New owner Vivek Ranadivé, new GM Pete D'Alessandro, and new coach Michael Malone have big plans for the Sacramento Kings, especially now that the city has approved an $477 million dollar arena, and the talks of moving the team to Seattle will subside and they can concentrate on basketball.
In just one year, they have made some big acquisitions, like Rudy Gay, who came to the team from Toronto and has improved with the Kings.
Now, can they hang on to up and coming point guard Isaiah Thomas, who will be hitting free agency and will be getting a raise, whether it be from Sacramento or someone else?
If Gay takes the $19.3 million he is due, the Kings are dangerously close to the luxury tax.
According to CBS Sports, the question becomes is it wise for the Kings to hit the luxury tax as a team that is unlikely to compete for the playoffs next season in order to re-sign or match any offer sheets Thomas receives this summer? The Kings have nine players under contract for just over $67 million next season and that's not even counting their first round pick. Unless they can make a great trade, they can't really keep Thomas and avoid the luxury tax, unless he gives them a big discount to stick around.
This is probably why, just after the lottery last week, the Kings put their number 8 pick on the trade table, according to NBA.com, with the idea of adding a veteran to their retooling mix.
Thinking around the league is that the Kings may target Thaddeus Young from the 76ers, or Dennis Schroeder from the Atlanta Hawks.
Rather than hope and pray for a standout rookie to come in to the league as a solid contributor, the Kings would be adding tried and tested talent at a position of need. Young could immediately come in at power forward and give the team a distinct legitimacy in a very serious western conference.
If Schroeder is the target, then the team has already seen that Thomas is on the move, and is looking to fill the hole he will leave. Schroeder is young, lightening quick, and has a ton of potential.
Either could contribute in Sacramento, who will be all primed to start fielding a competitive teams again to get ready for their new house in 2017.