SACRAMENTO -- The Kings aren’t waiting around looking for crumbs on the NBA free-agent market. They're swinging for the fences.
According to a well-placed NBA source, NBC Sports California has confirmed that the Kings intend to chase five-time All-Star Al Horford when free agency begins Sunday at 3 p.m. PT.
Reports of a “mystery team” waiting with a four-year, $100 million-to-$112 million contract offer for Horford surfaced when the veteran opted out of his $30 million player option on June 18. It appears the Kings are that mystery team, or at least one of the teams ready to forge ahead with a major offer.
The Kings are looking for a big man who can run the floor, protect the rim and shoot from the perimeter to open spacing for De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley. Horford, 33, checks all those boxes for Sacramento, and he’s known as a quality locker-room presence as well.
The Kings are expected to have competition for the former Celtic and Hawk. While there's a confidence behind the scenes that they will come away with a commitment from either Horford or center Dewayne Dedmon during the first hours of free agency, the Kings still doubt they'll be able to convince Horford to come to Sacramento, according to The Athletic's Sam Amick.
Despite the Kings' significant interest in Al Horford and plans to make a massive offer, a source tells @TheAthletic that they are under the impression he's likely heading elsewhere.— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) June 30, 2019
The Al Horford situation has been very tricky to figure out, but one team that I'm told has very real interest is Philly (moving parts there obviously with their own free agents, Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris)— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) June 30, 2019
As for the Kings, the prospect of them landing Dewayne Dedmon is very real. Also, sources tell @TheAthletic Sacramento is ONE OF the secured scenarios for Houston's Clint Capela if Jimmy Butler decides to come Houston's way (the Rockets have more than one; highest bidder wins).— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) June 30, 2019
Like Horford, Dedmon is a quality rim protector who shot over 38 percent from behind the arc last season.
Expect the Kings to be aggressive throughout the opening hours of free agency. They have a hole to fill at center, and they've targeted two of the better options on the market.