Kings have cap room -- will they use it?

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Kings have cap room -- will they use it?

The good news for the Sacramento Kings is they will have more money to spend in free agency than any other NBA team. The bad news is well, there shouldnt be any bad news, really.Thats a nice spot to be in.The question is, of course, whether or not the Kings will be able to parlay that cap room into a significant upgrade of their team. Theyve averaged just 22 wins per season over the last three years, and conventional wisdom suggests that its time for their young players -- Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins -- to help guide the team to more success.But in order for Evans and Cousins to step up, theyre going to need more proven talent around them. And the Kings will be able to go out and get some -- if, that is, players will come.
Hard to believe its been five years since the Kings last made the postseason.Priority No. 1 for the Kings will be to re-sign shooting guard Marcus Thornton, who scored in bunches last season after being acquired from the New Orleans Hornets. No doubt, the Kings are hoping that Evans, Thornton and rookie Jimmer Fredette become the core of the teams backcourt for years to come. And dont forget John Salmons, whom the Kings re-acquired last season.As you would figure, the frontcourt needs some supplementation, too. Samuel Dalembert, who played in 80 games a season ago, is a free agent and isnt expected to come back.On the one hand, Dalemberts departure should give Cousins more touches and responsibility. But on the other, it means the enigmatic and foul-prone Cousins will have to become more consistent, and in a hurry.Cousins averaged 28.5 minutes per game his first season, and it would be nice if he could stay on the court for 32 to 34 minutes a night for Sacramento.Whether or not Cousins can do that remains to be seen. What also remains to be seen is the Kings long-term future in Sacramento.The team nearly moved to Anaheim last season, and rumors continue to swirl about the teams viability in Sacramento.One way to better the Kings chances of staying in Sacramento: Start winning.

Cousins eliminated in first round of Skills Competition by eventual champ Porzingis

Cousins eliminated in first round of Skills Competition by eventual champ Porzingis

Big men continue to reign supreme in the NBA All-Star Saturday night skills competition.

New York Knicks 7-foot-3 forward Kristaps Porzingis won it, beginning his journey by beating Kings center DeMarcus Cousins and ending it by besting Utah's Gordon Hayward.

Those vanquished in earlier rounds included guards John Wall of Washington and Isaiah Thomas of Boston, both because they couldn't make their initial 3-pointers required to close out the course before Hayward did.

Porzingis emerged from the big-men's division that included the Pelicans' Anthony Davis and Denver's Nikola Jokic.

Porzingis and Hayward were neck and neck until the end of the course, but Porzingis hit his 3 first to end it.

The three-round, obstacle-course competition tests dribbling, passing, agility and shooting skills.

Former Warriors, Kings forward Webber named Basketball Hall of Fame finalist

Former Warriors, Kings forward Webber named Basketball Hall of Fame finalist

NEW ORLEANS -- Chris Webber and Rollie Massimino are one step from the Hall of Fame.

The career 20-point-per-game NBA scorer and the coach who led Villanova to a stunning upset of Georgetown in the 1985 NCAA championship game were among the 14 finalists unveiled Saturday for this year's Basketball Hall of Fame induction class.

Webber played 15 seasons with five franchises, plus was part of Michigan's famed "Fab Five" group that headlined college basketball in the early 1990s.

"I don't know what I'm most proud of," said Webber, who averaged 20.7 points and 9.8 rebounds in his career and was a five-time NBA All-Star. "I'm proud to be in the room with all these great individuals."

Other first-time Hall of Fame finalists include longtime NBA referee Hugh Evans, Connecticut women's star Rebecca Lobo, two-time NBA scoring champion Tracy McGrady, five-time All-Star Sidney Moncrief, Baylor women's coach Kim Mulkey, Kansas coach Bill Self, and two-time NBA champion coach Rudy Tomjanovich.

"I still can't believe I'm here," McGrady said. "This is not even a dream come true."

Previous finalists returning to the ballot include star point guard and Olympic gold medalist Tim Hardaway, winningest all-time boys high school coach Robert Hughes, Notre Dame women's coach Muffet McGraw, former Wisconsin coach and four-time Division III national champion Bo Ryan and 10-time AAU women's national champion team Wayland Baptist University.

"We are grateful to the 14 finalists in the Class of 2017 for the impact they have had on the game we cherish," Basketball Hall of Fame Chairman Jerry Colangelo said. "To be named a finalist for the Basketball Hall of Fame is an incredible accomplishment."

Inductees will be announced at the Final Four on April 3. Enshrinement ceremonies in Springfield, Massachusetts are scheduled for Sept. 7-9.

Massimino, now an 82-year-old cancer survivor who is still coaching at NAIA school Keiser University in West Palm Beach, Florida, is a finalist for the first time. His Hall of Fame hopes have been backed by plenty of current and former coaches in recent months - including current Villanova coach Jay Wright, who presented Massimino with a championship ring from the Wildcats' 2016 NCAA title.

"Some days, we do take him for granted," Keiser guard Andrija Sarenac said. "But then you see him on TV so much, you see all these videos made about him, the movies about Villanova and everything, and it just hits you. You realize that he's a legend. I mean, your coach is a walking legend. With the energy and everything he comes in with, it's inspiring."

Finalists need 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee to be enshrined. Among this year's candidates who did not make the finalist group: Muggsy Bogues, Ben Wallace, Kevin Johnson, Maurice Cheeks, Mark Price, Lefty Driesell and Eddie Sutton.

Former New York Times sports writer Harvey Araton and former Turner Sports broadcaster Craig Sager will be recognized during Hall of Fame weekend as this year's Curt Gowdy Media Award recipients.

"A tremendous honor," said Sager's wife Stacy.

This year's lifetime achievement award recipients are former UConn coach Donald "Dee" Rowe and Michael Goldberg, who spent nearly four decades as executive director of the NBA Coaches Association. Goldberg died earlier this year.

"He bridged the gap between ownership and coaches," said New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry, who spoke about Goldberg on Saturday while wearing a bow tie - one of the signature wardrobe accessories that Goldberg donned for years. "He was just such a great guy."