Should the Kings trade their pick? Would they?

Elsa

Would trading the pick be worth it or would the Kings be better off keeping it, wherever it may land?

Twitter can be fun.  Twitter can be awful.  Twitter is certainly never boring.  It allows you to spew thoughts at random, often without a filter that would normally be in place.  It's also not great on expounding on said thoughts should you want to, mainly due to the 140 character limit.

Last night as I watched the Hawks beat the Pacers yet again, I used Twitter to muse:

I wasn't expecting much to come of this tweet, but surprisingly my Twitter blew up.  I was surprised at the vitriol that both trading for Hibbert (who admittedly has really struggled these past couple months) and trading our pick in a hyped draft was drawing from a few very vocal fans.

Now I didn't tweet this suggestion like it was a real possibility, because it probably isn't.  Twitter is not the best for showing nuance.  For starters, Indiana's probably not going to blow everything up over two months of bad play.  But it left me wondering:  What would it take for the Kings to trade their pick?  Would it be worth it to use the pick to trade down in the draft and perhaps relieve some salary?  Would you package the pick for a known quantity?

It all of course depends on where the Kings are drafting to me.  I don't foresee the Kings trading the pick in the unlikely scenario where they actually move up in the draft.   But at 7 or 8?

To get an idea of what kind of value teams have gotten for trading those picks around draft day I decided to do a little bit of research on picks traded in the 5 -10 range in the last 10 years.

2013: Minnesota trades the #9 pick (Trey Burke) to Utah for the 14th (Shabazz Muhammad) and 21st pick (Gorgui Dieng).  - So far this is looking like a good trade for Minnesota.  They didn't need a Point Guard, and Dieng came on really strong in the final part of the year.  Even Shabazz looked better.

2011: Sacramento trades the #7 pick (Bismack Biyombo) to Charlotte and Beno Udrih to Milwaukee.  Charlotte trades Stephen Jackson, Shaun Livingston and the #19 pick to Milwaukee. Milwaukee trades the #10 pick and John Salmons to the Kings and Corey Maggette to Charlotte. - One of the worst trades I can ever remember.  Seriously. The only team that's benefited has been Charlotte, and that's because they still have Biyombo (who isn't very good).  The Kings did traded for an older, more overpaid veteran while TRADING DOWN in the draft to get a player who ended up being bought out in his 3rd season.  Trade would still have been bad even if the Kings had drafted a Klay Thompson or a Kawhi Leonard, simply because you could take those guys at 7 and call it a day rather than also taking on John Salmons' salary.

2009: Washington traded the #5 pick (Ricky Rubio), Etan Thomas, Darius Songaila and Oleksiy Pecherov to Minnesota for Mike Miller and Randy Foye - Disastrous trade for Washington.  Miller and Foye aren't game-changing veterans, and they could have gotten Steph Curry or Ricky Rubio by keeping the pick.

2008: Memphis trades the #5 pick (Kevin Love), Mike Miller, Brian Cardinal and Jason Collins to Minnesota for the #3 pick (O.J. Mayo), Marko Jaric, Antoine Walker and Greg Buckner. - Great trade for Minnesota, both because of who they drafted and the better cap relief they got by trading down.  Bad for Memphis, but only really because they drafted worse. If they drafted Russell Westbrook (taken 4th), doesn't look nearly as bad.

2007: Seattle trades Ray Allen and the 35th pick (Glen Davis) to Boston for the #5 pick (Jeff Green), Delonte West, Wally Szczerbiak, and a future second rounder. - Kinda worked out for both teams, although it obviously was better for Boston in part thanks to their other trade for Garnett.  Green was good for Seattle/OKC, but not great especially when Joakim Noah was still on the board (could you imagine a Thunder frontline of Noah, Ibaka, Durant???).

2007: Golden State trades Jason Richardson and the 36th pick (Jermareo Davidson) to Charlotte for the #8 pick (Brandan Wright). - This was kind of a meh trade. Richardson's addition helped the Bobcats get to their first ever playoffs, but they could have kept the pick and drafted Noah.  The Warriors also screwed up taking Wright over Noah, although to be fair to them, Wright suffered a lot of injuries in his time with the Warriors that kind of derailed his career, even though he's now a useful roleplayer for Dallas.

2006: Boston trades the #7 pick (Randy Foye), Dan Dickau and Raef Lafrentz to Portland for Sebastian Telfair, Theo Ratliff and a 2008 2nd round pick.  Portland then traded the #7 pick (Foye) in a straight up deal with Minnesota for the #6 pick (Brandon Roy).  Boston gambled that Telfair would be a better fit at PG than Foye.  They were wrong, but fortunately the guy they drafted at 21 (Rajon Rondo) turned out to be pretty good.  Portland then got a potential superstar in Roy for Randy freaking Foye. Unfortunately Roy's career came to an abrupt end in the past few years because of several knee injuries.  This was also a really bad draft. Rudy Gay, Rondo, Kyle Lowry, J.J. Redick and Paul Millsap were the only notable names after 7th.

2005: Portland trades the #3 pick (Deron Williams) to Utah for the #6 pick (Martell Webster), the #27 pick (Linas Kleiza) and a 2006 1st round pick that became Joel Freeland. - Yeah, not so much Portland.  They did get a nice theoretical bounty back with 3 picks, but they missed out on the chance to draft either Williams or Paul (taken 4th).  Even if they had struck gold with all 3 picks they wouldn't have ended up with anyone as good as those two.

2004: Phoenix trades the #7 pick (Luol Deng) to Chicago for Jackson Vroman and a 2005 1st round pick that would become Nate Robinson. -  I think Phoenix was banking on the Bulls to be bad the next season or something but they really screwed up here.  Deng ended up being a fantastic wing, and the Bulls improved by 24 games in a year, dropping Phoenix's pick to 21.  Then there's the fact that aside from Deng you had guys like Iguodala and Al Jefferson available as well.

***

As we can see by this sampling of draft day trades, it's kind of a mixed bag.  Perhaps the team that had the most success in trading their pick was the Celtics, since they were the only ones to get a surefire star in Ray Allen and won a championship that year.  For the others, it was still about who you drafted, and most of the time (2013 remains to be seen) the people who traded up in the draft got more than the ones who traded down.  That makes sense, since you're more likely to get a great player in the top 3 than the the top 10.

Trading in the draft is always scary, only because you never know if you're trading away a great player or a scrub.  I'm not sure I'd want the Kings doing so unless it meant getting a surefire star back, and those are rare occasions. One of the greatest trades in Kings history was trading the #3 pick for Mitch Richmond, but that was one of those trades with very little risk, as Richmond was still young and a known quantity, while Billy Owens was an unknown quantity.  Now of course, a #3 pick has way more value than the likely #7 or #8 pick the Kings will have.

Trading the pick down to get some salary relief also seems like a shortsighted move, as does trading down to get a marginally better veteran (and in John Salmons' case it wasn't even marginally better).  The best move for young teams still seems to be to keep their picks or trade up, but again, it's all about who you draft.

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