What’s next for Kings with a $35 million space?

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Domantas Sabonis enters the final year of his contract with the Kings. The new ABC will have modified extension rules that will increase the maximum first-year salary a player can earn from 120% off the previous season to 140%. These new rules increase Sabonis’ maximum extension amount for the upcoming season. $17.4 million over four years. This would allow him to extend up to four years, $121.7 million.

While the increased extension limits should benefit most players in the league, Sabonis’ new maximum extension probably still isn’t enough for him. With other centers like Bam Adebayo And Deandre Ayton earning around $33 million a year on their respective contracts, Sabonis could demand a higher annual salary than in a rising salary cap environment.

According to James Ham of The Kings Beat, the Kings are “considering” a potential renegotiation and extension for Sabonis with their cap space. ESPN’s Bobby Marks also noted this scenario as a logical possibility for both parties. This path would allow the Kings to secure Sabonis now by immediately giving him a market value salary.

For example, let’s say the Kings and Sabonis agree to an extension that pays him $35 million a year, or five years, $175 million. If they give him a structure with full 8% annual raises, his first year salary would start him at $30.2 million, with the final year paying him $39.8 million. In this scenario, the Kings would need to use nearly $11 million of their cap space to increase his base salary from $19.4 million to $30.2 million.

Here’s what his base salary amounts would look like year by year in the scenario described above:

  • 2023-2024: $30,200,000 (increase of $10.8 million)
  • 2024-25: $32,616,000
  • 2025-26: $35,032,000
  • 2026-27: $37,448,000
  • 2027-2028: $39,864,000

That would be $175.2 million over the next five seasons while extending it for another four years. Sabonis also has $2.6 million in annual incentives that would be retained in his extension. This scenario, combined with the previously mentioned hypothetical acquisition of Anunoby, would leave the Kings with $7-9 million of cap space remaining, which is separate from the mid-tier of $7.7 million.

The Kings are now one of the most interesting teams heading into the offseason by making a trade. It will be fascinating to see how they use their cap space this summer.

You can follow Yossi Gozlan (@YossiGozlan) on Twitter.

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