According to ESPN’s Chris Haynes, the Kings scheduled a meeting with free agent center Javale McGee on Thursday.
According to USA Today’s Sam Amick, the Sacramento Kings were interested in adding free agent center Kelly Olynyk after the center was released to accommodate the Boston Celtics’ signing of small forward Gordon Hayward. Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Olynyk signed a four-year deal with the Miami Heat worth more than $50 million in total.
Both of these signings are interesting, considering the depth they have at the center position with Kostas Koufos, Willie Cauley-Stein and Georgios Papagiannis at the center position. However, while McGee presents the Kings with the type of athlete at center that Koufos and Papagiannis don’t provide. Signing him could also keep him away from the Golden State Warriors, where he thrived last year in a limited role as a rim-protector, rebounder and finisher around the rim. You could do worse things with a veteran’s minimum contract than keep a weapon away from a competitor if you’re the Kings.
Olynyk, a skilled face-up center whose lack of mobility and foot speed can be exposed in space, was arguably better than any of the aforementioned centers. With that, both of these players did make some sort of sense for the Kings, although Olynyk would have beeeen more of an ideal signing because of his ability to space the floor from the frontcourt (36.8% from three for his career).
Nonetheless, their interest in the two also raises questions about the availability of their current centers in trade talks.
Perhaps, with all the trade talk surrounding Kevin Love and after missing out on Danilo Gallinari and Otto Porter, the Kings could explore a trade for the Cleveland Cavaliers power forward.
Though he didn’t play in the All-Star Game after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his knee, he was originally named an All-Star in the 2016-2017 season. He finished last year averaging 19.0 points and 11.1 rebounds per game while shooting 37.3 percent from three-point range on 6.5 three-point attempts per game. His advancements on both ends were due in large part to him improving his physique and physical conditioning, where on offense he showed the ability to attack the rim in straight-line drives off-the-dribble or stop-and-pop for a pull-up jumper and defensively was able to jump driving and passing lanes. He was able to make plays as a weakside rim-protector as well.
If the Cavs want a team to help facilitate another blockbuster trade attempt for Anthony and an All-Star caliber player, the Kings could emerge as suitors with their young centers and draft picks.