For what seems like the first time in a long time, the Kings are walking into draft night with several advantages in their asset haversack. First, after Rudy Gay opted out and Anthony Tolliver was cut, Sacramento is flush with more cap space than any other team, quite the change from years past in which we maxed out our money on middling veterans. There’s also the fact that through the DeMarcus Cousins trade, we have two lottery picks in the deepest draft in recent memory. Finally, we have the surprisingly valuable contract of Arron Afflalo. He is only guaranteed $1.5M of his $12M salary which would enable teams that overspent last summer to trade a bad contract for Afflalo in exchange for some much-needed cap relief.
With all of these valuable assets at their disposal, Sacramento’s Front Office should be amenable to moving up, moving back, and anything in between on draft night. As someone who loves to fiddle with the trade machine on an almost daily basis, I’ve proposed five realistic trades for the Kings below. To help our community determine the realism and likelihood of these deals taking place, I’ve also posted all of these to Fan Posts on our fellow SB Nation team sites. The link to the different posts will be embedded in the team abbreviations below.
Let’s get started!
The Simple One
SAC: #20, Evan Turner
This one’s obvious, simple, and there are about a dozen variations that we can debate. For example, maybe the Kings get the #15 and #26 picks instead of #20 or it’s possible that the Blazers include Allen Crabbe as opposed to Evan Turner, but the foundation of the trade remains the same; the Kings take on a bad contract in exchange for a first round pick. Sacramento gets another shot at a rebuilding piece and Portland gets salary relief for their non-contending squad.
Kings walk away with: #5, #10, #20, Evan Turner
Proposed selections: De’Aaron Fox, Lauri Markkanen, T.J. Leaf
There are some rumblings that the Kings may be looking to move up on draft night to grab the player of their choosing, whether that be Josh Jackson, De’Aaron Fox, or Jayson Tatum. It’s likely that Fultz and Ball will still go #1 and #2, so this trade would enable Sacramento to secure their player of choice after Boston and Los Angeles.
SAC: #3, #39, Evan Turner
This trade benefits each team in obvious ways. First, as stated above, Sacramento gets to snag their point guard or small forward of the future without having to compete with Phoenix. In the meantime, Portland is freed up of their worst contract and saves a ton in future salary and possible cap taxes and manages to save a little bit of face by acquiring the high second rounder. And finally, Philly is likely to go after Malik Monk or Dennis Smith Jr., so this will enable them to take the prospect of their choice while gaining an additional asset.
Kings walk away with: #3, #10, #39, Evan Turner
Proposed Selections: Josh Jackson, Frank Ntilikina, Frank Mason
SAC: #7, #26, Evan Turner, Meyers Leonard
Once again, Portland is at the center of this trade proposal. The Kings would have to take on two bad contracts as well as giving up their second rounder, but they would move up 3 spots and would be guaranteed to walk away with two of Fultz, Ball, Jackson, Fox, Tatum, Isaac, or Smith Jr. Theoretically, Vlade could select someone like Isaac with the fifth pick (who the Wolves are probably interested in, thus convincing them to execute this deal), and Smith Jr. or Fox with the 7th overall selection. Meanwhile, Portland sheds salary, both through the bad contracts and the first round picks off of the books, and gains a backup center in Koufos as well as a non-guaranteed prospect with the second rounder. Tom Thibodeau can grab Markkanen to stretch the floor OR he can swing both first rounders for an impact veteran.
Kings walk away with: #5, #7, #26, Evan Turner, Meyers Leonard
Proposed Selections: Jonathan Isaac, Dennis Smith Jr., Semi Ojeleye
Sacramento is guaranteed to walk away with either a point guard or a small forward prospect of the future in just a few days. Things will get interesting if some combination of Fultz, Ball, Jackson, Tatum, Isaac, Smith Jr., and Ntilikina are drafted with the first nine selections. At that point, does the Front Office simply select the best player available, possibly Malik Monk or Lauri Markkanen, or do they grab a small forward to fill that gap like O.G. Anunoby or Justin Jackson? If the Kings don't love anyone at the #10 spot, there's certainly a possibility of moving back to grab additional assets.
SAC: #19, Taurean Prince
Hey look! Portland isn’t involved in this one! Chris Vivlamore, a Hawks beat writer, reported that new Hawks GM Travis Schlenk may be looking to move up from the pick. The Kings second lottery pick may be valuable enough to Atlanta that they package the 12th overall selection from the 2016 draft to move up seven spots. For the Kings, Prince is a two-way small forward prospect who will help to fill the wing gap that could be left if Sacramento takes Fox or Smith Jr. with the fifth selection.
Kings walk away with: #5, #19, #34, Taurean Prince
Proposed Selections: De’Aaron Fox, T.J. Leaf, Jawun Evans
SAC: #15, #20
This is extremely similar to the first offer above, but there are no contracts included. It’s possible that the Blazers are looking to grab a stretch-4 to replace the disappointment that is Meyers Leonard or grab a versatile big man to pair with Nurkic like Zach Collins. The Kings get another dart to throw at the board, and while this price may seem steep, it’s similar to the cost of other teams moving up in previous drafts. In fact, in the 2014 draft, the Chicago Bulls had to give up the #16 and #19 picks (who turned out to be Gary Harris and Jusuf Nurkic) in order to obtain the 11th pick, Doug McDermott.
Kings walk away with: #5, #15, #20, #34
Proposed selections: De’Aaron Fox, Justin Jackson, Harry Giles, Jordan Bell
First, let me say that if any of these trades actually occur, I should immediately be hired by the Kings Front Office. I’m looking at you, Mr. Perry. In all reality, 98% of trades discussed never actually happen, but I believe all of these to be semi-realistic scenarios in which Vlade Divac and our management team could leverage the combined advantages of their multiple lottery picks, high amounts of future cap space, and Arron Afflalo’s unique contract to make an enormous impact on draft night.
What trades do you have in mind?