The Sacramento Kings have become the antithesis of a team making smart moves during free agency.
From George Karl’s reported desire to trade superstar center DeMarcus Cousins, to the Kings shedding $14 million in salary with no obvious replacement plan, to extending an absurd offer to a player recovering from a torn Achilles, the franchise is a mess.
But unfortunately for the fans, Sacramento’s offseason can still get worse.
The darker days started when Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Karl is “pushing for” Cousins to be traded. D’Angelo Russell, who the Los Angeles Lakers drafted with the No. 2 overall pick, was rumored a prize, but why would a team even consider trading an elite center for an unknown guard?
Sacramento expounded upon its self-created issues by trading Carl Landry, Jason Thompson and Nik Stauskas to the Philadelphia 76ers simply as a salary dump to chase Ellis, Wesley Matthews and Rajon Rondo.
However, problems continued when Ellis became a lock to sign with the Indiana Pacers. The shooting guard isn’t a perfect player, but Ellis would’ve been the second-best realistic free agent for the Kings.
Matthews, who sustained the aforementioned Achilles injury and was the best possible acquisition, passed on a four-year, $64 million deal from the team.
Wes Matthews achilles is made of hopes and dreams but he still turned down $64M guaranteed from Sacramento?
— myles brown (@mdotbrown) July 3, 2015
Matthews ultimately chose a four-year deal with the Dallas Mavericks, which Dwain Price of the Star-Telegram notes is worth approximately $13 million per season. So, Matthews gave up at least $12 million to not sign with Sacramento.
But again, things can get worse.
Rondo hasn’t signed anywhere, but he’d be a terrible fit for the Kings. Although Rondo is a former All-Star, but he’s just that: a former All-Star. Nowadays, the ineffective veteran appears to be a headcase. He and Cousins are all-but-guaranteed to butt heads.
Last season, Sacramento’s starting lineup—Cousins, Thompson, Rudy Gay, Ben McLemore and Darren Collison—recorded a 108.1 and 91.8 offensive and defensive ratings, respectively, per NBA.com. That’s not happening again.
The Kings already messed up one of the league’s best rotations, and signing Rondo—presumably to supplant Collison as the starting point guard—would only further that destruction. Collison can score from the perimeter. From beyond the arc, Rondo can merely watch what’s happening.
To make matters worse, Sacramento isn’t done pursuing ill-fitting free agents. According to Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated, the team will pursue Josh Smith and Lou Williams.
The Sacramento Kings will begin discussions with free agents Josh Smith and Lou Williams today, according to league sources.
— Jake Fischer (@JakeLFischer) July 3, 2015
Smith surely loves the opportunity to receive another massive, undeserved contract for an organization that will allow him complete offensive freedom. That means Smith and his career 28.5 three-point percentage can again be unleashed.
Williams, the 2014-15 NBA Sixth Man of the Year, could sign a big-money deal to mainly contribute as an off-the-bench offensive weapon. But the roster doesn’t need another scorer, considering it has Cousins, Gay, McLemore and Collison.
Instead, Sacramento needs another defender, one to ease the burden on 2015 draftee Willie Cauley-Stein. Since the front office traded Thompson and Landry, it must expect the rookie to carry the Kings defense.
Cauley-Stein is good, but he’s not that good.
Kings fans, I’m sorry. My only advice to you is find a bandwagon, hop on and enjoy the ride.
Because you shouldn’t be required to what’s happening in Sacramento. It’s only going to get worse.