NBA Free Agency

Lowe suggests what Kings should do with ample cap space

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NBA free agency doesn't officially begin until Friday, but the speculation and rumors are well underway.

The Kings turned heads when they opted to trade away their only first-round draft pick and Richaun Holmes to the Dallas Mavericks in a move that increased their salary cap space to roughly $35 million -- the fourth-most in the league and enough to make a splash when the free agency negotiation window flies open at 3 p.m. Friday.

With a lot of money and a lot of options -- including a potential renegotiate-and-extend contract with All-NBA center Domantas Sabonis -- ESPN senior writer Zach Lowe proposed a route the Kings could take.

"Sabonis makes $22 [million] next year, the last year of his contract. His max is around $40 [million]. So do the math, if you bump him all the way up to his max next year, $18 [million] of your $30 [million] is gone and efficiently you're like at mid-level, exception-level, which is not very powerful," Lowe said on a recent episode of "The Lowe Post" podcast. "What if I told you that the Kings could go to Sabonis and say, 'How about we bump you from $22 [million] to $30 [million]? We give you $8 [million] more. And off of $30 [million], using the new 140 percent extension rules which are going to come into effect whenever the collective bargaining agreement gets finished, off of that 30 number, we get you to your max next season and beyond.

"But this season, we still retain $20-something million of room, $25 [million], whatever it ends up being. Which by the way could be enough for us to bring back Trey Lyles, cause his cap hold is really, really small, and go and get a $20 million player. If we have to move a small salary, maybe we have to do that. I don't know who that $20 million player is. I think that's a potential path for them."

Sabonis is coming off arguably the best season of his career, and the Kings have the capacity to sign him to a new deal. The 6-foot-11 big man's value reportedly is expected to be in the range of $120 million over four seasons. He's entering the final year of his four-year, $74.9 million extension he signed with Indiana Pacers in 2019.

He'll make $22 million next season, but Lowe's proposal could make everyone happy -- for the time being.

A few names being tossed around as possible free-agent targets for the Kings are Kyle Kuzma, Draymond Green, Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez.

Even though it might be too soon for Sacramento to welcome Green with open arms after the first-round playoff matchup between the Warriors and Kings, the four-time champion would help improve an area the Kings struggled with all season: Defense.

Still, Lowe doesn't believe a Green-to-the-Kings move would be a reality.

"I just sort of doubt that's their target," Lowe said of Green. "And if you go down to $20 [million] using this alternative method that I'm talking about, he's damn sure not your target because Draymond Green is not changing teams on a three-year, $60 million [or] four-year, $80 million deal. Draymond Green is extremely likely, from everything I've heard, to stay with the Warriors."

There's no telling what the Kings will do with their cap space, but it will be interesting to see how it all unfolds, to say the least.

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