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


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.

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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.

Kings 'have a couple All-Stars,' fired assistant Larry Lewis believes

Kings 'have a couple All-Stars,' fired assistant Larry Lewis believes

Amidst all the reshuffling in the Western Conference over the last few weeks, it's easy to forget that the Sacramento Kings are one of the up-and-coming teams in the NBA.

Led by De'Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes, Marvin Bagley and Harry Giles, the Kings won 39 games last season and have a promising future.

But the group of coaches that helped get those players to where they are won't get to see the job through to the finish line. The Kings fired head coach Dave Joerger after the season and let all of his assistants go.

Two of those coaches, Elston Turner and Larry Lewis, recently spoke to the Sacramento Bee about their departure and what they are leaving behind.

“They have a couple All-Stars,” Lewis told The Bee. “I saw a lot of potential in that young, core group. These players have a learning curve, but they were adapting very, very quickly to what was going on. Do they have a lot to learn? Of course, but at the same time, these guys are for real. I would have loved to have been a part of that going forward, but their decision is their decision and I’m at peace with it."

Fox and Hield made the biggest jumps this past season. It's clear the work with Lewis, who was a player development coach, paid off.

“It was a great experience,” Lewis told The Bee. “The players really grew. They really matured a lot. We had a great season. The team got a lot better. The players got a lot better. That’s what it’s all about.”

From Year 1 to Year 2, Fox went from averaging 11.6 points per game to 17.3. His field goal percentage improved from 41.2 percent to 45.8 percent, and his 3-point shooting improved from 30.7 percent to 37.1 percent. Those numbers combined with the highlight-reel plays he made were good enough to help him finish third in the NBA's Most Improved Player voting.

As for Hield, he blossomed from a spot-starter to a guy that started all 82 games for the Kings this past season. He entered the year shrouded in questions, but answered every single one of them by averaging a career-high 20.7 points per game and sinking a Kings' single-season record 278 3-pointers.

Bagley and Giles, both rookies, showed that they have the potential to be difference-making bigs in the NBA.

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“You could see the improvement,” Turner told The Bee. “A lot of guys got better and Larry was head of the player development department, so he did a hell of a job.”

Now it will be up to new head coach Luke Walton and his staff to help the Kings' young core continue their development. If they do, Sacramento will be a force in the Western Conference for years to come.

Kings agree to contract with forward Tyler Lydon, agency confirms


Kings agree to contract with forward Tyler Lydon, agency confirms

The Sacramento Kings are taking a flier on a former first-round draft pick.

Forward Tyler Lydon and the Kings have agreed on a two-year contract, Priority Sports tweeted on Sunday afternoon.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, citing a league source, first reported the agreement.

Lydon all but confirmed the agreement by quote-tweeting Wojnarowski's tweet with crown emojis.

The Kings now have 18 players on the roster, according to ESPN's Bobby Marks.

Back in 2017, the Denver Nuggets used the No. 24 overall draft pick on the Syracuse product. But things didn't work out for Lydon in the Mile High City.

The 23-year-old appeared in just 26 games over two seasons with Denver and averaged 0.9 points and 0.7 rebounds.

[RELATED: Kings have 'preliminary interest' in Koufos]

Despite using a first-round draft pick on Lydon, the Nuggets declined Lydon's 2019 option, making him a free agent.

Now, the Kings are hoping they can unlock the potential that made Lydon worthy of being a first-round draft pick.