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Kings reach agreements with Afflalo, Tolliver


Nate Washburn

Kings reach agreements with Afflalo, Tolliver

On Day 2 of the 2016 NBA Free-Agent Frenzy, the Sacramento Kings made their move. Unlike most teams, who were throwing around crazy sums for second-tier players, general manager Vlade Divac took a more responsible approach and is being applauded around the league for it.

The Kings will sign shooting guard Arron Afflaloto a 2-year $25 million deal, thus starting the process of shoring up their backcourt. The 31-year-old former UCLA stand-out most recently played for the New York Knicks where he averaged 12.9 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 2.0 assists. Over his nine-year NBA career, he has a .385 three-point percentage. He opted out of the final year of his contract which would have paid him $8 million.

Afflalo should be a solid starting option at the two guard spot as he is a good shooter who doesn’t demand a ton of shots. This should work well as the team already has someone (Demarcus Cousins) who demands the ball. But, unlike past guards, Afflalo is more than willing to shoot the ball at any time if given the chance.

While most free-agents are signing long-term deals to lock in the crazy money, the Kings are being smart and did not want to commit big money to a second-tier player over the next four years. Afflalo’s deal is only two-years, with the second year guaranteed for only $1.5 million. This ensures Sacramento has an option if things don’t work out or they want to free up cash for a top-tier player next summer.

Another factor is that recently acquired guard/forward Bogdan Bogdanovic is expected to join the Kings for the 2017-18 season. The team doesn’t want to be tied up with a long-term player at that position if Euro star is everything the scouts are saying he is.

The Kings continued their free-agent moves by reaching terms with 8-year veteran forward Anthony Tolliver on a 2-year $16 million deal. Similar to Afflalo’s deal, only $2 million is guaranteed for the second year, thus assuring the team has maximum flexibility next summer if needed.

Tolliver is a 6-8 stretch 4 by NBA standards. He most recently played for the Detroit Pistons where he averaged 5.3 points and 3.2 rebounds. He shot a respectable .360 from three-point range. One of his most renowned traits however, is his basketball IQ. He just really knows what is going on at all times during the game. A trait that this team desperately needs more of.

Tolliver was Sacramento’s plan B once local boy Ryan Anderson was offered a staggering 4-year $80 million deal from the Houston Rockets. At a 60% discount and half the term, the Kings did just fine here.

The move also closes the book on fan-favorite Quincy Acy, who opted out of the final year of his deal with the Kings last month in search of more money. He’ll have to find it elsewhere as this team is now stacked with big men.

There is still a lot of changes in store for the 2016-17 Sacramento Kings. The team still needs to address the starting point guard and small forward positions. With only about $10 million remaining in cap space, once they renounce their rights to Rajon Rondo, trades might be the most likely next move. Rudy Gay, Ben McLemore, Caron Butler, and possibly Kosta Koufos are expected to be wearing different uniforms when the season starts this Fall. Stay tuned, we are just getting started.

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