What's Next for Bonzi Wells?

I don't know. I'm not sure anyone does.

To me, Geoff Petrie and the Kings clearly do not want him on the team, for whatever reason. Here he is quoted by Sam Amick, about John Salmons, in today's Sacramento Bee:

"I don't know how it sets us back at all," Petrie said. "(Salmons) doesn't have, obviously, the game around the basket that Bonzi does, but he's stronger in other areas. I wouldn't concede, at this point, that it sets us back at all. It's going to be different. That doesn't mean it can't be the same or better."

Amick reports that the Kings had reportedly offered Bonzi Wells five years and $36 million, which is a pretty smart move. No one who wants Bonzi Wells has cap space, and this is an offer that's more than the mid-level exception. Translation: if you want Bonzi Wells, you have to make the Kings an offer, because they can pay more.

But then the Kings withdrew their offer? Why? I can only think because they got scared that even at $36 million, maybe no one wanted him badly enough to take him off their hands, and they might get stuck with him. Now I guess it's up to Bonzi Wells' agent (William Phillips, who is pretty much banking on this one player, and might be feeling a little desperate) to hustle up a sign and trade.

Maybe with Indiana? Bonzi Wells is from Indiana, and he's friendly with Jermaine O'Neal. I don't know. There had been a lot of talk that he might wind up in Detroit. It's a tall order to shoehorn a big contract onto any NBA team at this point, especially for a guy with baggage. Oh, Bonzi Wells can flat out play the game of basketball, and what he did in the playoffs was magnificent.

The bargaining position for the Wells camp seems way weaker with Sacramento out of the running. It's a double-whammy: at the same time you lose a great offer, the rest of the league also gets the message that the team that knows you best isn't so crazy about you. He has to be at least considering the possibilty that his best offer, come fall, will be to take a much smaller contract than he wants. On the upside? If he's willing to sign for the mid-level exception, he would have a lot more options.