UNDER CONTRACT: G-F John Salmons, G Marcus Thornton, G Aaron Brooks, G Francisco Garcia, F-C Chuck Hayes, G Tyreke Evans, F Jason Thompson, F James Johnson, C DeMarcus Cousins, F Travis Outlaw, G Jimmer Fredette, F Tyler Honeycutt, G Isaiah Thomas
DRAFT PICKS: F Thomas Robinson
FREE AGENTS: F Hassan Whiteside
MOVES: The Kings were not overtly active in the offseason but did complete one deal that had to be done by retaining RFA Jason Thompson with a multi-year contract at $6 million per season. Unlike previous re-signings, GM Geoff Petrie did not overpay for Thompson, who right now is Sacramento’s second-best big. Long-term, he likely becomes a backup to DeMarcus Cousins and Thomas Robinson. As the dust settled around the big names, Petrie did a nice job snaring free agent point guard Aaron Brooks with a two-year, $6.6 million deal. Brooks played in China last season but was Most Improved Player in 2010. The Kings also sent a future second-round pick to Toronto for James Johnson, who appeared to be on the upswing until falling out of favor late last season. In an important move for stability, the Kings extended the contract of coach Keith Smart through the 2013-14 season. The players responded to Smart after he replaced the fired Paul Westphal last season, and Petrie wanted to make sure his coach – and not players such as Cousins or Tyreke Evans – are in control of the locker room.
TO-DO LIST: The outside interest in maddeningly inconsistent Terrence Williams died down, and the Kings – with plenty of overpaid wings – allowed him to walk. The Kings also have Evans coming due for an extension next summer and Cousins due in summer 2014. They have to decide whether they are locking up one or both of them long-term. And with the owning Maloof family constantly crying poor and looking longingly at other cities as homes for their team, it would be a huge surprise if the Kings maxed out both players. In fact, the acquisitions of Brooks and Johnson impact Evans, who ended last season at small forward and did not like it. Garcia, with one year left on his awful deal, could be a trade asset, as could 2011 first-rounder Jimmer Fredette. There is one free roster spot if the Kings choose to keep 15 players.
PROJECTION: The additions of Robinson and Brooks are nice but they will not make the Kings a playoff team in the loaded Western Conference. To make any sort of significant strides, Sacramento needs to clear some of its roster clutter and hope Cousins – truly a top-10 talent in this league – develops some maturity.
(RELATED: What grade did the Kings get?)
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