The Sacramento Kings would have wanted a solid defensive presence in last night’s 95-91 win over the Golden State Warriors. Chuck Hayes was supposed to be that presence, but a failed physical due to a heart abnormality ultimately kept him off the team.
Last night, FOX Sports’ Chris Tomasson reported that free agent center Samuel Dalembert was likely to sign with the Kings. The Houston Rockets, in need of a center after Yao Ming’s retirement and losing out on Pau Gasol, gave up trying to sign him.
Dalembert told FOX Sports that he was “happy” to be close to re-joining the Kings and expected to sign “one- or two-year deal.”
When there seemed to be no other team to land Dalembert, the Kings announced in a press release that the team withdrew its offer to Dalembert. After the announcement, ESPN’s Marc Stein reported that Dalembert had reached an agreement to sign a two-year deal with Houston worth $13.7 million.
Dalembert averaged 8.1 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game as the Kings’ defensive anchor. He played eight seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers before he was traded to the Kings last season.
The Kings renounced his rights on Dec. 9 but stayed in contact with him and retained the right to sign-and-trade him. The teams’ current depth at center includes DeMarcus Cousins, Jason Thompson and Hassan Whiteside.