Sacramento Kings: Key trade opens door to enhanced free agency

Sacramento Kings (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Sacramento Kings (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

The Sacramento Kings’ recent trade for Kent Bazemore and Anthony Tolliver has set the team up for an enhanced free agency this offseason.

A trade that mostly came out of nowhere, the Sacramento Kings and Portland Trail Blazers made a deal involving Trevor Ariza, Kent Bazemore, and draft picks on January 18th.

While the deal may seem like a headscratcher at first, it creates a massive opportunity for the Kings in the upcoming free agency.

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The trade saw the Kings acquire veterans Kent Bazemore, Anthony Tolliver, and two second-round picks in exchange for seasoned veteran Trevor Ariza, Wenyen Gabriel, and Caleb Swanigan.

This deal is stellar for Sacramento as it shows they are looking ahead to free agency and are looking to clear cap space while also staying competitive in a loaded Western Conference.

After signing a lucrative two-year, $25 million deal this past offseason with the Kings, Ariza has underperformed with his 6.0 points per game thus far.

Sending him off to Portland rids the Kings of paying him another $12 million next season while getting a pair of decent veterans on expiring contracts and picks in return. Bazemore is set to make a hefty $19 million this season, while Tolliver will make a much smaller $2.6 million.

However, both veterans are primed to become free agents after this season, allowing the Kings to have both of them off the payroll, while also staying in contention for the remainder of this season.

With that being said, this was an excellent trade for the Kings, who must be looking to make a big splash in the impending free agency. They will have a sizeable debt to pay this season, but the type of benefits a trade like this could bring will outweigh all of that.

For now, patience is key with this young Sacramento Kings’ team. Standing at 15-27, 14th place in the Western Conference, this team surprisingly still has a chance to make the playoffs.

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With a new pair of veterans to help them achieve that as well as a likely eventful offseason ahead, the future is looking bright for this Sacramento team.