A lot of people are still hoping Andrei Kirilenko is a player the Kings can go out and get. At 3 years 27 million it's a risk, but this team is at that juncture where a risk is more than reasonable. In fact, a risk is outright mandatory for a team that needs to get back to the playoffs as soon as this season.
I'm going to examine potential trade candidates that would require limited or very little other than financial relief from the contract. Before I do that, I want to make it clear that there are few players out there will be available for pure "cap relief" that are also enticing. The idea of this list is to find players who, for whatever reason, could rebound from poor production making their contract difficult to move. In my opinion, this is the one area where the Kings have a quality opportunity to find a player whose contract, otherwise impossible to take on, can help you in the interim and provide you with quality play in the next few years.
Marvin Williams Atlanta
Demands from Atlanta? The only realistic asking price would be Donte Greene or Hassan Whiteside. Of the two, Donte most likely would be the asking price (mostly because the Hawks need a roster filler and Greene is a cheap test run at the worst). Does Atlanta do this? I do have my doubts. Rick Sund is known to over-demand talent in return for players like Williams which hurts things. As long as Atlanta wishes to pretend that it has a championship level team, trading for Williams is likely to take a major piece in return. There is no way the Kings do this.
Would I do this? Williams is due just under 25 million (24.9 million more precisely) and has produced very mediocre numbers in Atlanta. Would he be the type of player that would benefit from an up-tempo system? My opinion is yes as Atlanta is a very slow team which doesn't help Williams much.
When judging a deal like this, is it possible the Kings could lose just money and little else? Well, that's pretty much what the deal would be. I don't think Williams is on Petrie's radar, but I do believe he is the type of player that would benefit from a change of scenery and an up tempo system. Time is running out to get players who can contribute on a roster and do so quickly.
Chances of happening? 20-80 and that's being kind. Other than Josh Childress, I would rather have Williams than any other player on this list.
Hedo Turkoglu Orlando
I gotta admit I'm neither fond of the return of Hedo nor am I of his contract. Unlike Williams who just has disappointed people due to his high selection (#2 overall in 2005 and just ahead of Deron Williams and Chris Paul among others), has led to some dissatisfaction about Williams. Hedo on the Kings isn't an enticing prospect for me though.
Hedo is not the kind of defender the Kings could use coming off the bench at the 3 spot (closer to Williams) nor is as athletic as Williams is.
Hedo is a no go to me, but I would say this is 40-60 possibility if the Kings decide they want to roll the dice on Hedo. Forewarned is forearmed, however, and Hedo has 3 years and about 34 million remaining. This is a huge no-go for me, but it's one the Kings can accomplish if they so choose. I think it's possible the Kings could also receive a 1st round pick for taking Hedo on. At the end of the day even with a 1st round pick the Kings have plenty of youth as it is. I'm not sure to take a player with a worse contract than Marvin Williams, despite the nostalgia, is worth even considering. On the other hand, Orlando would love doing that if they could (and very well may try to do just that).
I think the odds of Geoff Petrie considering this is 40-60 but that's a simple uneducated pure guesstimate guess.
Chris Duhon Orlando
Not much here really that you can't have guessed, but I have no doubt Orlando wouldn't mind doing this just to increase their flexibility. Duhon has 3.75 million coming to him for the next 2 seasons on his deal. (His last season is guaranteed for 1.5 million.)
Odds? 50-50 because spending money in a showy way is a very different way than spending money on a guy like Duhon. With all the talk about maintaining flexibility (not really something I understand) for a potential unknown player who may become available, the Maloofs and Petrie may look towards that option.
Corey Maggette Charlotte
Let me make this clear: Charlotte may be willing to deal Maggette but I have no clue exactly what Maggette brings other than a clearcut way to get over the salary floor. Corey Maggette can do 2 things really: Get to the FT line and do so in a very efficient manner. He's also making just under 21.2 million for the next 2 seasons.
Odds: 10% just because anything is possible. I hope this doesn't happen.
Bidding on Travis Outlaw's amnestied contract signed with the Nets
This is not an appealing option to me either, but I'd be remiss to not mention it. Anything is possible with Andrei Kirilenko mentioned as a target.
These are Outlaw's numbers primarily with Portland, and the last year and half with the Clippers/Nets. Nothing that makes me go "oh yesh gotta have this one" type of thing. There is a significant "just say no" quality here.
Odds: 10% Just because anything is possible and cheap is as cheap do. That's just the reality of the Kings situation right now.
Trading for....Andres Nocioni
There is one year left, the Kings would likely waive Nocioni so both sides can move on, and it would likely be a cheap move for the Sixers/Kings to accomplish.
Odds: 40% just because I can't put it off from the Maloofs/Petrie to look at cheap and whatever makes us still flexible type of options.
Josh Childress or Mickael Pietrus Phoenix
The contract and the production are the 2 biggest obstacles here. In some ways I'd rather have Childress than Williams. Childress is known for his ball handling, defense, glue guy, rebounding & not needing the ball to be effective. I think there is a major need for that on this Kings team moving forward. But the difficulty will be the 4 years and 27 million left on Childress' contract.
Here's an interesting recent note about Childress in the AZSun.
As a side note, Mickael Pietrus very much could be available for the right price coming back to Phoenix. I'm not sure what that price would be, and whether I would really want to pay it. Whatever it will be I don't know that I'd want to pay that type of price. (And I'm not convinced Phoenix will just trade Pietrus away for only a 2nd round pick to Sacramento namely because they are in the same division. It's one thing to do that to Toronto; it's another to gift a player to another team in your division.)
Odds of Childress: 10% because his salary is too long Odds of Pietrus: If amenable terms can come to fruition I'd say 50% is likely.
Any chance of acquiring Gerald Wallace?
I doubt it. Portland has designs on a playoff spot, as they usually are, and trading Wallace just to free up a little room with Brandon Roy now amnestied (officially) isn't necessary. Especially if the concern is getting under the luxury tax.
The 2 players that make the most sense, Williams & Childress, will be seen as major risks that hurt the Kings flexibility. Hedo will have some nostalgia, as noted, but little else. That 1st round pick Orlando could trade isn't likely to mean much unless it can be relayed to the Cavs as part of the JJ Hickson/Omri Casspi trade. A lot of people would think Pietrus long and hard and conclude a year remaining on a deal isn't that big of a deal. Trading for Andres Nocioni might literally make the fanbase implode so I'm not sure anyone is hoping to see that happen.
The whole point of this was finding players that teams would trade for little or nothing at all. Typically cap space doesn't facilitate much of anything unless a team is desperate to move a contract (like the Hawks with Williams) for flexibility purposes. Ditto with the Suns and Childress.
Something I hope you take away from all this is teams don't give up players for little or nothing unless A) like in the case with Pietrus isn't that helpful to the Suns in the long term and B) that contract isn't helping the team compete much (like in the case of the Hawks and Marvin Williams). Why not Josh Smith? Because Josh Smith has value, real value, that a team can go out and acquire Smith for something valuable. Buying at a players peak value seems useful, but isn't always the sure thing it sometimes seems to be. Conversely, scraping the bottom of the barrel in a situation that the Kings are in is not always such a dire or adverse situation to be in.
If nothing else, making a trade (when it takes two to tango) is incredibly hard. Unless a team is giving a player away, the Kings are not likely to trade for that player. So what's the likelihood of the Kings getting over the minimum salary?
The Kings sign somebody for a 1 year 1.5 million dollar deal that is a veteran (Peja Stojakovic?) to fill out the roster and call it a day. Yeah, it's gotten that bad for the Kings. Or, maybe they end up signing Andrei Kirilenko after all. We shall see.