he was just a rookie. He talked about how Kings legend Doug Christie played an instrumental role during the infancy of his run.

During a recent interview on “All the Smoke,” McGrady said a big part of his hot start as a rookie with the Toronto Raptors was all thanks in part of the matchups he had with former teammate Christie.

“I love Doug,” McGrady said. “I played Doug on one-on-one every day -- we were just going at each other -- and that’s how I was working on my one-on-one game and building my confidence up because I know he was a great defender, he was a hell of a defender.”

He was.

Christie earned three All-Defensive Second Team honors and was part of the First Team in 2003. McGrady was also one of the most difficult guys to cover -- he owes part of that to Christie. 

He's part of many who recently shouted him out.

[RELATED: Mike Bibby describes tenure with Kings as best time of his life]

For McGrady, he knew going up against one of the best in the game, he would be able to handle anything.

Appears that worked out beautifully. 

[PURPLE TALK PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]