Earlier this week the Kings signed Jordan Ford to a roster spot, and waived Nerlens Noel and Neemias Queta. On Thursday it was reported that Ford is being converted to a Two-Way contract, which is great news for Ford and will give him an opportunity to earn a role with Sacramento. Ford joins Jalen Slawson and Keon Ellis as the Kings Two-Way players, with recent rule changes now allowing teams to carry three players on Two-Way contracts.
This also means the Kings have one more open roster, and the ability to bring in an additional 4 players as camp invites. The question now is how the Kings will handle this final roster position.
The Kings could continue to look to bolster the point guard position, but that feels unlikely at this point. After De’Aaron Fox and Davion Mitchell, the Kings could turn to Ford, Ellis, or Malik Monk as a backup point guard. And Domantas Sabonis brings the ball up the court half the time anyway. So while there are intriguing options, such as the recently waived Cameron Payne, I’d be surprised if the Kings add another guard.
The Kings are also unlikely to add another big man. If they had interest in carrying another center, they probably wouldn’t have waived Queta and Noel.
It seems most likely that the Kings will explore options for added depth on the wings. While the Kings have plenty of players who can slide to the small forward position – such as Harrison Barnes, Keegan Murray, Sasha Vezenkov, and Colby Jones – their only real small forwards right now are Chris Duarte (who can play the three but really is more of a shooting guard) and Kessler Edwards.
The biggest name still out there in free agency is Kelly Oubre, who would give the Kings an intriguing slasher and scorer, but he’s an inconsistent and inefficient scorer, and isn’t a great defender despite having the physical tools for it. He’d be an intriguing flier on a one-year minimum deal, but I expect he’ll take that deal somewhere where he’d have a bigger opportunity.
After Oubre, there aren’t a lot of great wing options out there. Former King Kent Bazemore has been working out for teams, trying to stick around the NBA for another season. Rudy Gay is also out there, but he’s transitioned to more of a power forward at this point in his career, and I’m not sure how interested he would be in a return to Sacramento after a bad experience the first time around.
Among the names that I think could be realistic options, I’m most intrigued by Will Barton, Juan Toscano-Anderson and Stanley Johnson. All three can play a traditional small forward role, and while none of them are elite defenders, they’re all capable of playing solid defense in spot minutes.
We’ll see what the Kings do to fill out the training camp roster in the days to come. Camp opens on October 3rd.