The Sacramento Kings’ recent struggles have dropped them out of the Western Conference playoff picture for now. It’s looking more and more like the team will miss the playoffs for the 15th straight year as general manager Monte McNair leads the rebuild.
Sacramento has some pieces on the roster who could intrigue several NBA teams ahead of the March 25 trade deadline, namely, the big men.
We know franchise building blocks De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton aren’t going anywhere, but Sam Amick of The Athletic says Nemanja Bjelica and Hassan Whiteside could get some interest.
Bjelica has played in 22 games this season, averaging eight points and four rebounds per contest. He’s shooting just 32.6 percent from the 3-point line, about seven percent lower than his career average, however.
Belly is on an expiring contract that is paying him $7.1 million this season. Amick says the Golden State Warriors, Boston Celtics, Indiana Pacers and Milwaukee Bucks have shown some interest in the 32-year-old.
Teams likely won’t offer more than a late draft pick for his services, but if the Kings are going to let Bjelica walk in the offseason anyway, McNair should try and maximize any return.
Amick also says Hassan Whiteside is drawing some interest around the league. He signed a one-year deal in the offseason and should be available for relatively cheap to any team looking to add some size before the stretch run.
It was surprising to see Amick mention starting center Richaun Holmes as a potential trade chip.
“Speaking of bigs — and shifting the spotlight back to Sacramento — you wonder if any team might make a spirited pitch for the Kings’ Richaun Holmes. The 27-year-old center is in line for a significant payday in free agency this offseason ($5 million this season). And while he has been a very good fit with the Kings group (13.4 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.5 blocks this season) and is certainly a fan favorite, he’s the kind of impact player who might inspire a decent return that aids the Kings’ rebuild if they’re not sure about him returning.”
Holmes has been one of the most consistent players this season and will command a hefty raise during negotiations. The Kings’ net rating is 11.4 points better per 100 possessions with Holmes on the court. He’s developed great chemistry with Fox and is positionally sound on both ends of the floor.
Unless McNair intends on tearing it all down during the offseason, Sacramento should do everything it can to re-sign Holmes. He’s young enough that he will be a meaningful contributor for the foreseeable future.
Do you think the Kings should explore a trade involving Holmes? Or do you want them to try and re-sign him to a long-term deal? What type of return do you think Belly or Whiteside would get?