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Article:Kings' Rebuilding Project Under Way

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Mike Bibby

Mike Bibby's departure just jumpstarted Sacramento's massive rebuilding project.

Just yesterday, the Sacramento Kings basketball traded starting point guard Mike Bibby to the Atlanta Hawks for Anthony Johnson, 2007 first-round pick Shelden Williams, backup point guard Tyronn Lue, veteran forward Lorenzen Wright, and a 2008 second-round pick.

Kings President Geoff Petrie was optimistic of the trade, saying, "I think we got some different potential parts of things that help us. You have a chance to have another young big (in Williams) who was a fifth pick in the (2006) draft and hasn't had an opportunity yet. You get some veteran point guards there, some experience, and we'll see what happens down the road and how they integrate."

However, Petrie and the Kings did not make this move to simply add to veteran players. In actuality, they understand that the Kings are not going to make the playoffs with their current roster and realized that Bibby does not fit in their long term plans. Therefore, they agreed that it would be in the best interest of the franchise to clear significant salary cap room, which they can use this summer on a free agent. Assuming that Johnson, Lue, and Wright, do not resign then the Kings will have approximately $11 million off the salary cap.

Williams, a former number five pick, is an intriguing prospect who gives the Kings a decent frontcourt prospect. He was the Rookie of the Month in his debut run while playing for an injured Marvin Williams, but he was never able garner consistent playing time in Atlanta. In Sacramento, Williams will have the opportunity to showcase his skills.

"I'll be able to play, and that's the best thing right there," Williams said by telephone. "I'll be able to showcase what I can do, and hopefully more consistently, too. That's one of the biggest things. Hopefully, I'll make the best of it."

With Bibby out of town, it appears as if the Kings looking to rebuild with shooting guard Kevin Martin as their center piece. According to the Sacramento Bee, there is a strong possibility that Kings forward Ron Artest could be traded to a contender in the coming weeks. By trading Ron Artest, the Kings could collect some promising young talent that could be of some use in a few years. As it appears right now, this rebuilding process isn't going to be a quick fix, especially since the Maloof brothers appear to be more concerned with Las Vegas, not their own sports franchise.

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