NBA Trade Rumors: Kings Could Take Bad Contracts with Cap Space

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJuly 6, 2018

SACRAMENTO, CA - JULY 5: Devin Williams #42, Anthony Brown #38, Allerik Freeman #36 and Marvin Bagley III #35 of the Sacramento Kings look on during the game against the Miami Heat during the 2018 Summer League at the Golden 1 Center on July 5, 2018 in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The Sacramento Kings are still rebuilding, and adding future assets should be a priority. One way the team could acquire NBA draft picks is to use their salary-cap space in exchange for taking on bad contracts. 

According to Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee, they may intend to do just that:

"With no deals imminent, the Kings will focus on the trade market, looking to take advantage of having about $17 million under the cap to absorb a contract that could land a coveted veteran small forward. A deal could also mean taking on a contract another team finds undesirable and would be willing to package with a first-round pick, which the Kings lack in 2019."

Jones added that the Kings have no desire to add "multiyear contracts that would affect next year's salary cap or don't fit with the team's long-term vision of adding younger players."

The Kings do not have their first-round pick next year, which will either go to the Philadelphia 76ers (if No. 1 overall) or the Boston Celtics. That was the result of one of the worst NBA trades in recent memory, when in 2015 the Kings traded Nik Stauskas, Carl Landry, Jason Thompson, first-round swap rights in 2016 and 2017 and an unprotected 2019 pick to the Sixers in exchange for Arturas Gudaitis and Luka Mitrovic.

The Kings made the move to clear cap space. But once the team traded DeMarcus Cousins during the 2016-17 season and began a rebuild, the move proved costly. That was especially true when the Sixers were able to swap picks with the Kings in the 2017 draft, moving up from No. 5 to No. 3, and had the Kings' 2019 pick to use in the trade to move up to No. 1 overall and select Markelle Fultz.

Suffice to say, the Kings are likely trying to avoid such short-sighted moves going forward. The Kings have a burgeoning young core in Marvin Bagley III, DeAaron Fox and Buddy Hield, so there's little need to make a major splash in free agency or on the trade market at the expense of future cap space. 

According to Jones, the team has "expressed a level of interest" in restricted free agents Zach LaVine and Jabari Parker, but adding either would "require the Kings to reshape their roster that has a lot of young players they'd like to develop."

LaVine is best utilized at shooting guard, where the Kings already have Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic. Parker is ideally utilized as a stretch 4, but Bagley is the future of the power forward position in Sacramento, while Harry Giles could see some run at the 4 this season as well. 

Every decision the Kings make should be centered upon developing their young core and giving themselves as many opportunities to land another star. If that means taking on a large salary this summer in exchange for landing future assets, the Kings would be wise to consider it. 

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