The Sacramento Kings currently have a 16-24 record (as of Jan. 6) that put them as the 11th seed in the very weak Western Conference. Their general manager, Monte McNair, has yet to make any trade during the 2022 season. Now, the question is, should the Kings go all-in to end the 15-year playoffs drought this season? Or, they should build for the future by acquiring more young talents. Here are 3 realistic deals the Kings should make before the deadline.
According to recent reports, Fox and Haliburton are available to trade, but the Kings would be unlikely to move them unless they receive big-name players. There had been a lot of trade rumors centering around the 76ers guard Ben Simmons. However, the 76ers want insane amounts of assets for him. Considering Simmons’ contract won’t expire until the 2025 offseason, there is plenty of time for the 76ers to be patient for the best deal possible. Giving away both Fox and Haliburton for a guard/forward that can’t space the floor will certainly be a horrible idea.
There are other options the Kings can consider now. The first player that they could acquire before the trade deadline could be the Pacers center, Myles Turner. The Pacers had announced that the team is heading to a rebuilding era and made clear that Domantas Sabonis, Myles Turner, Malcolm Brogdon, and Caris Levert are all available. Sabonis is the best asset out of these four, however, the Kings would require a ton of assets to acquire this power forward that probably will not work out playing with Richaun Holmes.
Turner looks like the best fit for the Kings, he can stretch the floor, provide rim protection which the Kings desperately need as they currently rank 30th in points in the paint allowed. Even though Turner won’t fix the rebounding issue, but an athletic big body and his defense will bring massive impacts for the Kings. He can easily play alongside Holmes due to his shooting as he averages 35.9% from 3’s on 4.5 attempts per game this season so far. The best part is, the Kings can probably obtain Turner without giving away Fox and Haliburton. The trade package I came out with is
Kings receive: Myles Turner, Jeremy Lamb
Pacers receive: Buddy Hield, Marvin Bagley (or maybe Davion Mitchell), Jahmi'us Ramsey, Lottery-protected First-round 2022 pick or other picks
This gives the Kings Turner and a wing, the Pacers get younger with either Bagley or Mitchell and Ramsey with a pick(s). Also, Hield can improve his trade value if the Pacers give him the green light every game for potential future trade for more picks.
The second option includes Cam Reddish of the Atlanta Hawks. The third-year Hawks wing shows flashes of star potential this season. The Hawks are currently 17-20 (12th in East) and if they want to repeat the same success as last season, upgrades are needed. The potential deal could be:
Kings receive: Cam Reddish, Danilo Gallinari
Hawks receive: Harrison Barnes, Protected First-round Pick (optional)
Barnes will be an instant contributor to the Hawks for the second half of the season. The Kings will bring the young wing and a veteran stretch-big to the team. This trade probably won’t help the Kings end their playoffs drought this season because of losing Barnes, but if they could develop Fox, Haliburton, and Reddish well, they are likely to have more playoffs success in future years.
The third option would bring Jerami Grant to the Kings. Grant showed that he can be an offensive threat with more opportunities, as he averaged a career-high 22.3 points per game last season in his first year in Detroit. However, the Pistons are in a rebuilding mode right now, trying to develop their young players like Cade Cunningham, Saddiq Bey, Isaiah Stewart, etc. To be honest, Grant would keep wasting his prime if he stays in Detroit. If the Kings want to make a playoffs push this season, adding the versatile wing to the team will bring immediate impact. The potential trade could be:
Kings receive: Jerami Grant, Kelly Olynyk
Pistons receive: Buddy Hield, Marvin Bagley, 2 Protected (could be top 10, lottery, or top 8) First Round Picks
This trade brings not only Grant to the team, but also a stretch big the Kings desperate need in Olynyk. For the Pistons, they get more picks for their rebuild and a young power forward who can help them with rebounds and bring energy to the games. Bagley certainly needs a change of scenery as his role changed in Sacramento. Hield is mainly here to match the salary, but as a good shooter in the league, the Pistons can possibly get another first-round pick from a contender in the future for Hield.
Now for the honorable mention:
Kings acquire Christian Wood:
Kings receive: Christian Wood, DJ Augustin
Rockets receive: Marvin Bagley, Davion Mitchell, 2022 Top-5 Protected First-Round Pick
There are other potential deals that center around Jaylen Brown, Pascal Siakam, CJ Mccollum, but the Kings will need to give up a ton of assets. In the end, the league is unpredictable and anything could happen.