Now that the draft has come and gone for the Sacramento Kings, the focus shifts onto free agency.
The Kings have three players testing the market in Donté Greene, Terrence Williams and Jason Thompson. Greene has already announced his time in Sacramento is over while the Kings have extended a qualifying offer to Thompson, which makes their starting power forward a restricted free agent.
According to Kings president Geoff Petrie, Thompson is top priority when free agency begins Sunday.
“Our primary focus initially is going to be with Jason,” said Petrie following the conclusion of this year’s draft. ”We still have other needs obviously. We weren’t going to fill every need with one player, at least where we were picking.”
The Kings were one of the worst shooting teams in the league last season, shooting just 43 percent from the field and an abysmal 32 percent from 3-point range. Petrie mentioned it’s an issue they’ll try to address either in free agency or through trade.
As far as the possibility of re-signing Williams, the Kings president was brief on the prospects.
“We’ll talk to Terrence for sure when the time comes and just see where that goes,” said Petrie. ”I think everybody’s been around free agency long enough to know that that’s going to be an interesting situation too.”
After being waived by the Houston Rockets following the trade deadline, Williams played in 18 games for the Kings. Williams proved to be a key pick-up off the bench and played an average of 20 minutes per contest. He displayed incredible court vision and passing during his brief time with the Kings, regularly connecting and building good rapport with point guard Jimmer Fredette on the court.
However, his character and decision-making off-the-court remain factors in his overall value to the Kings. Following the conclusion of the regular season, Williams told Cowbell Kingdom he would like to stay in Sacramento and sign at least a three-year deal.
Petrie praises Tyreke Evans’ work ethic from private training sessions
Petrie also discussed his individual workouts with Tyreke Evans that took place recently in Sacramento. The Kings President of Basketball Operations said Evans worked out with him for two weeks and that he was proud of Evans’ work ethic.
“He’s really focused,” Petrie said of Evans. ”I think everybody’s really pleased with the effort and the concentration and the results to this point.”
Along with coaches such as Bobby Jackson and Alex English, Petrie worked with Evans on a variety of skills, in particular his jump shot. During a few workout sessions, Evans worked on improving his play off-the-ball and catch-and-shoot game. Petrie says that the key for Evans’ continued improvement is consistency.
“The big thing now is that he continues throughout the rest of the summer and into fall camp on a fairly regular basis of maintaining and working like he did the two weeks he was here,” said Petrie. ”I was really proud of him the way he came in here and applied himself. He has plans to come back here periodically over the summer and work out in various places. If he can maintain and keep working on the things we were working on here, I think there’ll be some really positive results there.”
Evans’ name had popped up in trade rumors leading up to Thursday night’s draft. However, it seems that Petrie and the rest of the Kings staff are focused on helping the 2009 Rookie of the Year reach his potential in Sacramento.