You may be familiar with ESPN.com’s 5-on-5 roundtables, which feature opinion and analysis from ESPN writers and TrueHoop Network contributors on pressing NBA topics. Along with other THN blogs, Cowbell Kingdom is bringing that format to a local level with the introduction of our own 3-on-3 roundtable.
The Sacramento Kings have cap space. A lot of it. They’re expected to have roughly $25-million to spend after rookies Jimmer Fredette, Tyler Honeycutt and Isaiah Thomas are signed. So, how should they spend it? Who should be on their radar?
1. Who is the third most ideal free agent the Kings should chase?
Greg Wissinger: Samuel Dalembert. He has his faults, and we are painfully aware of them. He’s too in love with his jumper, he has a tendency to chase on defense, and he genuinely believes he can block any shot. But Dalembert does bring a solid defensive presence to the Kings. The team could do much worse than bringing back Sammy D.
James Ham: Samuel Dalembert makes my list, but as the third option. I like what Dalembert brought to the table last season once he got his legs under him and I also like that he is familiar with the team. But, I’m not sold on him being a perfect fit next to Cousins, which drops him to number three.
Jonathan Santiago: First off, I personally don’t think the Kings have to worry so much about resigning their own free agents. I’d let Samuel Dalembert walk and any offer sheet Marcus Thornton signs can be matched. So even though the Clippers are likely to resign him, I’m going with DeAndre Jordan here because he’s an explosive, young center, finally finding his niche in the league.
2. Who is the second most ideal free agent the Kings should chase?
GW: Marcus Thornton. A great mid-season acquisition last season, Thornton averaged just over 2o points per 36 minutes after being traded to Sacramento from New Orleans. More importantly, he demonstrated an ability to play with Tyreke Evans, which would otherwise be a concern having multiple volume scorers. Only an outrageous offer sheet from another team should prevent the Kings from keeping Thornton.
JH: Resigning Marcus Thornton is a formality in my book. The former LSU Tiger would probably prefer to be closer to his home town of Baton Rouge, but the Kings will lock him up and pair him alongside Tyreke Evans for the foreseeable future. Aaron Affalo would also be a nice fit, but much harder to land.
JS: How about Marc Gasol? Like Jordan, he’s another young big man, who’s consistently getting better. If you throw big dollars at him and he doesn’t work out, you at least are only stuck with him for four years max under the new collective bargaining agreement.
3. Who is the most ideal free agent the Kings should chase?
GW: Tyson Chandler is an upgrade over Dalembert in every way except blocks, which aren’t a weakness for Chandler either. He’d provide the defensive core the team needs, while also providing veteran leadership. His championship pedigree should give added weight to any advice he offered DeMarcus Cousins and the other young bigs on the Kings.
JH: I would chase Marc Gasol and I would go after him with a few bullets in my gun. Chances are Memphis will match almost any offer, so you need to give them something to work with, like when the Kings landed Brad Miller way back in 2003. Is a package that includes J.J. Hickson enough to make Memphis let Gasol walk and avoid the luxury tax?
JS: Rather than try and sign someone, why not absorb another team’s unwanted salary? There are rumblings about Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap since the Utah Jazz have Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter. Also, Akis Yerocostas of Sactown Royalty drew up a dream scenario involving Dwight Howard and Chris Paul. It might be unlikely, but the Kings do have the youth to deal and ability to absorb a bad contract…just saying.