Kings

Why Kings should call Rockets if Clint Capela is available via trade

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USATSI

Why Kings should call Rockets if Clint Capela is available via trade

Having more than $60 million in available salary-cap space is both a blessing and a curse for the Sacramento Kings.

On the one hand, they need to spend at least $50 million to get to the NBA’s salary floor. On the other hand, they don’t want to spend, just to spend.

While the team hopes to be a player in free agency, there is a full menu of ways to improve the team. One of those options is to package a future asset and some of their coveted cap space, and trade for an established NBA player on a long-term deal.

Steven Adams was the first major center to potentially come available, but it looks like he won’t be the last. The Rockets reportedly are trying to make a play for Jimmy Butler, and they're willing to deal away a couple of their key players. 

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Wednesday that one of those players is center Clint Capela.

Capela checks all of the boxes for the Kings. At 25 years old, he fits the team’s player arc, and he is the rim-running, shot-blocking rebounder they desperately need.

He’s also locked up on a four-year, $72 million contract that is completely affordable for a player who averaged 16.6 points, 12.7 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game last season in Houston.

It likely would cost the Kings a top-10-protected first-round draft pick, but the team is young enough to withstand another year without a selection. Sacramento also has seven second-round selections over the next two years to sweeten a deal.

If the Kings were feeling generous, they could make a mega-deal out of the situation. They have the available cap space to absorb Capela ($16.4 million), Eric Gordon ($14 million) and P.J. Tucker ($8.3 million), freeing up just under $40 million for the Rockets.

In a scenario like this, the Kings still would have more than $20 million per year to pay Harrison Barnes. They also could clear $22 million off the books next season when Gordon and Tucker expire and Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic come up for extensions.

Whether or not the Kings have held discussions with the Rockets is unknown at this time, but Sacramento needs to be aggressive in all facets of the summer schedule. The team knows Willie Cauley-Stein wants out, and there are options to replace him on the market.

But very few offer the contract, numbers and age fit that Capela does.

[RELATED: Kings' 10 options to fill small forward opening in free agency]

Kings general manager Vlade Divac selected three players in the second round, but the likelihood of any of them making an impact this season is minimal. If the Kings are going to compete for a playoff spot in the Western Conference, they have to take risks in free agency and on the trade front.

A deal for Capela would add another impact player to the foundation of the team. It would come with future costs, but it’s hard to imagine finding a better fit than the 6-foot-10 center.

Kings takeaways: What we learned in tough 127-106 loss to Pistons

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USATSI

Kings takeaways: What we learned in tough 127-106 loss to Pistons

BOX SCORE

Are the Sacramento Kings starting to break?

In a season filled with lows, the Kings dropped their sixth straight game Wednesday night to a completely depleted Detroit Pistons team by a final of 127-106. 

Former league MVP Derrick Rose put on a show, finishing with 22 points and 11 assists. Reserve Christian Wood more than doubled his scoring average, dropping in 23 points on 7-for-8 shooting and Reggie Jackson added 22 points in the blowout win.

Here are three takeaways as the Kings look listless in Detroit and fall to a season-high 14 games under .500 at 15-29 on the season. 

Free Throws

The Kings continue to struggle not only with getting to the free-throw line, but with taking advantage once they get there. 

Sacramento got the stripe lust 23 times on the evening and missed 11 of those shots. It was a team-wide issue with seven players missing at least one freebie.

In addition to struggling with their chances, the Kings put the Pistons at the line 44 times, where they hit 37. 

It’s hard to compete when you get outscored at the free-throw line by 26 points. Sacramento needs to be more aggressive in their attack and they have to stop fouling teams at will.

New Guys

With Marvin Bagley and Richaun Holmes out with injury, coach Luke Walton turned to Kent Bazemore and Anthony Tolliver to eat some minutes. 

Bazemore brought the same energy he’s been known for during his eight-year NBA career. With the Kings needing easy buckets, he got to the free-throw line and finished with seven points, three rebounds and a steal.

Tolliver went scoreless in six minutes of action, missing his only two attempts from the field. 

Bombing Bogi

Bogdan Bogdanovic is starting to get his legs under him after a six-game absence. The Kings need even more from their super-sub.

Against the Pistons, the Serbian-born wing went 3-for-8 from long range to finish with 19 points and three assists.

With Buddy Hield struggling to get anything to fall from the perimeter, Walton might need to rely more on Bogdanovic that originally expected if the Kings have any hopes of pulling out of the spiral. 

Would trying a starting backcourt of Bogdanovic and De’Aaron Fox make sense for Sacramento at this point?

Source: Kings unlikely to trade Bogdan Bogdanovic before NBA deadline

Source: Kings unlikely to trade Bogdan Bogdanovic before NBA deadline

The Sacramento Kings have already completed one five-man trade, but don’t expect them to stop there. General manager Vlade Divac has assets and he also has a 15-28 team that can’t seem to find the win column.

Rumors already are beginning to swirl. Dewayne Dedmon is the player the Kings would like to find a new home for, but sometimes that’s not how this all works. It takes two to tango and Sacramento has a few other players on the roster that are targets for other teams.

Jon Johnson of WIP confirmed via Twitter early Wednesday that Bogdan Bogdanovic has become a player of interest for the Philadelphia 76ers.

According to a league source with knowledge of the situation, barring a major change in the team's thinking, the Kings are likely to hold onto Bogdanovic and try to work out a long-term solution with him over the summer. Sacramento's front office knows Bogdanovic's market value could hit the $15-18 million per year range, but they also understand the type of player he is when healthy and how important he is to the Kings franchise.

Bogdanovic has struggled with injuries throughout the season, missing a total of 10 games with three different issues. He returned to action two games ago after missing six straight with right ankle soreness.

Divac and his group are in a bit of a bind when it comes to the Serbian-born wing. They would love to keep him long term, but they know it will cost this summer when he becomes a restricted free agent. The 27-year-old has a standing four-year, $51.7 million extension offer from the Kings, but there is a chance that he’ll make more than that on the open market.

Sacramento has an opportunity to match any offer for Bogdanovic, but they signed Harrison Barnes to a four-year, $85 million deal, followed by a four-year, $86 million contract for Buddy Hield. With De’Aaron Fox due for an extension this summer and Marvin Bagley needing one the year after, the Kings eventually are going to run into a salary cap issue for a team that is nowhere near the playoff picture.

[RELATED: What is Kings' NBA trade deadline plan?]

Bogdanovic is the Kings’ most versatile player. He’s averaging 14 points, 3.6 assists and three rebounds in 28.1 minutes per game.

Philadelphia has a few interesting young players in Furkan Korkmaz and Matisse Thybulle. They also have a bevy of second-round selections and a top 20 protected 2020 pick from the Oklahoma City Thunder, as well as their own picks from 2021 on.

Despite the poor showing this season, the Kings believe they have the talent to compete. Bogdanovic is a big part of that evaluation. If the Kings shift course and move on from him, they’ll likely have multiple offers to sift through and they will want a mint in return.