Kings general manager Vlade Divac and his front office had a plan coming into Sunday’s NBA free-agent bonanza. They had a list of targets, and one-by-one marketed them off the list.
After securing Harrison Barnes, Dewayne Dedmon and Trevor Ariza earlier in the day, Divac made one more splash as Sunday rolled into Monday morning.
NBC Sports California confirmed through a league source that the Kings agreed to terms with reserve point guard Cory Joseph on a three-year, $37 million contract, completing a massive roster overhaul for Sacramento.
Sam Amick of The Athletic reported the third year has a partial guarantee.
To make room under the salary cap for Joseph, the Kings rescinded their qualifying offer to Willie Cauley-Stein, making the former No. 6 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft an unrestricted free agent.
The 25-year-old big started 81 games for the Kings last season, posting some of the best numbers of his career. While he struggled with inconsistency at times, he improved during his time in Sacramento.
Joseph spent the last two seasons in Indiana backing up former Kings guard Darren Collison with the Indiana Pacers. The 27-year-old is known for his toughness and defensive prowess, as well as his 3.9-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.
In his eighth NBA season, Joseph averaged 6.5 points, 3.9 assists and 3.4 assists in 25.2 minutes per game last season under Pacers coach Nate McMillan. The Kings targeted Joseph early in the process as a perfect fit to support starter De’Aaron Fox in the Kings’ uptempo offense.
Like Dedmon and Ariza, Joseph is a seasoned veteran who has spent his career playing a defined role. The group was brought in on short-term deals to help support the team’s young core as it continues to develop.
The Kings have some fine tuning to do with their roster over the next few days. They have until The Fourth of July to decide whether to pick up a team option on point guard Yogi Ferrell, and they have another team option on Frank Mason set for Oct. 15.
With Barnes, Dedmon, Ariza and Joseph locked down, the roster stands at 13 players without the contracts of second-round draft picks Justin James and Kyle Guy.