Kings Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.

June 30, 2012
NBA Free Agency: What might the Kings be looking for?

Free agency has begun!!!!

The Kings aren't likely to land one of the big names in free agency (yes, end those fantasies of Deron Williams coming to Sacramento).

But there are some realistic options that fit the Kings' desire not to burden their payroll in the future but filling the need to add experienced players.

Here's a quick breakdown at who the Kings could look at. It's a very short list that's sure to have names added once the process begins:

Jason Thompson, F, Kings, Restricted Free Agent

The Kings will make retaining Thompson a top priority. Recently the Kings have brought in that figured to replace Thompson or diminish his role (J.J. Hickson, Chuck Hayes, DeMarcus Cousins and Samuel Dalembert) but Thompson has continued to be one of the more consistent Kings.

Thompson hasn't complained, but certainly hasn't liked seeing the parade of big men. Thompson was the most consistent power forward the Kings had last season and only regular to shoot above 50 percent.

Even after drafting Thomas Robinson, the Kings have no intention of letting Thompson walk. Barring an unreasonably high offer sheet from another team, expect Thompson to be back.

Nicolas Batum, F, Portland, Restricted Free Agent

The Kings have coveted a small forward who encompasses Batum's skills. He's 6-foot-8, and shot 39.1 percent from three-point range last season (37.2 percent for his career). He fits the mold of a player that can grow with the Kings' nucleus. He's only 23 and has four years of experience.

Portland is likely to match any deal for Batum, unless the Kings decide to go with a big offer sheet to deter the Blazers from wanting to match. That could mean paying Batum around $10 million a season.

Marcus Camby, C, Houston, Unrestricted Free Agent

Camby isn't young (38) but he would provide the Kings with another rebounder and a shot blocker. Camby averaged nine rebounds in just 22.9 minutes last season. If the Kings don't believe Hassan Whiteside can contribute, perhaps they can persuade Camby to keep playing.

Andrei Kirilenko, F, CSKA Moscow, Unrestricted Free Agent

Before the Kings claimed Travis Outlaw off waivers, they pursued this former All Star with the Utah Jazz. Kirilenko stayed in Russia after the lockout ended and the Kings are still looking for a player like him. There were rumors during the season Kirilenko would join the Brooklyn Nets, but they never panned out.

Ersan Ilyasova, F, Milwaukee, Unrestricted Free Agent

One of the NBA's most improved players last season with career highs of 13 points, 8.8 rebounds on 49.2 percent shooting (45.5 percent on three pointers). Ilyasova (6-10, 235) has played both forward spots. But he might be better suited as a power forward, which would give the Kings a glut of players at the position unless he is signed instead of Thompson.

Terrence Williams, G/F, Kings, Unrestricted Free Agent

A talented wing player, Williams made quite the impression his 18 games as a King. He averaged 8.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists as a reserve. One person likely lobbying for Williams' return is Jimmer Fredette. Williams was good at creating scoring chances for Fredette. Williams wants to make a decision in free agency quickly. So if the Kings don't make a quick offer that is to his liking, Williams could be gone.

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