With all due respect to Tom and section214, they've completely missed the mark today. When discussing the best trade the Kings have ever made, there is no debate.
The Kings added salary, downgraded talent, and moved down in the draft all in one fell swoop. It was the rare triple play. And although many are quick to complain about this trade and to point to it as the worst trade in recent Kings history, a perfect analogy of all that is wrong with the franchise, I disagree.
It was the Best. Trade. Ever.
First off, let's not ignore the fact that the Kings picked up John Salmons. Kings fans, I'm sure you'll recall, know that there was a time when Salmons was THE best player on the Kings. Being able to reacquire him was a coup. 28 NBA teams moaned in anguish when Salmons was no longer available.
Second, we got the Jimmer. I could rest my case here and now, but I won't.
No, the reason this is the best trade ever is because of what happened afterwards.
Most Kings fans were upset at trading the 7th pick before knowing who would be available. Those feelings were magnified when Kemba Walker was available (eventually being selected 9th, right before the Kings could pick). Well, Mr. Smarty Pants, if the Kings had drafted Kemba Walker, they never would have drafted Isaiah Thomas.
Let me explain. I know the Kings took "point guard" Jimmer Fredette and then still selected Isaiah. But the Kings always knew Jimmer was destined to be an undersized 2 guard. They pretended he was a point guard last season as part of the master plan (more on this in a moment). Selecting Kemba would've prevented the drafting of Isaiah. That trade's looking pretty good now, huh?
Oh, and that master plan? It's more detailed than you could ever imagine. Going into the 2011 draft, Geoff Petrie knew the talent was terrible. The only draftable players in the entire batch were Kyrie, Jimmer, and Kawhi. "So why not take Kawhi?" you may wonder. Because we needed to play John Salmons. Again, master plan going on over here, try to keep up.
Geoff Petrie also knew the 2012 draft was going to be stacked. "It's gonna be like holla stacks on deck stacks on deck", Petrie was often quoted as saying when discussing the 2012 class. So what did he do? He traded down (in the greatest trade ever), pretended Jimmer was a point guard for a year, and convinced John Salmons to be categorically awful all season.
This summer the master plan came together. The Kings drafted Thomas Robinson. That seemingly horrible trade was the butterfly flapping its wings, and Thomas Robinson is the hurricane or something.
Best. Trade. Ever.