The Sacramento Kings need help. Replacing Luke Walton with Alvin Gentry was a start, but Gentry can only do so much from the sidelines; the Kings simply need more talent than they currently have.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like they plan on making a major move at the trade deadline, not even for a ready-made All-Star like Ben Simmons, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report:
And despite strong preseason chatter that a slow start in Sacramento could lead to a potential Ben Simmons trade with Philadelphia, there remains no significant current discussion between the Sixers and Kings. Fox and Tyrese Halliburton are still deemed unavailable, and second-year standout Tyrese Maxey has emerged as a legitimate starting point guard in Philadelphia.
The last thing we heard regarding the Kings’ interest in Simmons was that they weren’t willing to part ways with De’Aaron Fox or Tyrese Haliburton for Simmons, which is a reasonable line for Monte McNair to draw even in light of the two guards’ struggles. But beyond Fox, Haliburton and maybe Richaun Holmes, no one one should be off the table in negotiations for Simmons.
Buddy Hield has been productive as a Sixth Man for the Kings this season, but I’d argue that he and his $22.7 million salary would be more valuable as the centerpiece of a Simmons trade. And while Davion Mitchell has shown flashes of being a quality two-way player, Simmons is already that player and he’s only two years old than Mitchell, who turned 23 in September.
There would be immediate concerns about the spacing around a core of Fox, Haliburton, Simmons and Holmes, and justifiably so, but it’s easier to make improvements around the margins than it is to build a strong, young core. If the Kings are given that opportunity with Simmons, they shouldn’t blink.