The Clippers are trading big man Mfiondu Kabengele, a future second-round pick and cash to the Kings in exchange for a future second-rounder, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets. Both second-round picks are heavily protected and are unlikely to convey, Woj adds (via Twitter).
The Kings, who have an open roster spot to and won’t need to cut anyone, are using a $2,673,334 trade exception that was set to expire on Monday to take on Kabengele’s salary. They’ll presumably receive more than enough cash to cover the money owed to him for the rest of the season, making the deal worth their while.
The Clippers, meanwhile, open up a roster spot with the deal and create some extra room below their hard cap, giving them more flexibility to make another trade or sign a free agent.
As a hard-capped team, the Clippers would have needed to wait until March 30 to sign another player. With two roster spots open, they can now fill one or both of those spots, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets. The club moves to $2.6 million below the hard cap (Twitter link via Marks).
Kabengele has appeared in 23 games this season but is averaging only 4.1 MPG in those outings, having essentially been limited to garbage time. The 27th overall pick in 2019, Kabengele saw action in 12 games last season as a rookie.
The 23-year-old power forward, who played college ball at Florida State, had his third-year option for 2021-22 declined, so he’ll be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, assuming he spends the rest of the season under contract.