As December 15 approaches — the date players who signed new contracts in the offseason are eligible to be traded — rumor season is in full effect. Oddly enough, the Sacramento Kings are not in their usual midseason predicament where they need to make a massive change.
The Kings have a positive record over a quarter into the season and look like a solid team with depth. However, there is still room for some improvement. The Kings still need help on the defensive interior and on the boards. Good news is that these are both problems that can be greatly helped with just one change.
That being said, let’s get into some of the bigger rumors to surface so far.
In an article by Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report, the Kings were linked to a couple interesting players.
“Kuzma is believed to still be on the Sacramento Kings’ radar after they missed out on him in 2021 when the Los Angeles Lakers traded him to Washington instead of Sacramento. The Kings can’t trade a first until 2028 (due to protections on their obligation to the Atlanta Hawks for Kevin Huerter), but they could build a deal around Harrison Barnes with that distant pick and/or prospects like Davion Mitchell.”
“The list of teams interested in Siakam, Anunoby (especially Anunoby), VanVleet and Trent is varied, likely including the Golden State Warriors, Miami Heat, Minnesota Timberwolves, Indiana Pacers, Lakers, Suns, Kings and Nets, among others.”
Of the players mentioned, the most realistic are Kyle Kuzma and OG Anunoby. Yes Pascal Siakam would be a major pickup, but I don’t really see it happening due to what the Kings would likely have to give up. So let’s take a quick look at what the other two bring to the table.
This year Kuz is averaging 21.4 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists on 46.2 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from the three. Kuz is obviously a talented scorer with size and decent athleticism, but he is also a good rebounder.
Monster 1st half for Kyle Kuzma. 25 pts on 10-15 FG and 5-5 3PT.— Chase Hughes (@ChaseHughesNBCS) December 11, 2022
25 pts are his most in a half since joining the Wizards and 3 short of his career-high. pic.twitter.com/cpacMRg415
Since Domantas Sabonis is obviously the best rebounder on the team, and one of the best in the NBA period, they won’t need a consistent double-double from Kuz. But if he can contribute 17-plus points per game as well as maintain his current rebounding average he would add some great value. Pincus mentioned the trade package would include HB, who is currently the team’s second leading rebounder. Kuz is better than HB at both scoring and rebounding, and also provides more length to help with the defensive interior. Kings would lose their vet, but gain a very talented young wing.
This season, Anunoby is averaging 19.0 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 2.4 steals on 47.5 percent from the field and 33.1 perecent from three. To me, Anunoby would be the better pickup for the Kings. Like Kuz he can both score and rebound better than HB. But the best part of what he would bring is his defense.
As of this morning, Anunoby has the 20th best individual defensive rating at 109.6. The Kings’ player with the best defensive rating is Sabonis at 109.9 with the next closest being De’Aaron Fox at 112.4. If the trade package was the same as the one for Kuzma — HB, Davion Mitchell and some picks — he would step right into HB’s role and be not only the team’s best defender, but one of the best scorers and rebounders as well. He would help the team’s two biggest needs and simultaneously bolster one of the best offenses in the NBA. He should be the Kings’ number one target.
Who do you think Sacramento should make a move for?