The Sacramento Kings need more top-end talent if they want any chance of escaping the first round of the playoffs in the near future. Monte McNair seems to agree, considering how often the Kings are mentioned as interested in various players.
Ben Simmons is the obvious name at the center of conversations currently, but that's not limited to Sacramento. Despite their recent turmoil and turnover, the Minnesota Timberwolves are reportedly remaining aggressive in their pursuit of the three-time All-Star. The Portland Trail Blazers, Indiana Pacers, Golden State Warriors, Toronto Raptors, and San Antonio Spurs have all allegedly shown interest.
There's sure to be interest outside of those teams as well. Think back to when the Toronto Raptors blindsided the league by trading for Kawhi Leonard after zero reported interest prior to the deal being announced.
So, if Ben Simmons goes elsewhere, where does that leave the Kings? Is the hope just to sit and wait for another young star to be disgruntled?
That seems to happen often in today's NBA, but sitting and waiting while the team is mediocre for the 15th straight season seems like a skeptical gameplan. This roster is not good enough.
Pascal Siakam, maybe? Is Myles Turner someone who could make enough of a difference? What if the next big name to become available is a guard?
There is only so much time until De'Aaron Fox can understandably request out. Sitting and waiting for a star-caliber player to tank their trade value by requesting a trade is a dangerous game. While there is excitement surrounding this team with the beginning of the season right around the corner, that could fade quickly with poor performances.
Maybe they outperform my expectations and that allows more opportunity for the front office to be patient. If not, McNair is going to have to take a swing at some point.
Ben Simmons's trade value should be decreasing notably with his unwillingness to even report to training camp in Philadelphia. Now is the time to capitalize, because who knows when another opportunity will arise to acquire a 25-year-old talent of this caliber for pennies on the dollar.
With limited opportunities for internal improvement since the roster is older than some realize, external changes will need to come. If Ben Simmons ends up on another team aside from the Sacramento Kings this season, Monte McNair better have another plan aside from just waiting for the next disgruntled star.
He stated quite clearly in his introductory press conference that his entire stewardship would be based on waiting for guys with crap attitudes to get tired of being in the playoffs, in order to have the opportunity to come here.
Total one-trick pony, this McNair.
To be fair, he’s a two-trick pony; he’s the master of the almost-trade as well.
It does beg the question: Why is McNair unable to simply impose his will upon other general managers?
Is it a moral failing? A congenital skills issue that cannot be corrected? Do we even know if he waves a gun around in his Zoom meetings to discuss trades? And if not, why not?
I think it begs the question: Why can’t McNair close the deal when they are supposedly on the one yard line? Is McNair the Chris Hanson of NBA general managers? At this point he seems to be graded on the almost/failed trades that have been reported than the ones he’s actually completed.
I don’t blame McNair all that much for the failed trades, but I also don’t give him any credit for them. At the same time, it’s a little absurd to blame every other GM in the NBA for the lack of movement and improvement on the Kings, and that excuse gets worse after every passing deadline. The GM’s job is to add wins. This one has mostly stood pat with a consistently poor roster. I’ve got my popcorn and am waiting to see how that works out this season.
I agree, there’s no credit due if no result is achieved. However, the close-but-no-cigar scenarios that were out there at least actually made sense for the Kings, which, around here especially, is not nothing. The Lakers saw a chance to make a big splash with Westbrook, and they went after it, because that’s who they are.
And if you feel that I was blaming every other GM, you’ve largely missed the point. In regard to Simmons, he’s still in Philly because Morey has an unrealistic valuation of his player. Could McNair agree to trade Fox? He certainly could. Under the terms that Philly is pushing, which would include other players and a series of round one picks, is that not coming to pass on anyone other than Morey? If another general manager is unreasonable and intransigent, then doing nothing is the smart play.
Based on that of which I am aware, the deals that McNair has put out there have been reasonable, and he seems to be approaching deals with other teams in good faith. Other than giving away the store, I don’t know what else he or any general manager can do about potential trade partners that are bordering on delusional.
I guess where I see the difference in Monte near miss trades is how it was reported. We don’t hear about all the close trades that may have been, but with the Bogi and Buddy trades, the deals were inches away. I don’t recall that kind of reported swings and misses under Vlade, D’Alesandro, or Petrie. We all know about the “two days” ago gaff by Vlade, but we also don’t know those details.
It is true we can’t blame him for what we don’t no about or a lack of movement appearance, but as close as those deals were it almost stings more. It is also true those near deals were very acceptable in most of our eyes. This team would look a whole lot better with DiVincenzo, Kuzma and Harrell as opposed to Davis, TT and Len.
The Bogi S&T was reported way to early to believe it was a done deal. And it seems obvious in retrospect that it was done to get Bogi more money after the Jrue Holiday deal went down.
Really, what are you supposed to do with that? I know your answer will be to match the deal Atlanta offered, but I still don’t think that’s a good way to go.
I think alot of people here underestimate what Bogi’s value would be with that new deal. And underestimate the issue other teams have when negotiating with Sac to get Bogi out of Sac.
Even if they didn’t want to match, it was reported ATL offered Snell’s expiring deal and a pair of 2nd rounders. Still, Monte said he’d rather let Bogi walk for nothing for “cap flexibility.” He then went on to sign GR3 and trade for Harkless who played the exact same position as Snell.
Plus he acquired Davis and Wright, who have some overlap with Snell as well. You wonder if that move wasn’t made for cash savings, assuming the reporting is solid on that.
I’m not really seeing your complaint Adam (and I haven’t since you’ve begun making it). I don’t care about a GM who focuses on winning trades in theory, I care about a GM that wins actual deals that make a difference. 12 million is a steep price for TWO 2nd round picks. Way too steep a price for my tastes.
The cost to acquire Davis was a 2nd rd pick, that’s relatively small. The cost to get Harkless was Bjelica and picking up his option was I think easily the most questionable thing McGenius did in December 2020. I don’t remember that being that controversial then, though. Or now.
Having said that, I don’t see how the Kings have lost much in cap flexibility on signing Davis or Harkless. One could argue both are on fair market deals and that’s at least improvement trending in the right direction.
Well, Petrie had the good sense to remain silent most of the time, and also the luxury of not having every BS rumor boinging around the world on Twitter.
And I’m sorry that the near-misses sting, but the Lakers were always gonna lake, and it was Bogdonovic that blew up his deal. Honestly, I just don’t understand what you expect that McNair should have done differently in those circumstances.
And although I think both trades would have been good ones for Sacramento, missing out on Kyle Kuzma doesn’t sting a whole lot. He seems like a nice fella.
I would 100% agree that Morey is delusional, and don’t blame McNair for not making that deal.
McMair is stuck with limited options. Buddy has value but not enough to trump a Westbrook trade.
Any other move up from Buddy he is cutting into the core of the team.
Some deals need to happen to move beyond this point. Unfortunately the deal that flips the situation is likely going to cost the Kings.
As much as Philly is trying to extract premium value for Simmons, they will never get it and they are hoping somebody gets desperate.
I do wonder if somebody will get that desperate, but if I’m Minnesota and Sacramento, the best two landing spots IMO, I’m not mortgaging everything for a guy like Ben Simmons. I just won’t. Of course, with Gersson Rosas out in Minnesota everything changes there because apparently Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez have a lot more say in basketball operations than Glen Taylor these days. (That’s not insignificant.) And they might be dumb enough to overpay for Simmons.
Philly wants to swap Ben Simmons for a star that they won’t get and assets that most teams think is ridiculous, and I think more or less the stalemate stops when the org realizes they have to get on with their season and not worry about the optics of dealing Ben Simmons for less than a premium price.
I’m wondering what pushes this thing over the finish line, myself. And what happens Philly to come off their asking price if it happens at all. We’ll see, as always.
I agree with you. The headspace that Simmons is in right now (and maybe for good), is not going to work in Sacramento. He won’t want to be here, and finding ourselves in Philly’s current situation will be unbelievably bad.
Y’all have no idea what basketball hell can truly be.
Utimately, I think some other team (Pacers, Wolves, Blazers, maybe in that order) are going to pony up more than the Kings can (or are willing) to offer. As much as I think this front office is too passive, I don’t blame them for not offering Fox. Folks are glossing over a bit how much Simmons may be a problem off the floor. It’s also entirely possible that Simmons has ruled out showing up in Sacramento, period. McNair seemed pretty definitive about the roster not changing.
The issue, Spackler, is that the Pacers offer of Brogdon and whatever just isn’t that big of a deal in the grand scheme. Sometimes you make several deals before hitting on that big deal. That’s what Morey did with getting Harden. I believe there was 3 trades made before acquiring Harden but there were at least two. One was the Kevin Martin deal and the other was the Kyle Lowry deal.
Malcolm Brogdon does neither A) get Philly in title contention or B) get you the player that puts you in title contention.
The same point with CJ McCollum and the Blazers applies here as it does with the Pacers. Do you honestly think Portland has much interest in Brogdon as the centerpiece of a Lillard trade if that comes to pass? And….. why is McCollum being mentioned
It’s not just what Philly gets back in a trade in the here and now, it’s also the picks they get later. If you can’t trade for a star, start stocking up assets to get one. That’s what I think the Wolves and Kings can do. Also, it’s really a matter of whether Philly can live with what either Minny or Sac can offer in existing players? So far no.
It’s a matter of time when Morey has to give it up. And when he does, hoo buddy, that’s going to be interesting.
Simply, I think either Brogdon or McCollum have more value than anything the Kings have to offer, assuming Fox isn’t in the deal. Maybe they’re not great value in an absolute sense, but the Kings other assets aren’t great.
I agree with you there. Portland or Indiana would both be decent spots for Simmons, each with far less media glare. Both teams also have all-stars, and are realistically closer to making the playoffs than Sacramento.
I don’t know how happy Simmons might be in either of those places, and my overriding concern is that he may just be broken. It just feels like too big of a risk for an organization that historically, has some dysfunction built into the business model.
My hope is that this will motivate Simmons, and push him to be better, but there’s no way to know what’s going on in someone’s head without a brick.
Yep, I see how good Simmons can be with aspects of the game and wouldn’t necessarily be mad about a deal that doesn’t send every possible asset, but Simmons is not just Chris Webber disgruntled. His on court offensive game may be a serious long-term issue, and he doesn’t come out clean with the way he’s behaved off the court either. Frankly, he deserves the mild criticism he’s gotten, and I’d hope that would motivate improvement, not escape.
Acquiring him at all is risky, and you’ve got to balance that with the assets you give up. I don’t think I’d criticize McNair either way here, unless he sends every asset (extremely unlikely) or Simmons goes somewhere else for nothing (even more unlikely).
Morey will definitely not get fleeced in whatever deal (if any) comes to pass, but his position is extremely weak, and he’s going to have to settle for a reasonable return.
Curious what you think of these deals Sims (and Spackler and whomever): Barnes, Bagley, 22 & 24 FRPs unprotected OR Taurean Prince, Malik Beasley, Jaden McDaniels and 22 & 24 FRPs.
I’m not sure which ultimately Philly chooses here, but I think that’s the best Minny & Sac can offer. (For the umpteenth time saying that.) Personally I think Sac’s offer is better for Philly but it’s very close between the two. Thoughts?
If you get 2020-21 Barnes, I think Sac’s offer is a little better in the sense that you get the best player in the deal. But if Barnes regresses to his pre-2020 form and the other players grow a bit, it could go the other way. I don’t expect a ton of improvement from Bagley, and his health is always a question.
I think in terms of draft picks, the Wolves have more upside than the Kings if they stay healthy, so I’d rather have the Kings picks than the Wolves. The Kings are also seem more likely to either implode or rebuild (why not both?) over the next few years.
If I’m Philly, I like Brogdon or McCollum better. Neither are going to push them to a title, but either will get them closer than the other players in the deal, if they’re thinking right now.
The Big Minny Impluild
Monte’s analysis tells him Simmons is worth X amount, so he’s offering X. If Philadelphia wants X+1 for Simmons, they can pound sand. It’s the polar opposite of Vlade’s guts-and-feelings-centric method, and probably far superior in the long run–but it does lead to frustrating situations like this, where fans are screaming “just DO IT already! Who cares about the +1!!” and McNair pulls a pen out of his pocket protector, waves it in an admonishing manner, and goes “now now, the data does not justify that!”
Of course, maybe the problem is that Simmons is worth X, but Monte doesn’t have X on his roster, he only has X-1. This being the Kangz, maybe he literally has -1. Either way, math is hard and the Kangz will Kang.
There ain’t no star available. Siakam seems off the board at this point. I’d trade Fox for Ingram in a New York Minute, but his name has been invisible from trade rumors.
And Monte honestly seems less clever than I ever imagined.
Exactly no star is available, Siakam himself isn’t a star nor is Fox as many King’s fans seem to believe.
No, you’re a star!
If Vlade were still the Kings GM, Ben Simmons would be a King right now!
Of course he probably would have given up Fox and Haliburton and multiple firsts, but he would have gotten it done!!!!
And Holmes, and Bagley, and Hield, and Barnes and….
Super team, just one (player on the roster).
“Coach said he could guard 1 through 5.
That would be the next saga of the Kangz.
We are only four players away from being able start five players……
And would’ve had a better deal two days ago…
Trading Fox for Simmons might be easier to contemplate if Vlade would have drafted Luka. Luka and Simmons would have been nice.
And a bunch of those guys named Cash Considerations……
“There is only so much time until De’Aaron Fox can understandably request out.”
File this under who cares.
You are such a Peach!
And I don’t think I need to specify where you can go file that.
Thanks, very mature of you.
Its the internet, you’re not entitled to maturity you old bag
Year after year, y’all are persistent, I’ll give you that.
What else we got? We live in a fucking cowtown for chrissake.
This is going to be Monte’s Doncic. Simmons will go to Minn, SA, or OKC, and that team will blow past us, keeping us out of the playoffs for the next five years. We’ll pitchfork Monte out of town, and he’ll go crawling back to Morey for another asst. job, which he won’t get.
You left out, “while at the same time Fox demands a trade”.
Monte should get GM of the year if he can just keep the Kings from literally sharting on the court at any point this season.
Ben Simmons ain’t Luka Doncic. You can’t build a team around him, and he can’t put the team on his back and will them to victory. He’s not that guy, few are.
I don’t believe for a moment that Simmons would be happy in a Kings uniform, and I can’t support an overpay so that we can finish eleventh instead of fourteenth.
It also occurs to me that Sacramento doesn’t have complete control of how this shakes out, as a team does in the draft when it’s their turn.
These things are completely different.
As in his career-defining missed opportunity to get a star. I’m trying to figure out where the hell I said Simmons was better than Luka.
Reading and ranting are two different things.
You’re comparing apples to Peaches, Grant…
I don’t care for the job the front office (hasn’t) done, but Doncic was an obvious draft pick to absolutely everyone in the NBA except the Kings front office, which would have cost the Kings nothing to draft. The Simmons situation is much more complex, and becomes less obviously a good move the more you give up to get him and there’s a possibility getting Simmons period is anywhere between a great move and not a good move at all, for various reasons.
I don’t care for the job the front office (hasn’t) done, but Doncic was an obvious draft pick to absolutely everyone in the NBA except the Kings front office, which would have cost the Kings nothing to draft. The Simmons situation is much more complex, and becomes less obviously a good move the more you give up to get him and there’s a possibility getting Simmons period is anywhere between a great move and not a good move at all, for various reasons, basketball and not.
Say it a third time, and I guarantee total agreement.
I’d be keeping my eyes on two guys: Jerami Grant and Pascal Siakam. While neither Pistons or Raptors have indicated they want to trade them, there’s a positional and timeline issues with both. For Toronto, Scotties Barnes and OG Anouby are the forwards on what seems like a rebuilding squad, and Siakam hasn’t shown the ability or inclination to work full-time at the five. For Detroit, they have young talent at almost every position, are still rebuilding, and I believe they’ll eventually look to run Cunningham as a point forward while replacing Grant with young guards and/or draft picks. Nothing guaranteed— fortunes could change, Masai Ujiri plays it close to the vest, and Detroit will probably keep quiet out of respect for Grant signing with them. Still, that doesn’t mean a trade isn’t available at the right time and price.
In particular, I think Grant would be a really underrated pick-up. Showed himself to able step up and score from everywhere last year, and has always shown a willingness and ability to defend multiple positions. He’d be an excellent second option behind Fox, and could help shore up our D a bit. I’m not counting on it happening, but I’d be ecstatic if we got him.
Agreed 100% about both guys, and Grant could be had, potentially.
Spicy P in purple! That would be righteous.
I remember reading that Grant topped the list of several teams during last year’s trade deadline. Detroit supposedly turned down an offer of two FRPs (although we are talking playoff team FRPs, so they are closer to SRPs). I think it was Boston and Miami that made the offers but I don’t recall exactly who wanted him.
That would make sense. I’d personally be willing to go as high as Davion Mitchell, Marvin Bagley and a first for Grant. I think that would exceed two first from a playoff team since Mitchell= lottery pick, Bagley=low first pair of seconds, and 2022 Kings pick could be be a low lottery in the competitive West. I also admit, as much as I’d miss Mitchell, I’d be really intrigued to see him working in a three-guard line-up with Hayes and Cunningham; that could be a perfect place for him, and I could see fearing a Mitchell, Hayes (if he improves), Cunningham, Bey and Stewart line-up in the future. As for the Kings, it might suck to lose Mitchell and a first, but I really think that Grant is underrated and has rooms even at 27 to grow into All-Star for the Kings.
I think Simmons is a fine player, and if Hali and Fox are still on the roster, then great. But, that’s not a deal that Philly – as of yet – seems interested in. At this point, I wouldn’t give them Mitchell either.
So, I’m fine with missing out on Simmons if the asking price is more than Hield/Barnes, Bagley and two firsts.
That’s the deal, imo. It’s up to Philly to take it or leave it.
I agree, no Fox or Hali included in the deal and perhaps not Mitchell either, Morey can ask for whatever else outside of that.
Two top three protected firsts
I think this is a fair deal.
I would offer to leave the picks unprotected if need be, but I think this is in line with what the Kings will/have realistically offered. Maybe throw in a third pick (lottery-protected)? Reasonable people can disagree. Warts and all, though, Simmons is a bona fide All-Star.
I am an open Simmons skeptic, but do see rationale for teams stagnant seeking the upside in play and marketability for a team he can control. But that last point creates problems in reference to the Kings as the ability for him to have license comes at the expense of the current franchise player. I think Fox for Simmons deal is obviously off balance in production and value. The other constructions of Hali the least appealing personally. And the likes of Mitchell, Hield/Barnes and picks more rational but leaves the Kings in a missed balance package at the end of the day.
If someone is trading for Simmons they best be planning on garnering a B- Giannis likely at best whose usage is through the roof and lives in the open court. Thats the only gamble that makes it worth gambling on. The other extreme that people suggests in the budget Draymond copy personally has no merit in being plausible IMO. There are very little indicators in the effectiveness of Ben as a difference making halfcourt contributor. Something that has led to hsi current disgruntlement and team wanting him gone. Facts that in regard to the Kings whose entire schemes are dependent on ball dominant guard whose penetration is his paintbrush and has shooting woes become problematic quick. Call me a skeptic but I fail to see how those two considering their strengths or weaknesses add up to something better than the present. And as it stands I am unwilling to trade one for the other despite that possibly leaving us with the best roster for him to maximize. I cant get there though.
I’m not down with Simmons unless we can get him for Bagley and next years first or Bagley and buddy or something like that. I don’t see him as fixing this team
I wonder if the hope is that Bagley shows something in the first few weeks of the season and this tips the scales for Philly. It would be a foolish hope, but a hope nonetheless.
Bagley would likely shoot a better 3 point percentage than Simmons, so the Sixers would improve in that catergory!
If we are talking about other potential trade targets, I’ll keep pining for Miles Bridges
I think he may be gattable with their depth at wing. That would be a nice grab for Monte, depending on the price. Hornets may need to make a decision about him because he is a RFA next summer.
There is no feasible deal for Bridges. He will be an RFA the end of this year. Next year, we can do a sign and trade (either Barnes or Buddy) for him if he wants out.
It is possible that he signs an extension in the next couple of weeks. Then we also wait until next year to try to make a deal.
I think we can trade for him this year if we are willing to offer our 2022 1st round pick.
It would be hard to argue with a deal like that, from the Kings’ perspective.
What If Universe is fun. For comic books.
I like Simmons’ game enough that I’d welcome him to the team and hope Rico Hines and Co. can make short work of his short-comings. If Simmons lands somewhere else then we can finally shut up about him being a King and go back to business as usual.
Morey most likely wants Fox, Haliburton, Mitchell and like eight first round picks … we want to give him Buddy and Bagley.
Ergo, Simmons is not coming here … there is no “if”
It’s okay to want things. But Morey doesn’t have wants, so much as he has wishes.
The most Kangz outcome would be for a team such as, say the Twolves, to acquire Ben Simmons for a reasonable price and then have the Kings finish 11th in the West right behind the 10th place Twolves.
Simmons isnt going to be here unless Fox/Haliburton/Mitchell (if Sixers are HIGH on Mitchell with a pick package, but that would be the minority chance) are on the Sixers. I wouldnt even want the Kings to move Hali or Mitchell
Is there still a segment of Kings fans that envision acquiring him with our spare talent when 28 teams would like him on their team?
Fox/Simmons don’t even make sense together – the spacing and ball dominance
And how can Monte necessarily pivot to acquiring a strong player with our spare parts? Those chances aren’t here everyday
I’d love for the Kings to trade for Porzingis. I know he’s not that popular with this crowd. But the fit to me would be excellent. He doesn’t need to be the focal point, but he would get a lot more touches than he does now. He compliments Holmes, adds more dimension to the starting unit, and still plays decent D. Obviously health is the biggest thing with him, but he can’t be worse than Bagley on that front, and is an upgrade in every category by comparison.
Buddy, Bagley, and a pick I believe makes it work. Dallas does it because what they have is bad and not working. Luka needs more shooting in Buddy, and they get a young project in Bagley who supposedly is out to prove everyone wrong, and the pick. The irony of Bagley being on the same team as Luka isn’t lost on me either.
Probably won’t happen, but that’s my two cents. Maybe by typing this out here, the universe wills it into existence.
*If he stays healthy
Which he no longer does.
A). Not for his contract
B). He’d probably be in street clothes for half the season.
If it continues as it is the Kings might be the Kangz and over pay for him.
I’m just hoping for one thing here.
Don’t. Get. Fleeced. By. Philly. Again.
I would like to keep Buddy in a Simmons trade, Davion is Fox insurance after his trade demand in 2022. Holy/Bones/Baggie/ 22,24 1st
I hope he is partnering with ZeBo!
I had a communications law professor tell me many years ago that a broadcasting license is essentially a printing press for money, which was 100% true, and still is. Getting in early on a cannabis business is the new version of that.
I wish I had a pile of money to invest in one, particularly now before the product becomes legal nationwide, if the feds would ever get over their century-old position on it, which is essentially based on the movie Reefer Madness.
Quite on point from Candace Bruckner @ WaPo:
Devastating conclusion. Oof.
This is a poorly written and researched article in my opinion. There is a report out this week that the Sixers are looking for trade partners in the Western conference. McNair’s patience is a benefit not a detriment. If he does trade for Simmons, it will be on his terms not Morey’s. Morey has over played his hand in this big time. He has little to almost no leverage at the moment. The only team I see being poorly run enough to over pay for Simmons at the moment is the Blazers. Unless of course Monte is feeling generous and bails his old friend out by offering a trade of Buddy and Bagley straight up. Ask yourselves however, do you want a guy on your team who has no problem whatsoever sitting out training camp and disrupting the synergy of the team because he is an immature man-child? His talent is unquestionable regarding his athleticism, passing and defense but is it worth it? Tough question at this point.
This article clearly lacks the Kyrie and Wiggins level of research!