The Kings brought in a veteran backup for point guard De'Aaron Fox on the first day of NBA free agency, agreeing to terms on a three-year, $37 million contract with Cory Joseph early Monday.
Sacramento apparently considered another option.
Patrick Beverley agreed to terms on a three-year, $40 million contract to return to the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday, and he told the Los Angeles Times the next day that he "took $9 [million], $10 million less" to stay in LA.
"It was the right decision," Beverley told The Times. "Of course, the human part of you wants to take as much money as you see, but all money isn't good money. I did what was best for me and my family, and I did what was best to stay on a winning team, and I feel like I made the right decision."
That won't be music to Kings general manager Vlade Divac's ears.
Divac splashed the cash in the first two days of free agency, agreeing to deals with Joseph, big men Dewayne Dedmon and Richaun Holmes, veteran wing Trevor Ariza and incumbent small forward Harrison Barnes. The Kings brought in depth at important positions, which will help bridge the nine-game gap that stood between them and the Clippers for the Western Conference's final playoff spot last season.
Adding Beverley would have weakened a direct rival and given Sacramento an ideal backup behind Fox. Beverley's veteran experience and defensive acumen are much-needed on a young Kings squad that finished 21st in defensive rating (110.8) last season. Joseph can provide a bit of both, but he isn't as accomplished as Beverley, one of the NBA's most prominent pests.
The Kings had plenty of salary-cap space headed into the summer, so there is an element of truth to Beverley's comments. You can look no further than the post-cap spike summer of 2016 for examples of teams overspending just to get to the salary floor.
But with young players such as Fox and 2018 No. 2 overall pick Marvin Bagley locked up on team-friendly rookie contracts, the Kings entered the summer uniquely positioned to address their needs by spending on veteran talent. A three-year deal for Beverley would have fit that window well, just as the rest of the Kings' free-agent agreements did. Because of that, Beverley's assessment is a bit of a head-scratcher.
It also might not be entirely accurate. Citing a source, The Athletic's Sam Amick reported Monday evening that Sacramento's offer fell short of the one Beverley ultimately agreed to in LA.
No matter who's right, next season's first matchup with the Kings and Clippers will be one to watch.