Sources: Kings eye Wesley Matthews, deal Nik Stauskas, others to 76ers

ByMarc Stein via ESPN logo
Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Sacramento Kingshave entered the race for Portland Trail Blazers free-agent swingman Wesley Matthews, according to league sources, and have agreed to a trade with thePhiladelphia 76ersin an effort to clear salary-cap space.

The Kings, sources say, are now pursuing at least three top free agents: Monta Ellis, Rajon Rondo and Matthews, the latter of whom they have secured a face-to-face sitdown with on Thursday.

While Sacramento probably doesn't have enough cap space to sign two of them, it is getting closer after striking a deal with Philadelphia that calls for the 76ers to absorb the contracts of Carl Landry and Jason Thompson -- along with Sacramento's 2014 first-round pick,Nik Stauskas -- to help the Kings take their cap space this summer past the $15 million threshold.

Grantland.com's Zach Lowe reported Wednesday night that, to complete the trade, Philadelphia also will receive a protected future first-round pick from the Kings while agreeing to swap picks with Sacramento in the first round of two other future drafts. It's believed that Philadelphia also will send the rights to at least one player it has already drafted to Sacramento as part of the transaction.

Stauskas thanked the Kings and their fans in a Twitter post Wednesday night, and wrote that he was excited to start a new chapter in Philadelphia.

This marks the first significant trade swung by new Kings vice president of basketball and franchise operations Vlade Divac, who assumed control of Sacramento's front office in April, well after the trade deadline.

The trade should allow the Kings to outbidIndianafor Ellis if they can convince the Dallas Mavericks' leading scorer from last season to stay in the Western Conference.

The Kings also are expected to have a face-to-face meeting with Rondo in the near future on top of Thursday's meeting with Matthews, who is said to be recovering ahead of schedule after the Achilles tear in March that prematurely ended his 2014-15 season.