After a few days ago teasing out a ‘Western Conference team’ making a run at impending restricted free agent Zach LaVine, KC Johnson of the Chicago Tribune has named that team: The Sacramento Kings.
Johnson outlays the rumored plan from Sacramento and Chicago:
- The Kings should have roughly $18m worth of cap space, assuming Garrett Temple picks up his $8m player option (UPDATE: he has)
- If they used all that space to start a 4-year offer, it’d overall be 4 years for $77m, a figure Johnson says “almost certaintly” would be matched by the Bulls.
- If Sacramento clears more space allowing them to offer more, even getting close to the $108m maximum that a non-Bulls team can offer, it’d “give the Bulls pause”.
So keep an eye out for Garrett Temple news and any other machinations the Kings try to lure LaVine away from Chicago. They’ve done something similar before, disastrously so, using first round picks to clear space in 2015. At least in this case, LaVine is an actual young developing player, as opposed to the Rondo (and Rondo-type) gets of that summer. Still, be vigilant for krazy Kings.
From the Bulls standpoint, Johnson reports they plan to make a “good-faith, proactive offer” to LaVine as free agency begins, but also that “their preferred annual salary is in the $14 million-to-$16 million range”. It’s unclear how those two goals are reconciled as we head into free agency, which starts 11pm Saturday.