Aside from the Mitch Richmond for Chris Webber trade, there have been a few other deals that have shaped the Sacramento Kings in a positive manner. Really – I looked it up! The nice thing is, it didn’t take all that long to track down all of the good trades. And so…
6/27/88: Reggie Theus and a 3rd round pick (Jorge Gonzalez) to Atlanta for Randy Wittman and their 1st round pick, #18 overall (Ricky Berry) This one is really more of a what-could-have-been deal, but for a brief moment it looked as though the Kings had gotten one right. Theus would go on to play three more years in the NBA, a year each for the Hawks, Magic and Nets. Wittman would only play 31 games for the Kings before being traded (along with LaSalle Thompson) for Wayman Tisdale and a 2nd round pick that would become Bimbo Coles. But Berry would show himself as a rookie with the ability to handle the ball, get to the rack, and stroke it from deep (40.6% from beyond the arc back in a day when 3-point shooting was still in its infancy). Ricky Berry seemed destined for stardom. Tragically, Berry took his own life in the off season.
7/1/91: Travis Mays to Atlanta for Spud Webb and a 1994 2nd round draft pick (Lawrence Funderburke) Not an earth mover, but the Kings dealt a guy that would go on to play 51 more NBA games for a folk hero (Webb) and a guy that would log six very capable years for the Kings during their golden era. Not bad.
11/25/92: Vincent Askew to Seattle for a 1993 2nd round pick (Mike Peplowski) Had this trade not taken place, Bobby Hurley might not be alive today. It will never be justified by a box score, but this was a great freakin’ trade.
The next three deals all helped shape the magical 1995-96 team, the team that would break the nine year playoff drought –
11/1/91: Billy Owens to Golden State for Mitch Richmond, Les Jepsen, and a 1995 2nd round draft pick (Tyus Edney) This would be the silver medal trade, behind only the Richmond/Webber trade. The Kings traded Owens, whom they had drafted 3rd but had no interest in coming to Sacramento, for not only one of the two greatest Kings of all time, but also their eventual spark plug point guard for the 95-96 season. And you know, Les Jepsen(!). Richmond would become Sacramento’s first truly iconic player, and when you consider that he was eventually parlayed for Webber, one could argue that this was the greatest trade in Sacramento Kings history, the trade that truly started it all.
2/20/94: Pete Chilcutt, a 19942nd round draft pick (Jevon Crudup) and an eventual 1999 1st round draft pick (Cal Bowdler) to Detroit for Olden Polynice The Kings traded a handful of not-so-magic beans, and in return they received the 4th best center in Sacramento Kings history (DeMarcus Cousins notwithstanding). OP was nutty as a fruitcake, but he was a vital cog in that 1995-96 team, averaging 12.2ppg on 53% shooting and adding 9.4rpg. And like many others on that team, he had a tough, nasty streak in him. What a fun team that was.
9/18/95: Frank Brickowski to Seattle for Sarunas Marciulonis and Byron Houston ‘Rooney only played 53 games in Sacramento, but he played all of them for that 1995-96 team, and his addition to the roster is really what tipped the scales and turned that Kings team into the tough, physical bunch that they were. Sacramento loved them some Sarunas Marciulonis.
And here are a couple that benefited the greatest of Kings teams –
9/30/00: Corliss Williamson to Toronto for Doug Christie: This was definitely a give something to get something trade, and quite frankly, I wasn’t a big fan of it when it was announced. Corliss Williamson, the first player to truly embrace Sacramento and the first King during the Richmond era that wasn’t afraid to take the big shot, for the underachieving Christie. Yuck. But Corliss had become a luxury with the additions of Vlade and C-Webb and the emergence of Peja Stojakovic, and Doug Christie came in and showed everyone what apparently only Geoff Petrie and Jackie Christie were aware of at the time. He was the perfect fit for that team.
6/27/01: Jason Williams and Nick Anderson to Vancouver for Mike Bibby and Brent Price The funny thing about this trade is that we thought that we were getting a more “traditional” point guard in Bibby, as he had been averaging over 8 assists a game in Vancouver (and about a 2.8/1 assist/turnover ratio). He was an adequate but not spectacular shooter. The trade really looked more like the team had a desire to “grow up” a little and get serious about competing in the upper reaches of the NBA. Bibby wound up becoming a very good spot-up shooter, a big shot taker and maker, and a guard that could be just as effective without the ball as with it.
And a couple more to wrap it up –
7/24/03: Hedo Turkoglu and Scot Pollard for Brad Miller There are those that see this as a bad trade, but the thought behind it was brilliant and the results were still pretty good. Miller was brought in to be the new Vlade. The problem was that Chris Webber never recovered from his devastating knee injury. Ultimately, Webber was dealt and Miller began playing alongside guys like Darius Songaila and Kenny Thomas. Miller was an all star center for the Kings, and statistically on a par (if not slightly superior to Divac). But he was also here when the team began its free-fall, and he did not handle that all that well. Conversely, Pollard bounced around the NBA for a few more years, but his balky back made him mostly a non-factor. And while Hedo has had a very nice professional career, he never ascended to the level that Miller attained during his first few years here. This deal was not a slam dunk, by any means (Miller rarely slam dunked), but it did represent a net gain for the Kings overall.
7/21/10: Jon Brockman to Milwaukee for Darnell Jackson and a 2011 2nd round pick (Isaiah Thomas) Mancakes for a kid that was drafted 60th and goes on to make the all rookie (2nd) team. ‘Nuff said.
I’ll reserve this spot for potential future inclusion of Carl Landry for Marcus Thornton.
Did I miss anything?