Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE
With a team that's as dismal as the Kings have been, the topic of trades often comes up among the fanbase. Most of these trade proposals are outrageous, unrealistic, or just plain bad.
The Kings themselves haven't exactly struck gold with any of their recent trades, aside from perhaps Carl Landry for Marcus Thornton. Kevin Martin was traded for pennies on the dollar, J.J. Hickson cost the Kings a future first round pick for half a season of terrible basketball, and then there was the infamous 2011 draft day trade. In short, trading hasn't been kind to the Kings.
Still, if there's any hope that this team will reshape itself into something resembling a well-oiled machine with parts that complement each other, it's very likely that trades will be a big part of that. Sacramento's very unlikely to nab a bona-fide star in a trade like they did with the Chris Webber deal because they simply don't have the assets to do so (unless they put DeMarcus Cousins on the trading block, which doesn't seem likely). But there are still upgrades to be had. This past summer's trade of a second round pick for James Johnson was a good idea in theory, but has faltered with Johnson's poor play.
Too often though the trade conversation is a negative connotation, focusing on trading away certain players from our team. Instead I like to view it the other way, looking at the rest of the league and seeing which players might make a good fit in Sacramento. The following are a few of my favorite potential targets, who I think can be acquired for the right price. Keep in mind, this is all purely hypothetical and heavily opinion-based, and I tried to leave out star-level players.
1. Anthony Morrow, SG, Atlanta Hawks
Morrow is the definition of a dead-eye shooter. In five seasons, he has hit 42.7% of his threes with over 1,000 attempts. That's a ridiculous number. Shooting well is about all Morrow does well, but on a team that could really use a premier knock-down shooter, Morrow could be a good addition. Morrow is an expiring contract, so this could even be a Free Agent target for next offseason.
2. Courtney Lee, SG, Boston Celtics
Lee's another good shooter, but also more versatile as he can play solid defense. The Celtics just signed him to a 4 year deal though so it seems they have a decent commitment in him, even though he's underwhelmed so far.
3. Anderson Varejao, C, Cleveland Cavaliers
Now this might be a tad unrealistic, because right now Varejao is playing like an All-Star. He's averaging 15.0 PPG and 15.4 RPG to go with 3.2 AST and 1.6 STLs. He's just turned 30 years old and still has a couple reasonably priced years left on his contract. He's a phenomenal rebounder, good defender, and efficient scorer. He'd be an excellent frontcourt mate for DeMarcus Cousins. But again, it would probably take quite a bit for Cleveland to let go of him. He does have an injury history, but nothing that suggests chronic problems.
4. Corey Brewer, SF, Denver Nuggets
I would never have suggested Brewer a few years ago, but he's made some good strides in his game since then. He's become a better shooter, currently at 36.8% from three this season and is a decent defender for his position. Essentially, he's what we had hoped James Johnson could be. Brewer is an expiring contract and may be expendable on a team that features quite a few talented wings.
5. Eric Bledsoe, PG, Los Angeles Clippers
Another probably unrealistic one, Bledsoe might be the best backup Point Guard in the league right now. He's incredibly athletic, can pass the ball and has the potential to be a great defender at his position. One thing he hasn't shown he's great at though is shooting the ball. Right now he's in Chris Paul's shadow and with Paul likely to be a Clipper for a long time (expiring contract be damned), the Clippers might find that they need to deal Bledsoe to get an asset they'll use more often. Or they might as well just have him train under Chris Paul all these years and save him as Point Guard of the future or insurance in case of a Paul injury. Bledsoe would not be an easy get, but fun to dream.
6. Dorell Wright, G/F, Philadelphia 76ers
This is a guy I was clamoring for this offseason with the Kings in need of a new Small Forward. Sacramento opted instead to go for James Johnson for the same price (a second round pick). Wright is another good shooter, and he rebounds well for his size. Wright is an expiring contract.
7. Jared Dudley, SF, Phoenix Suns
Dudley is probably one of my favorite options as a potential Kings Small Forward. Under the veteran tutelage of Grant Hill, Dudley has developed nicely. He's an excellent shooter, good treammate and works hard. He's also got a very reasonable contract and is just entering his prime. With Markieff Morris playing better and better, Dudley might be available, although with how nice his contract is I can't imagine it will be easy getting him.
8. Andrea Bargnani, PF, Toronto Raptors
I will be very surprised if Andrea Bargnani is still in Toronto by the end of the season. He's been in several trade rumors already and with Toronto struggling, it might be time to part ways. Bargnani offers an intriguing offensive look for a team like Sacramento, as he can stretch the floor from the Power Forward position. This is something the Kings were looking at this offseason when they talked with Ryan Anderson. Unlike Anderson though, Bargnani is not a good rebounder, and he's a bad defender. Adding him could cause as many problems as it might fix. Bargnani would be a risky move.
9. Paul Millsap, PF, Utah Jazz
Millsap is a PF almost every team would love to have. He's a good scorer, decent rebounder, good passer, and can play defense despite being a bit undersized. The reason he might be available is that Derrick Favors is quickly emerging as a potential future star for Utah and Millsap's contract is expiring. He will likely receive a hefty pay-day as well. That in and of itself might turn off a team like the Kings from giving up the assets needed to get him.
Feel free to list your own favorite potential trade targets in the comments below.