The Sacramento Kings have already been quite active in the first month and a half of the 2013-2014 season. In the past few weeks, they’ve acquired Rudy Gay from the Toronto Raptors and Derrick Williams from the Minnesota Timberwolves. Now, they could be looking to make even more moves.
Marc Stein of ESPN reports that Jason Thompson could be on his way out of Sacramento because of the recent trades. With the additions of Gay and Williams, Thompson won’t have nearly as big of a role on the team. The power forward has proven that he can be a reliable scorer, averaging in double-digits three times in his career and shooting close to 50 percent from the field. This season, though, he’s getting less playing time than ever before, averaging 22.3 minutes per game.
After this year, Thompson is set to make over $19 million through 2017. Gay can opt out of his deal in the offseason, but if he stays, the Kings will owe him close to $20 million next season. They can’t afford to pay Thompson if he isn’t playing for most of the game.
After trading Gay, the Raptors are looking to unload even more salary. According to Stein, the organization has put Kyle Lowry on the block. The point guard makes a little over $6 million this year and is set to become a free agent at season’s end. The Raptors may not see him as part of their future.
Less than year after trading for Gay, it appears that Toronto has committed to rebuilding. The team is only 1.5 games out of first place in the Atlantic Division, but they don’t have a chance to contend in the Eastern Conference. They sit at 7-13 through 20 games, and are looking to get better for the next few years. General Manager Masai Ujiri has done a good job of freeing up salary cap space by trading Gay and Andrea Bargnani in the summer. Ujiri is also trying to accumulate draft picks for what is supposed to be one of the best drafts in NBA history.
In addition to the Kings and Raptors, the Philadelphia 76ers could also try to trade one of their assets sooner rather than later. Thaddeus Young has been at the center of trade rumors. He’s currently putting up the best numbers of his seven-year career, averaging 15.8 points and 7.1 rebounds per games. He’s been one of the best players on a 7-15, but the 76ers aren’t concerned with competing in 2013-2014. They are likely to be in the running to select the likes of Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Julius Randle in June.
Young has been linked to the Houston Rockets in a potential deal for Omer Asik, who does not want to play behind Dwight Howard. Young is signed into next season and has a player option in 2015-2016. Asik has one more year left on his contract.