By Sam Amick
The Kings' push to secure a young core took another step forward on Thursday, as they agreed in principle to a contract extension for fourth-year swingman Francisco Garcia.
According to a source with knowledge of the negotiations, the deal is for five years and $29.8 million. The fifth year of the deal is a team option, although it is believed it is partially guaranteed. The source requested anonymity because of the private nature of the talks.
Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie did not immediately return a call for comment, nor did Garcia's agent, Aaron Goodwin. The Kings had until Oct. 31 to complete an extension with Garcia, who would have become a restricted free agent next summer if he had not been extended.
Garcia's career appeared to have stalled last summer, as his role under then-coach Eric Musselman was minimal in the 2006-07 campaign and he averaged less than 18 minutes per game. But in the first season under coach Reggie Theus - with whom Garcia played during his college years at Louisville - he flourished as a high-energy reserve.
Garcia was given 26.3 minutes per game and proved worthy while averaging 12.3 points and shooting a career-high 46.3 percent from the field. He was utilized as an outside threat as well, hitting 39.1 percent from three-point range. His new contract will begin next season and concludes in the 2013-14 campaign.
STORY UPDATE (1:25 P.M.)
The Kings just announced the extension for Francisco Garcia which was reported here this morning. It's official.
"We are all gratified we were able to reach an agreement in principle with Francisco on a contract extension," Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie said in a statement. "He embodies a lot of qualities we feel are necessary for our team to continue to improve. He's a competitive leader and he's gotten better every year. We're looking forward to watching him grow even more this season."
Garcia, not surprisingly, was quite pleased.
"I feel great," he said in the statement. "It's good to know that I'm going to be here for years to come. This is a great organization that's moving in the right direction. We have the best owners in the league. Our general manager is one of the best. And we have a good coaching staff with a lot of talented players. I'm looking forward to the upcoming season."