Kings

Source: Kings interested in Otto Porter trade with Wizards if price is right

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USATI

Source: Kings interested in Otto Porter trade with Wizards if price is right

SACRAMENTO -- Spending money just to spend money is never a good move.

The Sacramento Kings are the lone NBA team with any sort of salary-cap space, and they still have a couple of roster needs. Finding the right piece to the puzzle is extremely important to taking the next step in the franchise's future.

NBC Sports California can confirm an earlier report that the Kings have kept in contact with the Washington Wizards in regards to the availability of small forward Otto Porter. Nothing is imminent, but according to a league source, the Kings definitely like the potential fit with the six-year pro if the deal is right.

Sacramento showed interest in the 25-year-old wing during the summer of 2017 when he signed a four-year, $106.5 million offer sheet with the Brooklyn Nets as a restricted free agent. The Kings backed off when it was clear the Wizards would match any offer for the former Georgetown star.

Porter is having a down year for the Wizards, averaging 11.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, two assists and 1.5 steals in 29.4 minutes a night. He's shooting just 36 percent from 3-point range, down from the 44.1 percent he shot last season, but he is a long, versatile athlete who fits the Kings' player age arc.

Hamstrung with big money contracts to John Wall and Bradley Beal, as well as the remaining two years of Porter after this season, the Wizards are well over the NBA's luxury tax. At 8-13, they are expected to join the ranks of sellers in the coming months.

Porter is in the second year of his contract with Washington. He's owed $26 million this season and $27.3 million in 2019-20, and he has a player option at $28.5 million for the 2020-21 season.

The Kings are the only team in the league that can provide massive cap relief in a deal. They currently sit $11 million under the NBA's $101.9 million cap, and they have four veterans on expiring contracts, totaling just under $37 million. They’re also an estimated $60 million under the salary cap next summer.

[RELATED: Two positives, two negatives from Kings' third straight loss]

Sacramento doesn't have a 2019 first-round draft selection, and it can't trade its 2020 first-rounder either due to the Stepien Rule. The Kings do have a few young pieces that might work in a trade, as well as a bevy of future second-round selections.

The Kings have two second-round picks in 2019 and three in both 2020 and 2021.

The Wizards currently sit at $131.8 million in guaranteed salary for this season. They are a little more than $8 million over the league's $123.7 million luxury tax line. The luxury tax bill for Washington would be an estimated $12.75 million at its current rate.

Next season, the Wizards are in trouble. Wall's massive extension kicks in, doubling his current $19 million salary and pushing the team near the luxury line with just six players under contract. Not only are they in line for a massive tax bill, but it would be compounded as a repeat offender.

For the first $5 million over the tax, the Wizards would be on the hook for $2.50 for every dollar over the tax as a repeat offender. That rate goes up to $2.75 for the next $5 million and $3.25 for every dollar between the $10 million to $15 million range.

[RELATED: NBA Power Rankings 2018-19: Warriors not No. 1; Kings hanging in top 20]

While they might not be willing to give up one of their young core players, the Kings can provide real value in a deal by absorbing salary. In theory, they could create a deal centered around two expiring players in the $17 million range and use their remaining cap space to eat the difference in Porter's $26 million salary. They could sweeten the deal with some of their future second-round selections or a player or two not in the current long-term plan. 

A deal structured like potentially could save Washington $9 million in salary offset and an additional $12.75 million in luxury tax in this season alone. It also would drop the Wizards below the tax threshold and avoid the potential repeat offender tax next year.

This might not be a perfect scenario for the Wizards, but the Kings are the only team in the league with the ability to save them major money and put them back on the right financial path.

For Kings' De'Aaron Fox, NBA All-Star break was just what doctor ordered

For Kings' De'Aaron Fox, NBA All-Star break was just what doctor ordered

SACRAMENTO -- The NBA All-Star break is the last major milestone in the regular season before the mad dash to the finish line. It’s also a time for both mental and physical recovery, which was much needed for the Kings.

Buddy Hield went to Chicago to win the NBA's 3-point title. Cory Joseph made a visit to Maui and coach Luke Walton spent the weekend in Cabo with his wife. De’Aaron Fox took some time to heal up.

Coming off the best month of his career in January, Fox limped into the break. Following the team’s getaway game in Dallas, he was seen icing his left ankle that he injured early in the season. The issue caught the eye of at least one national writer.

According to ESPN’s Marc Spears: “Keep an eye on point guard De'Aaron Fox, who is still trying to recover from an early season ankle injury. The All-Star break came at a much-needed time for Fox. The third-year point guard is having issues with tightness in his ankle when he sits for long stretches during games, a source told ESPN.”

A league source confirmed to NBC Sports California that Fox’s ankle is nothing more than “normal grind of a long season.” The week away was just what the doctor ordered.

Fox originally injured his left ankle during practice on Nov. 11. He missed 17 games with a Grade 3 sprain, but came back much faster than originally predicted.

Following practice on Wednesday, Walton said he noticed that the time off might have done Fox some good.

“He looked really good yesterday and today, looks like he’s moving better,” Walton said. “He has some of that bounce back. The break, I think was great for everyone, including De’Aaron.”

[RELATED: Parker expects to make Kings debut against Grizzlies]

Fox is having another breakout season for the Kings. He went into the break averaging a career-best 19.7 points to go with seven assists and 4.2 rebounds in 31.5 minutes per game.

If the Kings have any chance of making a late run, they need their starting point guard healthy and ready to play a major role.

Kings' Jabari Parker ready for Sacramento debut; Alex Len getting closer

Kings' Jabari Parker ready for Sacramento debut; Alex Len getting closer

SACRAMENTO -- With 28 games remaining in the 2019-20 season, the Kings hit the practice court for one last workout before starting the stretch run Thursday night against the Memphis Grizzlies.

It was a lively practice, with Bogdan Bogdanovic hitting 90 consecutive free-throw attempts, a couple of new faces hitting the practice facility floor and the reigning 3-point champ speaking to the media.

Here are a few notes and quotes coming out of Wednesday’s practice.

Jabari Parker is ready

After sitting out since Jan. 3 with a shoulder impingement issue, and playing just once since Dec. 23, Parker is confident he’ll play Thursday night when the Kings face the Grizzlies.

“Yeah, I’ve been expecting to play the last couple of games,” Parker said following practice. “Hopefully I’ll get out tomorrow, keep my hopes high.”

Any enthusiasm regarding Parker should be tempered slightly. The 24-year-old forward has played just one game in almost two months. He isn’t in basketball shape and will take time to get up to speed with Sacramento. That doesn’t mean he won’t score the ball, he might just have to be used in short bursts.

“Hopefully just be that guy that can score, be that guy that can create on the offensive end, be uptempo on both sides of the floor,” Parker said, of what Kings fans should expect when he makes his debut.

Alex Len is getting closer

Len fully participated in practice, but he still needs more time before jumping back in the rotation. Acquired along with Parker at the deadline for Dewayne Dedmon, the 7-footer hasn’t played since Jan. 24 due to a strained right hip flexor.

Atlanta updated his condition on Jan. 31, putting him out of action for another 7-10 days. With the Kings short-handed in the post, they could use the former No. 5 overall pick from the 2013 NBA Draft.

"Last night's practice he did full contact, everything else he was in," Walton said. "Today he was a full go and he looked good out there. He was moving well and hopefully, we'll get him back this weekend if not early next week -- depending on how he feels in the morning."

Len is averaging 8.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and .8 blocks in 18.6 minutes per game for the Hawks. The only healthy and available center on the Kings’ roster heading into the stretch run is Harry Giles.

[RELATED: What Kings must do down stretch to make NBA playoff push]

Congrats

While it has nothing to do with the current state of the franchise, a heartfelt congratulations go out to former Kings coach Dave Joerger, who recently exchanged wedding vows with Kimberly Irons in Paso Robles.

Joerger spent three seasons as the Kings' coach from 2016 to 2019, compiling a 98-148 record.