It’s no secret that the Sacramento Kings have been searching for what seems like an eternity for a solution at small forward. Do you remember that epic battle between Omri Casspi and Donté Greene for the starting job coming into the 2010-11 season? How about the Desmond Mason/Andres Nocioni era that lasted both days and years?
It is no secret that this is the biggest position of need for the Kings. John Salmons started 72 games last season for the team, scoring just 8.8 points per game in 30 minutes of action. More than the lack of scoring was his abysmal 10.2 player efficiency rating. He is a ball-dominant player that was forced to play without the ball and the results have been less than stellar.
Once a solid defender, father time appears to have caught up with the former University of Miami star. At 33 years of age, he can no longer guard three positions effectively and on a team lacking a defensive identity, Salmons became part of the problem, not part of the solution.
What do you do if you are Pete D’Alessandro and Vivek Ranadivé? Your options are limited, but they include using the NBA amnesty rule to wipe Salmons and the $7.6 million owed to him this year and another million to buyout next year’s partially-guaranteed contract off the books. Sure, the ownership group would still be on the hook for Salmons’ deal, but they could open a door of new possibilities with the available cap space.
There isn’t a small forward prospect in this draft around the seventh spot that makes sense. There are some names on the free agent market that are appealing, but at what cost?
Under new ownership, the Kings won’t be under the same financial constraints that they felt under the Maloofs, so making a major move could be in order. With that said, what would you do with the veteran small forward?