If understand the new CBA correctly, teams will have to spend at least 85% of the salary cap this year, and that will go up to 90% next year. The salary cap will remain at the $58M figure it was at last year, which means that every team's payroll will have to at least be at $49.3M. The Kings currently have $29.9M in committed salaries to 10 players, leaving a difference of $19.4M that the Kings must spend.
The league has a new system with players that get cut via amnesty, in an effort to prevent these guys from all signing with the Lakers, Heat, Mavs, etc. There's a waiver system where any team that's under the cap can bid to take on a portion of that amnestied player's contract, and the highest bidder wins the rights to the player. So if Baron Davis were to get cut by Cleveland, the Kings could hypothetically get him for $4M a year, as long as they were the highest bidder. Food for thought.
This also makes them major players in the free agent market. I'm usually very much against teams overpaying guys, but I think the Kings are an exception because their two best players are still on their rookie contracts, and will be able to be extended due to Bird rights. I'd throw a good $12-13M a year at Marc Gasol and force Memphis to make a decision. I'd also throw that kind of money at Tyson Chandler. I'd steer clear of Nene or DeAndre Jordan.
The Kings are also in a position to help facilitate trades due to their cap space. They could pick up a very good player for little in return if their trading partner is looking to rebuild. (Tony Parker comes to mind) I think the Kings will contend for a playoff spot in 12-13 (not this year), but Petrie's done a masterful job at constructing this team for long term success.
[ Edited by LA9erFan on Nov 29, 2011 at 11:31 AM ]