The Sacramento Kings have had an interesting offseason to say the least. An objective look at the results thus far indicate that the Kings have upgraded their bench and improved their roster, but at a potentially great cost. As excited as we may be by the additions of Marco Belinelli, Kosta Koufos, and Rajon Rondo, the pick and pick swaps sent to Philadelphia do carry the potential to be devastating.
Trades can be finalized on July 9th, at which point we should have a better understanding of the specifics of the pick protections and swap provisions. Once we know that, we can more accurately evaluate how bad they may be for the franchise. That said, initial reports indicate that they primarily hurt the Kings if the Kings fail to improve. After all, if the Kings are better than the 76ers, there will be no reason for Philadelphia to swap the picks. But we've seen this logic before.
The Kings still owe a pick to the Chicago Bulls, a pick that was originally sent to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the trade for J.J. Hickson. That trade was an abject failure, but at the time we justified the impact of the pick being included. We did this by saying that if the trade worked and the Kings improved, the pick would be worth it. Instead, the pick has been a dark shadow over the heads of the franchise and fans. An painful reminder of how little progress the Kings have made.
Which brings us back to this offseason. All that matters is what happens next. The Philadelphia trade is a gamble. I'd say most of us are pretty happy with the players the Kings have added. We expect another move or two on a smaller scale. Overall, we'll consider this offseason to be an on-paper improvement of the team. But our ultimate evaluation of this trade and this offseason will depend on what happens on the floor next season.
If George Karl and DeMarcus Cousins can bury the hatchet, if the roster has chemistry, if the Kings play together and play hard, this team could be a lot of fun. But we've spent many offseasons talking about how great things might be "if".
The one thing I'll say is that I feel like it's easier to see how this could all work out. The Kings added a shooter. The Kings added another ball handler. The Kings added a solid big man. The Kings added a very good big man. Now, we'll need to see if they can add wins.