In desperate need of an overall talent upgrade, the Sacramento Kings took a direct approach during free agency. In a (surprisingly) strategically planned formula by Vlade Divac, they targeted a few overlooked UnderDOGs on reasonable deals.
Hmmm, not too bad…for a couple of reasons. Each signing includes a veteran of 7 years or more experience, something Sacramento has lacked for years & years. No more excuses of lack of direction and leadership around DeMarcus Cousins (even though Matt Barnes is a hot-headed, he’s a great teammate…admit it).
And on top of that, each deal was very reasonable and makes sense. Let’s take a look:
F Anthony Tolliver (stretch 4) – 2 years/$16 million – Anthony Tolliver has shot 36% from deep throughout his career. The Kings need another front court shooter next to Boogie – Tolliver might be just what the doctor ordered.
G-F Arron Afflalo (wing scoring, toughness, defense if he’s up for it this year?) – 2 years/$25 million – Afflalo’s defense took a slight step back a year ago but he returned to his scoring roots with a 13.8 ppg average.
He looks to beat out Ben McLemore for the starting two job and provide toughness and perimeter shooting.
G Garrett Temple (intangibles, leadership, shooting) – 3 years/$24 million – G. Temple doesn’t do anything at an elite level but epitomizes the role of utility. Can guard 1-3 and knock down the long ball. Actually, this contract is looking more and more reasonable.
F Matt Barnes (brings toughness & wing shooting) – 2 years/$12 million – Barnes is a little volcanic but he can hit corner threes and snag boards. His defense has declined but he’ll still appear valuable guarding second-teamers.
Mix in rookies Georgios Papagiannis, Malachi Richardson, Skal Labissiere, & Isaiah Cousins…you’ve suddenly got a bit of depth in SacTown.
How will Dave Joerger manage it? Stay tuned…