by Charlie O. Mallonee
There are multiple reports that the Sacramento Kings have made their first free agent signing by convincing veteran shooting guard Arron Afflalo to sign a two-year contract. The news of the deal was reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of the Vertical and confirmed by Sam Amick of USA Today – both credible sources. The deal is worth a reported $25 million.
Afflalo spent last season with the lowly New York Knicks. He averaged 12.8 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 33.4 minutes per game for the Knicks. Afflalo shot 44.3-percent from floor and 38.3-percent from 3-point range. He shoots 84-percent from the free throw line.
The Kings will be the sixth team that Afflalo has played for in his nine seasons in the NBA. He has also played for Detroit, Denver, Orlando, Portland and New York. Afflalo was a first-round pick (27th overall) of the Detroit Pistons in 2007 NBA Draft out UCLA. He played his high school basketball at Centennial in Compton, California.
What are the Kings getting in Afflalo? He is a solid, mid-range shooting guard that has played in situations where you have to patiently wait for your opportunity to take shots. When you play with Carmelo Anthony and Prozingis, you know that you are going to be at least the third option in the offense.
That is going to be the case in Sacramento as well. The offense runs through DeMarcus Cousins. All other players get involved only as necessary. Afflalo will have to adjust to that reality.
The Kings missed many scoring opportunities last season by not being able to convert mid-range jump shots especially off offensive rebounds. Afflalo with his shooting skills should be able to be of real help with that problem. He has not been a big 3-point shooter averaging just under four attempts and 1.3 conversions per game.
The signing of Afflalo probably ends the pursuit of Dion Waiters, but it does not mean the Kings are done looking for another shooting guard. No one would be surprised to be surprised to see current shooting guard Ben McLemore move via trade before the season begins.
McLemore who has been a starter for the Kings who has never lived up to the expectations the team had placed on him. Frankly, he was probably rushed into a starting role before he was ready. McLemore is also another victim of what has been the coaching chaos that has surrounded the team since he was drafted. Dave Joerger is McLemore’s fourth coach in four years with the Kings. The best thing for McLemore might be a change of scenery.
If McLemore moves on, the Kings need to find a shooting guard who can be a sixth man that can come off the bench and fire up the second unit with some quick scores. A guard who can hit some 3-point baskets would be ideal.
Sacramento does have Malachi Richardson coming from Charlotte in exchange for Marco Belinelli. He is a 6-foot-6 shooting guard, but it would be nice to be able to work him into the offense slowly rather than just toss him into the fire.
Rondo Update: The possibility of Rondo remaining with the Kings is still a reality but rumors are circulating that the Kings have cooled on the idea of keeping the talented point guard. It is now being reported that the Chicago Bulls are showing interest in Rondo. The Kings will probably not participate in a bidding war.