Kings Trade Deadline: A Guide to Sacramento Assets
With the NBA trade deadline fast approaching, the Sacramento Kings have their work cut out for them. Specifically, Kings general manager Monte McNair has his work cut out for him as this is his first opportunity since doubling the current roster at the start of the season to shake things up for the better.
Deadline can go one of two ways for Sactown, and as of now, it’s still unclear which path they’ll decide to venture into the new year: swinging for the fences to land All-Star-caliber talent or acquiring role players to grow around its young core.
Either way, the Kings should be active and aggressive at the deadline, something we have yet to see from McNair after taking complete control of the reins. There’s still a lot of impact left from Vlade Divac’s time as GM, so what McNair is doing now, with his team, will be the biggest task of his short tenure in Sacramento.
After laying the groundwork for the moves to be made, here’s a breakdown of where the roster stands in terms of who’s staying, who’s leaving and who’s going to bring winning basketball back to Sacramento.
A tandem to keep: Tyrese Haliburton and De’Aaron Fox
Fox has been at the center of numerous trade rumors across the league since the early weeks of preseason, when Sixers goaltender Ben Simmons refused to report to training camp. Since the initial waiting game began in Philadelphia, Sacramento has been linked in a trade to acquire Simmons for a package that could include Fox.
It hasn’t been Swipa’s most productive season, but he would still be an incredibly valuable asset to a team competing in either conference. However, Fox and Haliburton’s fledgling backcourt has been together for less than two seasons. Detonating what showed flashes of promise seems incredibly premature, despite the duo’s mixed reviews from The Kingdom. Allowing Fox to play with the most talented teammate of his professional career makes more sense than giving up because of a hot start.
Moving Fox and/or Haliburton at Deadline seems like a foolish move for Sacramento, but those words could easily be eaten up in the summer if they decide to leave Fox in a less than ideal scenario.
The penultimate package: Buddy Hield and Marvin Bagley
The Kings who almost weren’t, Hield and Bagley, were on the trade market before free agency last summer. It was no secret that Bagley’s agent and family weren’t keen on staying in Sactown any longer under Luke Walton’s watch, but since returning to rotation he’s managed to stay healthy and carve out meaningful minutes in a Kings uniform. .
The former No. 2 pick may forever haunt Sacramento, but leaving MBIII seems inevitable at this point in his career. Duke’s fourth-year man held on to the field and earned his place in the rotation, giving an extended audition in what will hopefully inspire another team to see his worth at this stage of his youngster. mandate.
Hield also swirled trade rumors, was a Los Angeles Laker for five minutes, and gave Kingdom mixed reviews for what felt like an eternity. After signing with a new agency in December, he too feels like an inevitable business asset for Sacramento as several title contenders have sought to land his big deal.
The X Factor of Opposition: Harrison Barnes
A staple since last year’s trade deadline, the Black Falcon has proven to be seasoned and effective across the league. Barnes started this year hotter than fish fat for Sacramento, but since his foot injury early in the season, he hasn’t been the same productive player the Kings need every night.
Barnes still has a year left on his 4-year, $85 million contract — an attractive snag across the conference looking for a third-man option to contribute to an aggressive playoff run or even a championship. What Sacramento can get in exchange for a player like Barnes will be an interesting bargain for McNair and company.
Bunch of Bigs: Richaun Holmes, Damian Jones, Alex Len and Tristan Thompson
Like the Fox-Hali duo, the Sacramento brass would be unwise to trade Richaun Holmes, a diamond in the rough who was their biggest hit in free agency last season. It’s hard to imagine Holmes being out of place in any scenario, as he’s been one of the most consistent players on the roster when healthy for the past two seasons.
The rest of Sactown’s centers, however, appear to be up for grabs in any scenario. The Lakers have been hot on the tail of Jones, who played well for them late last season. While Jones and Len have made the most of their minutes for Sacramento, making room for an All-Star caliber player in a blockbuster trade could be in the cards for the respective big men.
Tristan Thompson has been a misfire for the Kings this season, and despite his ties to Luke Walton, he sees no reason for him to warm up to a seat on the bench for an overloaded position on the roster, especially with the player developing. two-way Neemias Queta.
Who does that leave? : Chimezie Metu, Moe Harkless, Davion Mitchell and Terence Davis
A cast of roleplayers who could be associated with a big trade (like a Hield-Bagley deal), the four remaining men on the roster have been hot and cold in their outings with Sacramento this season so far. We haven’t seen McNair’s sense of pride in the picks so far, so it remains to be seen if he thinks Mitchell is tradeable after just half an NBA season. It would be ideal to keep Mitchell and see how the three-guard basketball brand could develop, but it wouldn’t be surprising if he was another attractive hiccup for another team.
As for Metu, Harkless and Davis, what McNair decides to do remains to be seen. Another player Walton adores is Harkless, and since his departure he has gone from a baseman to a DNP in most contests. His outward disdain has been seen time and time again on the bench, as his frustrations have often spilled onto social media over the past five weeks. The defensive chops promised to Kingdom by Harkless have been streaked, and leaving him could be a boon for chemistry as this team continues to work through its issues.
The Kingdom has long been waiting for fresh legs on an outdated roster. What McNair decides to do with Sacramento midway through the season will have a profound impact on how the Kings finish the season. Making the play-in tournament is still an incredibly achievable goal for this team, and with the right moves, you have the chance to salvage a season before it’s too late.