The Sacramento Kings agreed to trade Ray McCallum to the San Antonio Spurs for a future second round pick late Wednesday evening. On the surface, it may seem like a mistake. After all, you never trade a player to the Spurs. Their interest in a player means that player is good. This is known.
Looking at the trade a little closer, it's a win-win deal that makes sense for both teams. For the Kings, it was obvious that McCallum wasn't in the long-term plans. Before acquiring Rajon Rondo, the Kings spent the summer talking as though they didn't have a back-up behind Darren Collison. McCallum is ok as a back-up, but the dropoff between Collison and McCallum last season was jarring. We had a high hopes after the admirable way McCallum played late in his rookie year, but he regressed. His contract this season was unguaranteed, and it was unclear if the Kings would even be able to trade him. Instead of an outright release, the Kings get a future second rounder. A second round pick from the Spurs isn't a great asset, but it's something. The Kings also free up additional cap space. Who the Kings will pursue remains to be seen.
The Spurs add point guard depth to replace the outgoing Cory Joseph. I use "replace" in a loose sense, but the Spurs will use their magic touch and will probably help Ray's career immensely. And if he doesn't work out there, the Spurs paid a small cost.
For McCallum, it's an ideal scenario. He enters an organization with a much better history of player development, and will have an opportunity to improve his game and his NBA future. I'm sure I speak for most Kings fans when I say I hope for nothing but the best for Ray. He's a hard worker and a good person, by all accounts.
This trade benefits all parties involved. No hand-wringing required.
Best of luck, Ray.