It was hard to understand why the Sacramento Kings traded Garrett Temple to the Memphis Grizzlies. But a deeper dive may help explain it.
Kevin O’Connor contextualized the otherwise strange trade for Sacramento (via The Ringer):
“It opens up cap space for the Kings where now they have $20.5 million in cap space and that’s notable. Because I’ve recently heard … Houston would be looking for a team to dump Ryan Anderson on that could ease the path to sign Carmelo Anthony.”
ESPN’s Zach Lowe reported last month that Sacramento was planning to use their cap space to reportedly “extract draft picks” in exchange for players like Anderson, who are overpaid by their team.
The Kings could be angling to sign Anthony outright, who would receive plenty of playing time in Sacramento considering the team isn’t ready to compete at a high level. However, it seems unlikely that Anthony would want to join a non-playoff team (which is why he’s been linked to the Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers mainly).
Adding Anthony would also be very questionable for Sacramento since he’d potentially stunt the development of their young players by taking the ball out of their hands. The idea of Anderson on the roster is less worrisome, though.
Anderson is a less ball-dominant player and averaged just 7.3 field goal attempts per game last season, compared with Anthony’s 15.0 per game. As the Kings currently rebuild their roster, they are looking to stockpile assets. Acquiring another draft pick from Houston (in exchange for taking back Anderson’s contract) could help them moving forward.
It’s worth mentioning that Anderson is originally from Sacramento and went to college in Northern California at UC Berkeley. The front office was reportedly interested in signing him back in 2016.
Anderson has made no secret of his childhood rooting interest, stating that the organization meant everything to the city. Even if the main incentive is for the Kings to receive a draft pick back from the Rockets, adding Anderson is a nice little bonus for the fans too.