ANTONIO GONZALEZ, AP Basketball Writer
The Sacramento Kings have agreed to send Nik Stauskas, Jason Thompson and Carl Landry to the Philadelphia 76ers as part of a salary-shedding move to pursue free agents, a person with knowledge of the trade told The Associated Press on Wednesday night.READ MORE: Science of Weather: Sea Life Michigan Turtles
The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because trades can’t be completed until July 9. It wasn’t immediately clear who the Kings were receiving in return or if draft picks were involved.
Yahoo Sports first reported the trade.
Stauskas thanked the Kings and their fans on his Twitter page and wrote that he was excited to start a new chapter of his career in Philadelphia. He struggled after being drafted by the Kings eighth overall last year, but it was a difficult season for any rookie as the team fired two coaches and had a front-office shake-up.
Thompson just completed his seventh season and was Sacramento’s longest-tenured player, having appeared in a franchise-record 541 games. Landry, an eight-year veteran, has battled injuries since coming to Sacramento two years ago.READ MORE: Motown Museum Set To Reopen This Weekend With Expansion Project Near Completion
The move clears more than $16 million in salary cap space for the Kings next season. Stauskas is owed $2.8 million next season, Landry $6.5 million and Thompson $6.4 million.
Sacramento has been pursuing free-agent guards Rajon Rondo, Wesley Matthews and Monta Ellis, among others, to join DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay. Now they have space to add possibly two of those players.
While Thompson has long wanted out of Sacramento and Landry has had trouble staying on the court, parting ways with Stauskas after just one season surely stings. Stauskas averaged 4.4 points while shooting 36.5 percent from the floor and never showed signs of transitioning to the NBA after a stellar career at Michigan.
The Kings didn’t do much to help Stauskas succeed, either. They fired Michael Malone after an 11-13 start, dismissed Tyrone Corbin after he went 7-21 and then hired George Karl, who is still trying to win over Cousins and the rest of the locker room.
After Vlade Divac took over basketball operations, general manager Pete D’Alessandro — who drafted Stauskas — left for a job in Denver’s front office.MORE NEWS: Senate GOP Facing Criticism Following Insulin Cap Vote
(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)