Where the Kings veterans stand heading into trade season
ON THE MOVE?
The NBA Trade deadline has moved up two weeks this season to February 8, putting Sacramento and their small core of veterans on the hot seat. Early conversations with people in the know have the Kings taking a conservative approach to this season’s deadline, but that could change quickly.
The Kings have five veterans on the roster, each with varying values around the league. With Sacramento moving into full youth mode, here is a deeper dive into the group and where they stand heading into trade season.
2017-18 Salary: $8 million
Contract Status: Player option for 2018-19 season at $8 million
Temple could help a lot of teams as a versatile defender and locker room presence. Sacramento would love to retain the veteran, but if they get the sense that he’ll opt out of his deal a the end of the season, those plans might change. Temple has helped fill the void at the small forward position, but he’s undersized and better served at the two. The Kings have younger options at the wing moving forward and Temple’s contract is on par of maybe even a slight value for his skill set, making him an interesting potential trade piece at the deadline.
2017-18 Salary: $8.4 million
Contract Status: Player option for 2018-19 season at $8.7 million
Koufos was sought after by multiple teams at the deadline last season, but the Kings held onto the 7-footer. He knows his role and he’s great in the locker room. He rebounds, sets screens and plays solid team defense. On a team that runs a -8.6 in point differential and a -9 in offensive/defense rating, Koufos posts an offensive rating of 114 and a defensive rating in 108. The Kings have Zach Randolph, Willie Cauley-Stein and Georgios Papagiannis that can man the center spot, leaving Koufos as an option in trade. His contract is fair for quality reserve big or even a starter in certain situations.
2017-18 Salary: $12.3 million
Contract Status: 2018-19 guaranteed at $11.7 million
Through the month of December, Randolph was the Kings’ best player. He’s slowed down a bit in January, but he’s still a quality scorer averaging 15 points and seven rebounds in 25.5 minutes per game. Dave Joerger has relied heavily on his veteran big to spark the offense, but with the transition to players like Skal Labissiere and Willie Cauley-Stein, Randolph is about to see a major reduction in role. Z-Bo can help a lot of teams and his salary isn’t completely out of line. Sacramento has to gauge whether Randolph can continue to produce for another 120 games or if he his value is as high as it’s going to be.
2017-18 Salary: $20 million
Contract Status: 2018-19 guaranteed at $19 million, 2019-20 team option at $18 million ($1 million buyout)
The wild card. Sacramento paid big money to the veteran point guard and he’s struggled to find a rhythm with the Kings. Vlade Divac will listen if offers roll in for Hill, but he’s not going to take back bad contracts that will hamstring the organization moving forward. De’Aaron Fox is ready to play major minutes at the point and Bogdan Bogdanovic and Buddy Hield have the shooting guard position covered. There are teams that would love to have Hill as either a lead guard or a two, but his contract is big enough to scare a lot of suitors away.
2017-18 Salary: $8 million
Contract Status: Free Agent in the summer of 2018
If Carter was on a $3 million veteran minimum deal, teams would be jumping at the opportunity to add the former All-Star. At $8 million, even for one season, it’s a much tougher sell for Sacramento. He can still play minutes and help a team, but the Kings aren’t taking back long-term deals to move on from Carter or any other veteran. Like the other four vets, Carter has worked hard behind the scenes to help develop the young players. He can play the 2, 3 and stretch four, but he is no longer a minutes eater age 40.