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Denver Unloads Contracts: Should the Kings Have Been Involved?

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JANUARY 9: Predrag Stojakovic #16 (L), Vlade Divac #21 (C), Chris Webber #4 (R) and Keon Clark (far right) of the Sacramento Kings share a laugh on the bench during the game against the New Jersey Nets at Continental Airlines Arena on January 9, 2003 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Kings won 118-82. 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 photo by: Al Bello/Getty Images)

Denver had long been rumored to be trying and unload Kenneth Faried’s contract, and were willing to attach a 1st round pick for another team’s trouble. On Thursday, the rumors became reality:

They sent Faried, along with Darrell Arthur packing, and also sent that 1st rounder (top 12 protected) and a 2nd rounder to boot.

The question here isn’t really the usefulness of Faried and/or Arthur on the Kings, its a question of whether or not Sacramento should’ve been involved in getting the draft pick. According to many “experts”, next year’s draft is the weakest in a while, and the pick is lottery protected.

However, the West is stacked, the pick has a decent chance of NOT being in the lottery, and we never know what a draft will actually be a year prior to it happening. A lot can change.

Bottom line is- the Kings are 9 million below the salary floor. They have cap room, and they will need to use it. Now, if they end up getting a better deal, or facilitating something between now and the trade deadline- well done, and all the armchair quarterbacking is for naught.

However, if they are banking on their massive stash of money being available next offseason, I would just simply ask GM Vlade Divac to look in the mirror: staring back at him would be the biggest free agent the Kings have ever signed.

The cold hard truth is that the Sacramento Kings have to force players to come here, via trades or the draft. On the rare occasion they sign even a C or B free agent, they have to massively overpay (see George Hill). Yes they are slated to have a ton of money available next season

But so will a ton of other teams, many of which are much better free agent destinations (according to the player agents). So yes, having that cap space is neat, but we’ve seen this movie before. The Kings won’t be able to compete with other teams, and will end up overpaying for midlevel guys.

Could all that change someday? Sure. We fans have this argument every single year. But until it does, all I can say is that in 33 years and counting, their free agent luck (or skill) is the worst in the league.

Waiting is certainly a gamble.