UPDATE: Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee reported Monday afternoon that the Kings aren’t currently in trade talks with the Pacers over Domantas Sabonis despite reports of them having previous interest, and they also haven’t called about Myles Turner. The original stories continues below.
The Sacramento Kings are in an interesting spot. While they’ve had a pretty underwhelming season, they’re still in the hunt for a play-in spot. If the Kings want to solidify their spot in the Western Conference play-in picture, then they’ll likely have to make a trade for an All-Star level talent.
It’s already been reported that the Kings have shown interest in Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons, but according Shams Charania of The Athletic, Simmons isn’t the only former All-Star Monte McNair has called about:
Pacers two-time All-Star Domantas Sabonis is expected to generate strong interest and is among the attractive players who could be available in a trade. The Suns and Kings have shown interest in recent years, sources said
“In recent years” is as nebulous as it gets for a report, but when you consider that Charania and his colleague at The Athletic, Bob Kravitz, reported that the Pacers are open to breaking up their core of Sabonis, Myles Turner and Caris LeVert earlier this week, it’s notable. The question now is: what would it take for the Kings to get Sabonis?
Sabonis, who will turn 26 next year, is only a season removed from averaging 20.3 points, 12 rebounds, 6.7 assists and 1.2 steals per game. His fit with the Pacers may not be great because of the core they have in place, and you could argue it would be just as awkward in Sacramento with Richaun Holmes vacating the starting center spot, but upon arrival, Sabonis would undoubtedly be the best player on the roster.
For that reason, the Kings would likely have to include significant draft compensation on top of the players they’ve have to send out to match salaries. Sabonis is under contract for $18.5 million this season.
Last year, the Kings used the trade deadline as an opportunity to improve around the margins; hopefully this year, Monte McNair realizes that making changes around the margins isn’t enough with this core.