this really f*cking sucks!!!
Pair of Kings likely to leave
Songaila, Mobley plan to opt out of contracts
By Sam Amick -- Bee Staff Writer
Published 2:15 am PDT Wednesday, May 25, 2005
One provided inside muscle off the bench with a deft touch from the outside.
The other added potent offense, a scoring, slashing presence whose long-range ability was among the league's best.
Yet the versatile Darius Songaila and Cuttino Mobley may have honed their crafts as Kings for the last time.
Songaila's agent, Mark Bartelstein, said it's likely the reserve will opt out of his contract before the June 30 deadline. Songaila, entering his third season, has a player option on the deal that would pay him $1.76 million in 2005-06. He was the 10th-highest paid King last season.
"If had to guess, that's what would happen," Bartelstein said of Songaila testing the market. "He loves it in Sacramento, thinks the world of (coach) Rick (Adelman), (president of basketball operations) Geoff (Petrie) and the coaching staff. If he chooses to opt out, it's nothing against Sacramento. He just sees the value of a (new) contract."
Bartelstein said he hasn't spoken to Petrie, though he plans to soon.
Mobley, meanwhile, announced Friday on Fox Sports Network that he planned to decline his player option for next season.
"I would love to play for Sacramento again, but I'm going to have the opportunity to opt out," Mobley said on "Best Damn Sports Show Period." "And I think it's best for me, and for my family and for the future of Cuttino."
Mobley averaged 17.8 points per game and shot 44 percent as a King. Songaila averaged 7.5 points and 4.2 rebounds last season.
According to Kings media relations director Darrin May, Mobley has not contacted the Kings about his decision. Petrie and Mobley were unavailable for comment.
Songaila and Mobley would be the first departures among the at-risk Kings. Center Greg Ostertag has said he will return, exercising the option on his contract worth $4.4 million. Guards Maurice Evans and Eddie House are free agents who have yet to be addressed, and Petrie has said that the Kings will pick up the team option for guard Bobby Jackson.
But unless the NBA and the players' union agree on a new collective bargaining agreement before July 1 and avoid a lockout, the moves may be moot. Negotiations stalled last week, but Commissioner David Stern said Tuesday that talks are ongoing.
"Especially with the team we've got right now, that wouldn't be good," guard Kevin Martin said of a possible lockout. "I think it'd be unhealthy because everybody loves basketball. The fans make our league go. That would hurt the fans as much as the players."