Magic’s Nikola Vucevic unlikely to be pursued by Kings
The was what a league source confided to NBC Sports California’s James Ham on June 16.
— Kings on NBCS (@NBCSKings) June 17, 2019
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.”
Nikola Vucevic will be a valued target in free agency. Orlando is home but he should highly consider joining the Sacramento Kings. They have a great system, new head coach, and a variety of young talent with huge potential. Vucevic would make the Kings dangerous.#SacramentoProud pic.twitter.com/Tc3dUXoKXY
— NBA First Take (@NBAFirstTake1) May 28, 2019
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.