Kings

Why the time is ripe for Kings to take a major swing in free agency

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AP

Why the time is ripe for Kings to take a major swing in free agency

Get the bat off your shoulder and take a swing. 

Hours before the 2018 NBA free agency period is set to begin, the Sacramento Kings have a major dilemma. Should they open up the coffers and chase one of the handful of attractive players hitting the market? Or, should they stand pat and wait for next season when they (and the rest of the league) will have even more money to spend?

It’s not an easy decision. Most of the players in this year’s free agent class fall into one of two categories - star-level players or restricted free agents. There are a few unrestricted players that fall below star level, but not many.

Sacramento has never been a hotbed for stars looking for a landing spot, so you can pretty much cross off LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Paul George, Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan and even DeMarcus Cousins off that list. 

What is left? 

There are some nice young players that fit the Kings’ team trajectory, but most of them are restricted. Sacramento would likely have to overpay one of these players in order to steal them away from their current team and even that might not work.

The team currently lacks a starting-level small forward and they could also use a combo forward to help out as a stretch four. There are players out there that can fill these needs. 

Jabari Parker is an injury risk, but he can play both the three and the four. Zach LaVine is coming off an injury as well and would require the team to shift Bogdan Bogdanovic back to the small forward position. 

At 6-foot-8, Rodney Hood is a player that makes sense at the wing. Aaron Gordon is more of a four and he would take a max deal, but his talent is undeniable.

All four of these players are restricted free agents. They are also talent upgrades and fit the team’s age arc. 

They won’t come cheap. They might not want to come to Sacramento at all. But at some point, the objective has to be about winning more games. 

The Kings continue to gush over their bevy of cap space for the summer of 2019. As of today, they project to have $65-70 million in room. If they ink a player to a long-term deal this summer, that dollar figure would drop.

Vlade Divac and his group might not love the free-agent class, but in the NBA, talent wins. The perfect player might not be available. The perfect player may never be available. But that doesn’t mean the Kings shouldn’t participate in the madness. 

If Sacramento plays its cards right, there is no reason to think they can’t improve the talent on their roster. In the end, that should be the objective for any team, especially one that has missed the playoffs 12 straight seasons and doesn’t have a draft pick in 2019.

There isn’t some magical player coming up in the 2019 free agent class that can fix everything and make the Kings a contender. No, Klay Thompson isn’t walking away from the Warriors to make more money in Sacramento and even he can’t fix the hole at the wing.

So what are the Kings waiting for? Cap flexibility only matters if you have the power to make a move when the right opportunity arises. 

This is that moment. Sacramento is one of a very small group of teams with meaningful cap space. They also have the ability to stretch provision one or two of their veterans on one-year deals, deferring money for a time when they have even more cap space.

They should be prudent in their spending, but this is a moment to take advantage of a league-wide cash flow issue and jump at the opportunity to potentially accelerate their decade long rebuild.

There is no reason not to take a major swing if you are Sacramento. The lack of competition on the market is unheard of. And even if they land a major piece, they still have plenty of cap space next season. 

Improve the club. Make yourself a more desirable location by adding talent and showing future free agents that you are committed to spending if it helps create a winning culture.

Yogi Ferrell signing is great value for the Kings

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USATSI

Yogi Ferrell signing is great value for the Kings

Money well spent. The Sacramento Kings jumped into the free agent market Friday afternoon, inking point guard Yogi Ferrell to a two-year, $6.2 million contract NBC Sports California has confirmed.

Ferrell had a deal in place to remain with the Dallas Mavericks, but pulled out after learning the specifics of the contract. The Kings jumped at the opportunity to add the talented 25-year-old, who went undrafted out of Indiana in 2016.

Why Ferrell?

Sacramento came into the summer of 2018 with a mountain of cap space and quickly found out that the market wasn’t ideal. Adding a player like Ferrell this late wasn’t expected, but it’s a very solid addition.

The 6-footer posted solid numbers for the Mavs last season, averaging 10.2 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 27.8 minutes per contest. More of a scoring guard than a pure point, Ferrell knocked down 37.3 percent from long range and 42.6 percent from the field overall.

Ferrell instantly gives Sacramento another ball handling option and a quality scorer off the bench. He loves to push the tempo and should fit in well with the current crop of young Kings players.

What does it mean for Frank Mason?

De’Aaron Fox is the face the of the franchise, so you can expect him to play the bulk of the minutes at the point guard spot. The remaining minutes will be fought over by Ferrell and 2017 second-round pick Frank Mason.

Mason struggled to separate himself from the crowd during both Sacramento and Las Vegas summer leagues. He led Vegas in assists per game, but he never really found a way to jump start the Kings’ offense.

Ferrell is more accomplished as an NBA player. Mason is the more accomplished NCAA player. Ferrell likely earns the first look as the reserve point guard behind Fox, which means Mason will pick up scraps and wait for his chance.

What is the financial impact of the deal?

After backing out of his deal in Dallas, Ferrell found a soft landing in Sacramento. He’s a budget addition for the Kings and will barely dent their salary structure in year one or two. Ferrell played in 82 games for the Mavericks during the 2017-18 season, including 21 starts. The Kings found an experienced, rotational player on the cheap.

With Ferrell signed, Sacramento still has roughly $17.5 million in cap space remaining, although they’ve maxed their roster at 15 players. The Kings have the ability to clear roster spots by waiving players like Deyonta Davis or Ben McLemore, both of whom were acquired in a trade this week. 

Source: Kings, Yogi Ferrell come to terms on multi-year contract

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USATSI

Source: Kings, Yogi Ferrell come to terms on multi-year contract

The Kings added a guard on Friday.

Yogi Ferrell agreed to terms on a two-year deal worth $6.2 million, NBC Sports California's James Ham confirmed.

Shams Charania was the first to report the news.

Ferrell -- who averaged 10.2 points and 2.5 assists over 27.8 minutes per game with Dallas last season -- orginally was set to return to the Mavs on a two-year deal worth $5.3 million.

But on Friday morning: