June 17, 2010

The Philadelphia 76ers have agreed to trade center Samuel Dalembert to the Sacramento Kings for forward Andres Nocioni and center Spencer Hawes, SI.com has confirmed.

Acquiring Dalembert gives the Kings an athletic shot-blocker that they have long coveted. Sacramento ranked 23rd in the NBA in blocked shots (4.5 per game) last season with Hawes (1.2) leading the team in that category. The hyperactive Dalembert was fifth in the NBA in swats (1.8) and has averaged more than two blocks per game in three of his eight seasons. Dalembert comes with a hefty price tag ($12.2 million), but is in the final year of his deal and will give the Kings even more salary cap flexibility after next season.

Philadelphia has been attempting to move Dalembert for more than a year. League sources say Dalembert's constant griping over playing time and offensive opportunities grated on teammates and coaches and that he had become a significant distraction in the locker room.

Equally important for Philadelphia, the deal moves them under the luxury-tax threshold. Hawes will make $2.97 million in the last year of his contract, while Nocioni is guaranteed $6.85 million next season and $6.65 million in 2011-12, with a team option for $7.5 million in 2012-13.

There are possible draft ramifications to the deal as well. The Sixers hold the No. 2 overall pick in next week's draft, and Ohio State swingman Evan Turner has been considered the consensus pick at that spot. But Philadelphia now has a gaping hole in the frontcourt and new coach Doug Collins is reportedly high on Georgia Tech freshman Derrick Favors, an athletic big man who has drawn comparisons to Antonio McDyess. Turner is still considered the favorite but there will likely be more conversations in the Sixers war room about Favors and Kentucky's DeMarcus Cousins.

With Dalembert on board, Sacramento, which has been doing extensive research on centers Cousins and Georgetown's Greg Monroe, may begin to take a longer look at perimeter players. Syracuse's Wesley Johnson, Wake Forest's Al-Farouq Aminu and Kansas' Xavier Henry could all be on the board for the Kings with the No. 5 pick.

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