Domantas Sabonis extension next up after Richaun Holmes trade?

Kings clear cap space, set up a potential extension for Sabonis

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What just happened?

The Sacramento Kings were on the clock with the 24th pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, and then they weren’t.

According to a league source, the Kings traded their selection to the Dallas Mavericks, along with Richaun Holmes, to clear up a tremendous amount of cap space. Adrian Wojnarowski was first with the report.

With the move, the Kings not only shaved $12 million off their salary cap for this season, but another $12.9 million for next year in the form of Holmes’ player option. The Kings also acquired a traded player exception of $12 million and they saved another $1.6 million ($2.7 million - $1.1 million for minimum salary hold) for the salary slot for the 24th pick.

With this move, the Kings have opened up a tremendous amount of cap space and there could very well be a method to the madness.

According to a league source, the Kings have mulled over a potential extension offer for All-NBA center Domantas Sabonis this summer, but they need cap space in order to accomplish that.

Hiding in the new CBA is a clause that allows the team to give Sabonis 140 percent of his current $22 million salary in an extension beginning during the 2024-25 season. If the Kings have cap space, per league rules, they can give Sabonis a raise for the upcoming season and then base his extension off of that number.

For instance, if the Kings were to give Sabonis a raise to $30 million this season, they could give him a four-year extension with a starting salary of $42 million next year with eight percent annual raises. Under this type of plan, Sabonis’ extension would total about $189 million, plus the $30 million he would make for the 2023-24 campaign.

These numbers can change, depending on how much the Kings add to his salary for this season. The math is complicated, but Sacramento now has in the neighborhood of $35 million in cap space to work with in free agency starting on June 30. It is looking more likely that the team will carve out some of that space to try and keep Sabonis in a Kings uniform long term.

This would be a bold move by Kings general manager Monte McNair, but one that would solidify Sacramento’s core for the foreseeable future and allow the team to aggressively hit the trade market and potentially free agency hard in the next week.

Another move

After swinging a deal to sell off their first round pick, the Kings moved up in the second round, trading pick No. 38 and a future second, for the No. 34 pick, where they selected Colby Jones out of Xavier.

Jones is a swiss army knife type player with a big time motor and high basketball IQ. Here is the scouting report we wrote on him earlier in the week.

Colby Jones, SG, Xavier

Measurables: 6-foot-4.5 (without shoes), 199 pounds

Wingspan: 6-foot-8

Draft Age: 21

Stats: 15.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 50.9% FG, 37.8% 3-point

Consensus ranking: 24

Why Jones?

There is solid, real talent up and down the 2023 NBA Draft board and Jones is another stuffer of the statsheet set to go in the 20s. A high basketball IQ player, Jones got better in each of his three seasons at Xavier. He has an NBA ready body, even if he has a few limitations.

In his junior year, Jones took a tremendous step as a 3-point shooter and secondary playmaker. He isn’t a three level scorer, but with his improved perimeter shot and advanced float game, he should be able to hold his own. There are some concerns with his overall athleticism, but he has the size and physicality to make up for some of his lack of burst or lateral movement.

As a defender, Jones is strong and built to take on both two’s and three’s at the next level. He fights through screens well and is impactful as a team defender. He has the length and strength to be an above average man-on defender and he’s also a solid rebounder for his position.

Fit in Sacramento

The Kings like to focus on what they know and Jones checks a ton of boxes. He can shoot, handle the ball, rebound and set up his teammates. He can defend at a solid clip and has a solid 6-foot-8 wingspan. If McNair is looking for a player who can see the court early and play multiple positions, this could be a strong fit candidate who should go right around where the Kings select.

Player comp: Chris Duarte, Derrick White

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