The Kings announced the team has extended a qualifying offer to guard Marcus Thornton, making him a restricted free agent.
The move was expected as Thornton quickly became a part of the Kings' young nucleus after being acquired before the February trading deadline for Carl Landry and cash.
Thornton averaged 21.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.7 steals in 27 games with the Kings.
Under the current collective bargaining agreement the Kings had to make Thornton a qualifying offer by June 30 to retain the right of first refusal. Thornton can sign an offer sheet with another team, but unless the salary was outrageously high, the Kings would match it.
*The Kings have also waived guard Jermaine Taylor.
Taylor was acquired in a trade from Houston for a heavily protected second-round pick and cash considerations. Essentially the Kings got Taylor for nothing and have decided to move on.
Taylor averaged 7.1 points in 26 games (started eight) with Sacramento. Thornton started eight games.