ST. LOUIS, MO (AP) — It’s been a relatively quiet free agency for the St. Louis Sun Kings. With about 20 million in cap space and around 30 million in budget space, it could have been a promising time to add another jewel to the team. But with OBWL scoring leader Ambrose Vela expiring, it was pretty clear that bringing him back will be the main goal this off-season. So without any hesitation, Sun Kings management offered 27-year-old Vela a “super-max” contract worth $170,861,511 over 6 years, which took the superstar just a couple days to agree on.
With Vela back, there was no other possibility to add more players other than minimum or bird guys.
With Ariel Stewart and Norbert Cottingham there were two of last season’s main guys expiring. Stewart decided to part ways and declining the 1 year 8 mil offer from the Sun Kings to sign with the Muscle for $28,485,000 over 3 years. 34 year old PG Norbert Cottingham was persuaded to sign for a league minimum and extend his stay in St. Louis.
Whether he will get much minutes will depend on preseason, as with Abe “Baby-Goot” Gutierrez, Kelvin Carranza, rookie Shane Woods and sophomore Joseph Edwards, there is a multitude of similar talented players to take the play-maker role for the upcoming season.
On the wings the Sun Kings managed to sign a couple of minimum guys to backup Star-Starters Vela and Dennis Massey. Veteran Glenn Hunt can be used on both guard positions, but will mainly get minutes at SG. Same goes for Joe Martinez whilst Sean Herrera will mainly play at SF or SG. 6-7 SF Rubin Davis will be the main substitution for Ariel Stewart, most likely getting the main backup minutes at SF. The 28 year old is pretty versatile and can bring scoring, rebounding and adequate defense to the Sun Kings bench.
In the frontcourt the main guys will still be William Azevedo and Erick Patrick. With Norris Brown coming back, the Sun Kings will have a second good shot-blocker inside. Also coming back to St. Louis is young PF Antoine Gooden, who was drafted by the Sun Kings in 2030, but left for Portland the last 2 seasons. Gooden is known to be a scoring threat inside and can also block shots, which will give him some spot minutes at PF.
The main frontcourt addition however is 28 year old Jason Minard. The 6-9 PF/C is known to be a fast and forceful inside scorer, that is also good on the board and can block a shot from time to time. Minard was already playing for Denver, Anaheim and Minnesota in the OBWL before joining St. Louis, where he has shown promising performances despite getting into foul trouble occasionally. It remains to be seen whether Minard can become the main backup for the Sun Kings frontcount, but the talent should be there.
With preseason coming up, we will see a lot of these role-players in action, as head coach Vito Morehead is known to not play the main guys a lot. Who will be able to persuade Morehead and GM Jenewein in order to not get cut before the start of regular season? We will keep you updated!
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