Update: Miller, Salmons speak on trade
By Sam Amick
According to numerous league sources, a trade sending Kings players Brad Miller and John Salmons to Chicago in exchange for Andres Nocioni, Drew Gooden, Michael Ruffin and Cedric Simmons has been agreed upon and is pending league approval.
In a separate deal with Portland, fourth-year forward Ike Diogu comes to the Kings for Ruffin. The Kings are also expected to receive approximately $1 million in the trade with Portland.
The trades put their roster at 17 players, and it is expected that they will waive newly-acquired point guard Sam Cassell and third-year guard Quincy Douby. They will need to make an additional cut as well to trim the roster to a league-limit 15.
Nocioni, a fifth-year small forward out of Argentina, has averaged 11.7 points and five rebounds during his career. Gooden has been on the Kings' radar for years, most notably during the 2008 summer in which he was part of discussions between the Kings and Cleveland for a trade involving former Kings point guard Mike Bibby.
The seventh-year forward has been a steady producer during his career, averaging 12 points and 8.1 rebounds during his career while playing for Orlando, Memphis, and the Cavaliers before going to the Bulls.
"I've been traded before and the way I look at it is it means somebody wants you," Gooden told the Chicago Tribune when reached by phone. "Sacramento has been interested in me for a couple years, so maybe something can work out long-term there. If not, I'm an unrestricted free agent this summer, so I'm auditioning for other teams.
"I enjoyed my time in Chicago. It's a good bunch of guys and great management. They treat players with respect. I just wish we had won more and I had been healthier."
The Kings are not only a bad team, but an expensive bad team that had a payroll of $69 million before this deal. At a time when they desperately need to improve their salary cap situation for the future, the Chicago trade saves them approximately $10.2 million in salary cap room for next season. It could potentially make them more relevant in the free agent market this summer or allow the payroll flexibility to be more active on the trade front after this season. Beyond next season, though, Nocioni's contract will add $6.9 million to payroll in 2010-11 and $6.7 million in 2011-12. Gooden, Ruffin and Simmons all have expiring contracts worth $7.1 million, $1.1 million, and $1.7 million respectively.
Diogu's contract is worth $2.9 million this season, and he will be a restricted free agent this summer. He was drafted ninth overall in 2005 and will follow in the footsteps of Shelden Williams as the latest frontline prospect the Kings hope experiences a revival while on their roster.
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