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Magic’s Nikola Vucevic unlikely to be pursued by Kings

Nikola Vucevic, Magic, Kings

The Sacramento Kings are unlikely to pursue unrestricted Orlando Magic free agent center Nikola Vucevic.

The was what a league source confided to NBC Sports California’s James Ham on June 16.

The Kings have roughly $35 to $38 million to spend in free agency during the offseason. Beefing up the center position is one of general manager Vlade Divac’s main priorities. Unfortunately, Vucevic is no longer on their short list, per Ham.

Vlade Divac and his team have placed an emphasis on improving the center position, but according to a league source, while the team holds Nikola Vucevic in high regard, the team is not expected to chase the Orlando Magic big man in free agency, despite reports to the contrary.

After posting 20.8 points, 12.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.1 blocks per game this season, Vucevic is primed to sign a mega contract, whether it’s with Orlando or elsewhere.

According to Ham, Vucevic doesn’t fit the Kings’ high-octane offense. For now, Sacramento’s best options include 30-year-old DeAndre Jordan and 29-year-old Dewayne Dedmon. Ham sees either of them as short-term fixes because of their ability to defend and rebound.

As for Willie Cauley-Stein, the door remains open for him in Sacramento. However, Ham cautions “his inconsistent play continues to concern the Kings.”

Ham foresees the Kings extending a qualifying offer to Cauley-Stein before the free agency period kicks off on June 30. If that happens, Cauley-Stein becomes a restricted free agent. They will then see how the free agent market plays out before making a long-term decision on Cauley-Stein’s future in Sacramento.

For now, Sacramento fans can forget about the thought of Nikola Vucevic in a Kings uniform.