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Assessing the Kings needs and potential targets as we near the trade deadline

Thursday's deadline is rapidly approaching.
By | 65 Comments | Feb 4, 2024

Dec 18, 2023; Sacramento, California, USA; Washington Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma (33) scores a basket against Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes (40) during the third quarter at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA Trade Deadline is Thursday, February 8th. With the deadline rapidly approaching, it makes sense to look around the landscape and assess where everything stands.

Rumored Targets

The Sacramento Kings have been connected at various times to many targets, but it still feels like nobody is exactly sure what Monte McNair will do, if anything. OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam were rumored targets over the last year or so, but Siakam was acquired by the Indiana Pacers and OG was acquired by the New York Knicks. Both players are thriving in their new spots, especially OG who has completely transformed the Knicks season. It’s a bit painful to see, even if the Kings may not have had any realistic way to beat New York’s trade package.

The Kings have also been rumored to be interested in Jerami Grant and/or Matisse Thybulle, but the latest reports suggest Portland is in no hurry to deal either player. Are the Trail Blazers posturing, or are they really going to keep the core together for the rest of the year?

From the Bulls, I’m sure the Kings are among the dozen teams interested in acquiring Alex Caruso, but Chicago has reportedly shown no interest in moving him. And we can officially count out Zach LaVine as a trade target after he opted for season-ending surgery on Saturday. LaVine would have been a precarious fit with the Kings anyway, and the risk plus his contract would have made me pretty nervous.

Finally, we have Kyle Kuma. The Kings have been linked to Kuzma for years, dating back to the failed Buddy Hield trade that would have brought Kuzma to the Kings. The Washington Wizards had reportedly been seeking multiple first round picks for Kuzma, but reports this last week have suggested that the Wizards asking price might be coming down as the deadline nears. Still, the Wizards don’t have a need to unload Kuzma. His contract will only continue to become more attractive as it declines year over year. The Wizards can hold him and remain confident there will be a market for him in the summer or in seasons to come. If the Kings do make a big move, Kuzma seems like the most likely target at this point.

Team Needs

If we’d written this column a month ago, or even two weeks ago, we might’ve been talking about the need to upgrade over Harrison Barnes or Kevin Huerter. But both players have emerged from their early season slumps and reminded us why they were such critical parts of the Beam Team last season. Harrison Barnes in particular has really stepped up his game lately. When Barnes is aggressive and involved in the offense, the Kings are simply a better team:

As it stands today, the Kings biggest need is clearly some sort of bench upgrade. I don’t see Malik Monk or Trey Lyles going anywhere, but both players have been inconsistent this season. When one or both of them isn’t playing well, the Kings have been getting killed in their bench minutes. I don’t know that the Kings will look at upgrading the backup center spot, either. JaVale McGee and Alex Len have both had stretches where they’re effective, despite their limitations.

We’ve heard for most of the year that Davion Mitchell is available in trades, and I’ll be surprised if he’s still on the Kings at this time next week. He needs a new situation, a new offense, a fresh start. I still believe Davion can be a solid NBA player, but I don’t think he fits what the Kings need as a backup point guard.

Aside from backup point guard, the other glaring need is another wing. The Kings need someone who can spell Barnes and Keegan Murray without being an a net negative. The Chris Duarte gamble hasn’t paid off, and Kessler Edwards is a solid defender but doesn’t give you any offense. Sasha Vezenkov hasn’t had the immediate impact I’d hoped he would, though he has had some nice moments. But even when he’s playing well, and playing better defense than I expected from him, he’s not a real wing as much as he’s a stretch four.

So what will the Kings do?

This is the million dollar question, and I really don’t know. Given the front office’s hesitation to disrupt the team’s chemistry and cohesion, I’ll be surprised if we see a big splash. I think a small move or two swapping out bench pieces for different bench pieces is far more likely. And as much as I’d like a blockbuster move to vault the Kings into true contender status, I’m trying not to get my hopes up. McNair has shown himself to be far more patient than Kings fans, and we’re probably in for another display of caution and patience rather than unabashed ambition.

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Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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February 4, 2024 12:38 pm

I still feel Thybulle is the play. He’s gonna be the odd man out next season with the emergence of Scoot and Sharpe. PDX is asset accumulation mode and is also likely looking to move Brogdon as well

PDX got Thybulle for a basically a pair of second round picks. I’d offer them two second rounders and Sasha.

I’ll add, the only way I take on Grant’s horrible deal is if he comes with Thybulle and other assets. PDX is eventually going to have to pay someone to take on Grant. Keep in mind he has over $128M guaranteed through 2028! He’s going to be making $36M in his final year at the age of 34. If he came with Thybulle and Camara I’d listen.

I think other teams will be selling as well. Marcus Smart in Memphis and PJ Washington in Charlotte are probably available.

Ellis5
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February 4, 2024 11:55 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I don’t know who this person is

Inthestarz
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February 5, 2024 3:06 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Not happening. Grant still has first round value

murraytant
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February 5, 2024 12:37 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

There are 3 basic roads for Monte: stand pat, go for bench help or swing big.

I don’t think he will stand pat.
Bench help: Caruso (Bulls want too much), Thybulle (good deal if “cheap”), DFS (best option because he is between starter and bench but what is cost? – picks are fine and fodder but not Lyles as fodder), Royce O’Neil (good if on the cheap), Delon Wright (not a wing but does play D but not worth a first rounder)
Big swing: LaVine (no), Grant (bad contract) and Kuzma (fine if does not upset deep core)
With Simmonds performing well, Nets are over-stocked at this type, so DFS and RO are probably available. Wisz in yard sale mode.
The cost for OG and for Siakem was too high and Raptors got better deals elsewhere.
Pacers do have some 3-4 redundancy now. Toppin, Ben Shephard, Jalen Smith Nesmith and B. Brown.
I am not impressed with Washington but Smart is a good player but what is cost?

jwalker1395
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February 5, 2024 1:32 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I really like Thybulle, but come playoff time he is going to be left all alone on offense. Can the Kings survive playing 4v5, even if he gives all-defense effort on the other end? Idk. I’m fine with acquiring a player that’s more defensive than offensive, but they at least have to do enough on offense to make the other team think about them. Caruso is kind of the perfect example of this.

I’m still most interested in Wiggins. With the Warriors being one of the most expensive teams in the league (the most?) without anything to show for it, they need to shed salary fast. Wiggins fits the timeline and mold we’re looking for, along with all the right external conditions for the Warriors to want to ship him out. If we could peel him and Moody away, it’d be a huge win for our present and future imo. Ik Wiggs hasn’t been great this season, but a lot of it has seemed more based on fit/environment in GS. I bet he’d be revitalized in a Kings uniform.

Klam
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Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
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February 4, 2024 12:58 pm

I’d be really surprised if a big splash trade happened at this point. But hoping we can get a couple smaller pieces to help us out for the rest of the season. Wondering if teams would be willing to take a piece like Duarte or Mitchell since I don’t see their value as high. But maybe a team would be willing to since their contracts aren’t necessarily the worst.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
February 4, 2024 1:32 pm
Reply to  Klam

I don’t think Mitchell has any value aside from swapping for someone else’s first round disappointment with guaranteed money. Zaire Williams comes to mind..meh

Duarte at at least has a TO option for next season, so he’d likely be expiring salary filler in a bigger deal if one were to come about.

Socalpurplecurse
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February 4, 2024 1:50 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Apparently it takes 2 firsts to get Caruso, if we are to make a splash this would be it. I hope we don’t over value Barnes and Huerter simply because they’ve gone through a stretch of remembering how to play basketball. If anything, let’s take advantage of their recent hot stretch for Barnes and mediocre stretch for Huerter and get value now. Maybe a 3 way trade involving Barnes and us Landing Caruso or DFS. Let’s end the Barnes and Huerter experiment please.

Jack
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February 4, 2024 2:10 pm

Vezenkov, Mitchell, Duarte, Edwards a first and as many 2nds it takes for Avdiga and Jones. Avdija is a better fit on the Kings than Kuzma, plays better defense, a good rebounder, doesn’t have to score that much and works hard all game long. He would play SF and that leaves Barnes to come off the bench with Jones, Monk, Lyles and either McGee or Len. You have another bench scorer which we really need. Avdiga also has a good contract and is far younger than Barnes. Jones would be a perfect fit as backup PG and can play more minutes than Mitchell which gives Fox more rest to do what he does in the 4th. quarter His assists to turnovers is great.

Jack
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February 4, 2024 2:15 pm
Reply to  Jack

PS Ihad to add C. Jones to make it work. Left him out in above trade.

murraytant
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February 5, 2024 12:44 pm
Reply to  Jack

Not sure of the value of Deni- never seen him play a good game. Jones, however, is solid and will shoot unlike Davion.
I know this may sound crazy but I like C. Jones- thought he was close in talent and potential to the duds Carrott Top in pre-season. Just has not had the minutes

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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February 4, 2024 2:36 pm
Reply to  Jack

I don’t think the Wiz are trading Avdija. I’d image they’d like to build aroundhim and Bilal. Everyone else is on the table.

NorCalKingsFan
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February 4, 2024 3:02 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Well, just to be fair to idea above…Bilal, Deni (and even Kispert) are SFs and don’t particularly play well together. The Wiz want to build around Bilal and he has played his best ball at SF next to Kuzma at PF (Kuzma is the Wiz’s only real PF). With that said, Deni is currently one of their better players and they won’t be getting rid of him for nothing.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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February 4, 2024 2:36 pm
Reply to  Jack

I don’t think the Wiz are trading Avdija. I’d image they’d like to build around him and Bilal. Everyone else is on the table.

MichaelMack
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February 4, 2024 3:02 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I think you are correct. Great value contract, and a plug-and-play guy who can fit in almost any lineup. No reason to trade him.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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February 4, 2024 2:34 pm

My best guess, the Bulls want draft assets to attach to LaVine’s toxic contract. They aren’t getting multiple firsts for Caruso, but may settle for some 2nds, a protected first, and/or a swap or two by next Thursday for Caruso. They run the risk of keeping potentially the worst contract in the league while letting DeRozan walk for nothing. If any team gets desperate by Thursday, it will be the Bulls.

murraytant
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February 5, 2024 12:40 pm

Caruso is not worth 2 first round picks. Despite Kyle Draper praising the heck out of him. DFS much better. If Kings use multiple FRP then it ought to be for big splash not a filler/helper.

Socalpurplecurse
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February 5, 2024 7:42 pm
Reply to  murraytant

Caruso is an all NBA defender, he can take people of the dribble and he shoot the 3 at 40%. I’m not sure you’ve watched his tape, he’s not a filler helper he’s an Elite defender and 2 late first round picks is more then fair for his services. I fear our GM might overvalue late picks like you however.

BeTheBall
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February 5, 2024 12:41 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Duarte’s option was exercised.

Bluejohn
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February 4, 2024 7:11 pm
Reply to  Klam

I still have visions of what Bruce Brown did last year in the playoffs last season for the Nuggs. From what I’ve read Toronto is willing to make him available in trade. He’s not a superstar but he is a player who plays hard every night. As I recall (didn’t look it up) he makes $22 mil this season but the second year isn’t guaranteed. He’s not a 1 or a 4 but in my POV he is a difference maker.

murraytant
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February 5, 2024 12:47 pm
Reply to  Bluejohn

BB would make a significant difference.
He is not a “bench help” trade nor is he a bit swing. Would a trade for him deplete so many assets that a big swint is not possible?

Jman1949
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February 4, 2024 1:53 pm

Hmmm…Kuzma is out against Phoenix today…and so is MB III !

NowLoveThemOnceAgain
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February 4, 2024 1:53 pm

Watching Caruso at work last night, I’d love to see him on the roster. Reminds me alot of Dante DiVincenzo, who Kings inconceivably let go. I do see value in keeping Davion Mitchell and helping him get to the next level; remember he was highly effective at Baylor and his athleticism and hustle is difficult to top.

NowLoveThemOnceAgain
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February 4, 2024 1:55 pm

He needs to work an entire summer with DeAaron and maybe another coach and mentor from another team–just like Keegan did, and we can all see the vast improvement in Keegan’s game over last season.

Socalpurplecurse
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February 4, 2024 2:10 pm

Dante didn’t wanna be here and we payed Malik Monk instead. If we get outbid for Caruso maybe we can convince the Knicks to take Barnes and Alex Len for Josh hart and Flynn. They need a back up center and Barnes sounds like a Knicks type of guy.

Ellis5
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February 4, 2024 9:00 pm

Hasn’t Dante been DiVincenzo’d to multiple teams?

NorCalKingsFan
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February 4, 2024 2:26 pm

No Kuzma please. he won’t help and will cost too much to acquire. The Kings need a defender, not a scorer who sees himself as the #1 option, when at best he is a #3 or #4 on a decent team.

Sacto_J
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February 4, 2024 2:46 pm

After seeing that list…
comment image

I don’t think they need to do anything besides learn how to turn on and stay on. They’re really tough to beat when they’re not beating themselves and can literally hang with anyone. Except the Pelicans. But never mind that, right now.

NorCalKingsFan
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February 4, 2024 3:04 pm
Reply to  Sacto_J

I agree with you for the most part. If MM can find someone undervalued and available on the cheap then fine, but otherwise I think they stand pat and see how far the team can go as currently constructed.

MichaelMack
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February 4, 2024 3:25 pm

I know I am repeating myself, but I hope that MM makes a move for a 4th guard. The minutes that Duarte and Davion have used this year have been awful for the most part.

A guard with a little size, who can handle the ball and keep it moving, and be able to play defense consistently would go a long way towards keeping the team buoyed with Fox on the bench and/or Monk is having a wild night. Delon Wright is sort of an ideal 4th, Anthony Melton would be great but a tough get, as would Kris Dunn, but he found his home in Utah. Maybe Jevon Carter?

My top target for that spot? Taylor Horton-Tucker. No minutes for him in Utah with George, Sexton, Dunn, & Clarkson. THT is 6-4 & 230lb, he can defend guards and wings. He is passable at playing the point, and while he is not a good shooter, that is an area of strength. He can pass, rebound, and is a very physical defender with good hands. I think he would be quite a find, and maybe send them Duarte and Davion.

If Sasha can contribute a bit (I think there is a fair chance he can more than a bit), Kessler can provide some situational defense, hustle, and rebounding, then I feel like the team is well rounded.

I am hesitant to make any major changes mid-season, I am not sure the Kings offense is something someone like Kuzma is going to learn on the fly, and I am not sure he is significant enough of upgrade. I think the Kings need to see where this team is with everyone playing well, I mean, they are 29-19 and feel like they have underperformed, then make significant changes this summer.

It seemed like Buddy should have been traded way before he actually was, and I believe that was because MM needed his 18m contract as trade collateral. I think the same is true for Barnes/Huerter, who are both productive players with good contracts who can fit into any scheme. I would rather use their contracts to get a much more significant piece than Kyle Kuzma, or Keldon Johnson, or any of the average 3/4’s that Barnes is an older version of value/contribution wise.

What if something significant happens this summer? Is Cleveland sold on Mobley fitting next to Jarret Allen? They might feel pressure to make a move so Donovan doesn’t ask out. I bet this coaching staff can figure out how to use Mobley as the starting four who staggers with Domas to also play the back up five, must like Fox and Monk are staggered. Cleveland is low in picks after getting Mitchell, would Barnes and multiple firsts get him?That is the level of player I think the Kings need to look at this summer rather than marginal upgrades.

Hobby916
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February 4, 2024 5:06 pm
Reply to  MichaelMack

Monte Morris would be a good fit also. High ast/to ratio, shoots well, average defender. He is the calm to Malik’s chaos. Push Malik off ball a bit to find open 3s and not turn the ball over so damn much.

TheGrantNapear
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February 4, 2024 4:56 pm

Tony mentioned a few things in the most recent podcast that I really agree with.

Number one: MM simply hasn’t accumulated assets that enable us to make moves. We don’t have young players with potential that other teams would covet in a trade, nor do we have extra draft picks.
Number two: it may be better to stand pat this season and see how the current roster plays in the playoffs this year after gaining a year of playoff experience last year and then assess things in the offseason.
——-
MM and coach will have a better understanding of the current roster’s ceiling and weaknesses after another playoff run. So keep the powder dry until the offseason and make moves then. That’s my position at this point. Just let the season play out and see what kind of damage Fox and Ox can do in the playoffs and go from there. Thus, I hope we make no moves this week, not even minor ones.

SexyNapear
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February 4, 2024 5:00 pm

Kessler has been a bit of a disappointment for the Jazz this season. Love to see the Kings snare him. Even like to see him upfront with Sabonis.

TheGrantNapear
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February 4, 2024 5:06 pm
Reply to  SexyNapear

Hey Grant,
Fancy seeing you here.

The fit on offense with Sabonis and Kessler would be cluncky, on D though it would be awesome.

Hobby916
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February 4, 2024 5:09 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

comment image

Dorde34
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February 4, 2024 5:52 pm

I’m baffled by the amount of people wanting to stand pat. It makes no sense to me. The rest of the Western conference is improving as well and nothing is guaranteed from year to year. Look at the Grizzlies, just last year they were the 2 seed and full of promise, and one year later, not even play in status. My point is, to stand pat and ‘run it back’, would be a terrible decision. As of now it looks like the Kings will match up with either the Clippers or Nuggets or Wolves in the 1st round. Best case scenario would be for Thunder to drop to 4 seed, but not likely. Kings would have to go on a tear to get to 4 seed or above. That’s not likely. To remain at the 5 seed will be a very tough battle in of itself. The Kings must improve at backup PG and defense at the wing position. The Kings will get absolutely picked apart in the playoffs without an upgrade. I understand the market isn’t great this trade deadline, but sometimes you have to overpay for nice things. To do nothing would be to waste another season. Remember, nothing is guaranteed. Go after Tyus Jones, Caruso, or Brogdon. Go after Dorian Smith, Mikal Bridges, Grant, or Lauri. Tick tock, tick tock.

Hobby916
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February 4, 2024 6:10 pm
Reply to  Dorde34

I would love to hear your trade proposals for the players mentioned above.

Dorde34
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February 4, 2024 6:56 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

It would depend on the player, but whatever it takes. Not for all of them, but to obtain Mikal or Lauri. Whatever it takes. Minus Fox, Keegan, and Sabonis, of course.

Bluejohn
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February 4, 2024 6:53 pm
Reply to  Dorde34

Dored34 – you laid that out nicely. To some extent it sounds like we need to make a move just to make a move but you balanced out both POV’s at the end of your post. The clock is ticking for sure but who are you going to trade for who really moves the needle. I don’t have the receipts but I read recently that mid season trades usually don’t make that much difference for the team who traded for them. A mid season trade is more about what they will do for you next season than in the season they were acquired.

Unless you are talking about a superstar or near all star.

Dorde34
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February 4, 2024 7:03 pm
Reply to  Bluejohn

I agree with most of what you said for sure, but I do believe two defensive oriented players would move the needle immensely for this team. Or a solid backup PG. If they were able to acquire either Tyus Jones or Caruso and Dorian Smith. I think the Kings would solve multiple lineup issues immediately. They would have two elite perimeter defenders on the wing to go along with two solid ones in Fox and Keegan. Fox would be able to rest longer during games with competent PG play, leaving him fresh for the 4th quarter in close games. Leading to much less sporadic play by limiting turnovers and being able to close out games better. Just my opinion. I just strongly believe a trade needs to happen.

TheGrantNapear
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February 4, 2024 7:32 pm
Reply to  Dorde34

We don’t really have the assets to make a big move unless we give up a boat load of future firsts and pick swaps which would completely limit what we can do in the future.
Sure we can make some minor moves, but it’s not going to move the needle much.

Hobby916
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February 4, 2024 7:59 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

I think getting a more consistent 7, 8, 9 guy would help. The games where the bench doesn’t show up, the Kings really struggle.

Getting rid of Davion, Duarte, Mcgee, len, Kessler and some combination of draft pick might get that guy. Whom that is, idk.

Socalpurplecurse
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February 4, 2024 9:44 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

If Future firsts is what it takes to get in the contention convo then so be it, we just gifted last years 1st to Dallas to simply dump a center and his overpayed salary. We also have Portlands 2025 2nd rounder in what’s supposed to be a deep draft. If it’s for DFS or Caruso you go for it, legitimate 3 and D guys that can give us a chance to compete with the top in the West.

Ellis5
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February 4, 2024 10:36 pm
Reply to  Dorde34

Context is a Bitch!

murraytant
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February 5, 2024 12:58 pm
Reply to  Dorde34

The 5 spot is tough- have to play LAC, Denver or Wolves unless OKC drops to 4 and that would be good. Might be better to end at 6, get the #3 opponent. While Denver and the Wolves would be tough, Kings do not fare well against NOP or LAC (when healthy) I would rather play Denver than either of them.
Except for OKC against who I am confident, who of Caruso, Thybulle, DFS, R O’Neil, Bruce Brown or Kuzma would make that much of a difference?
DFS and BB and maybe Kuzma if he could stop shooting.

Ellis5
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February 4, 2024 8:28 pm

I’d rather have Buckets back than Kyle…. Just sayin’

Ellis5
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February 4, 2024 9:04 pm

When do we start seeing the “ Kings are too healthy” in context to fun NBA narratives?

ForKingsandCountry
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February 4, 2024 9:32 pm

I’m kind of fine with them standing pat this year as long as we all understand that it pretty much guarantees the Kings aren’t getting out of the first round. I’m not opposed to that because it would free up all our draft picks after the Hawks pick confers. I just thinks it’s incredibly clear this team has a ceiling they aren’t breaking through without some upgrades.

Ellis5
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February 4, 2024 10:13 pm

I’d find some solace with the Kings moving forward in the playoffs without making any major moves… Also the Warriors context… pretty epic.

ForKingsandCountry
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February 4, 2024 11:29 pm
Reply to  Ellis5

If it happens that would be awesome and would require an upset. I just don’t think it’s likely until we get more size on the wing and someone who can protect the rim.

Ellis5
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February 4, 2024 11:37 pm

The upset already happened. The NBA just wasn’t ready yet.

UpgradedToQuestionable
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February 5, 2024 12:57 am

Warm Takes: The Kings are both under and over performing this season. Again.

With the 10th(!) best record in the League and tied with 19th placed Houston for 14th point differential. They are somewhere in the Top 1/3 or 1/2 of teams. Playoff, not Championship, contenders.

A respectable 15-11 on the road and an improved, decent 14-8 at home from last season.

Trades? I still want to see better Domas back up insurance. Fox too – Monk and Davion? Meh. Where’s Mathew Dellavedova when you need him? (I kid)

What are your trade assets?
Outside of your Core 8 you have Duarte, Davion, First round frozen until Atlanta pick confers. (the first-round pick headed to Atlanta is lottery-protected in 2024, top-12 in 2025 and top-10 in 2026). In the second rounds, their own and only 2025 Portland additionally.

I guess you can trade 1st round 2027 and beyond.

What can you get for that and not change your Core?
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Maybe Mathew Dellavedova.

Last edited 5 months ago by UpgradedToQuestionable
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February 5, 2024 2:10 am

From my perspective- the Kings are lacking in youth (Keegan, Davion, Colby Jones, Kessler Edwards, Keon are the youngest)

because for a NBA record high 17 straight seasons they missed the playoffs, which 16/30 teams play, and with the play-in: 20/30 teams compete for at season’s end.

To now say that the Kings didn’t build with youth in mind and they don’t have young assets is unfair. To break the drought and then condemn stability (i.e. trade or not re-sign Barnes last Summer) for youth, trade underperforming Huerter (who’s no longer underperforming) in the competitive West seems less logical than changing to change and risk a Play-In or worse record.

If they had more youth last season would we have seen them at 48 wins? Who knows? Same this season. Is this all about Harrison Barnes?
average age of Sacramento starting 5: 26 (23-31 range), Bench: Monk, Lyles, Sasha (26, 28,28)..

Kyle Kuzma: 28.5 Jersmi Grant 29.9 Pascal Siakam 29.8

NBA Team Average Age- Spurs youngest: 23.5 Clippers oldest: 29.1
Kings: 26.7 (19th)

eddie41
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February 5, 2024 6:41 am

Run it back!

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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February 5, 2024 7:13 am

Good piece with Bobby Marks over at ESPN this morning regarding the new CBA and the trade deadline. Worth the read.

https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/39438109/nba-trade-deadline-why-nba-trade-week-comes-massive-financial-risk

SmoothSactown
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February 5, 2024 7:41 am
Reply to  Adamsite

There’s a section there, describing the setup for a good new CBA team using the Pacers:
1) 2 max level players (Haliburton and Siakam)
2) 9 1-20 million players for the supporting cast. 5 rookie contracts.
If they want a third max, they can go for it, but they do so having the support cast already pre-developed, as once you hit the apron it’s far trickier to gain external help.

Kings are in a similar kind of boat (2 maxes, slightly more expensive supporting cast), which is lending credence to theories of minor tweaks until a home run becomes available.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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February 5, 2024 7:48 am
Reply to  SmoothSactown

Yup. Kings are pretty well set when it comes to roster balance and flexible contracts. Kudos to Monte on that one. Things may change a bit when Keegan gets an extension, but right now they have the deals to both be ready for a big move as well as not painting themselves into a corner with 3 max deals.

This is a big part of the reason I shy away from a guy like Jermi Grant. His contract could potentially tip the roster solvency into a troublesome area. Kuzma is on the edge of that, but his contract does decline. I also just don’t like his fit.

In the end, I agree that minor tweaks are what is needed, and guy and contract like Thybulle or PJ Washington could be worth it’s weight in gold.

TheGrantNapear
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February 5, 2024 8:08 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Jerami in theory is exactly what we need but that contract scares me. You would have three players on essentially max contracts with KM needing to get paid eventually as well. Just don’t see that working with thr cap.

Adamsite
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February 5, 2024 9:02 am
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

Same.

SmoothSactown
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February 5, 2024 7:16 am

I think the Kings are going to stand pat.
1) There are no home run trades available that we could swing on. Between the Jazz/Thunder warchest and the Hawks tying up a fair amount of our picks until the draft, we’re not just competitive in this market.
2) I don’t think Monte wants to change just for the sake of change. In lieu of a big swing we could definitely bolster the bench, but I don’t think we’ll overpay to do so. A Caruso or Thybulle would be very nice, but Chicago has indicated he won’t come cheap and Blazers are standing oddly firm.
3) With Huerter and Barnes reviving, we’re in a solid spot. We’re probably looking at a 1st round competitive out/situational 2nd round, which is still a decent outcome for the season. Next season, with our firsts finally back in action, we can really load up for bigger changes as needed.

TheGrantNapear
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February 5, 2024 7:19 am
Reply to  SmoothSactown

I’m with you. Stand pat and see how this group plays in the playoffs. I think we can get to the second round with this group at the least.

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February 5, 2024 9:22 am
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

Speaking of the playoffs, (in February) –
does the community think/expect that Huerter and/or Barnes will be more productive this first round than last season, when both were let’s say, quiet?

And what about Keegan? He started to produce in the second half of the 7 game series, but that was at the end of his rookie season, what is expected of his Sophomore stint?

Of course – match ups matter. At this point in the season, it is hard to imagine that Sac will break into the top 4 – so no homecourt advantage. It is also difficult to imagine that nemesises (nemini?) Golden State Warriors or Los Angeles Lakers will break into the top 6. That means 7-10, aka Play-In and a match up with seeds 1 or 2.

Ok – enough. Back to our regularly scheduled regular season.

jwalker1395
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February 5, 2024 11:55 am

Huerter had some decent playoff performances in Atlanta. He’s so streaky, though, that it seems like he’ll either play really well or really badly. It’s less “do I think Huerter can contribute in the playoffs” and more “does this coin come up heads or tails?”

Barnes on the other hand has a near career-long reputation as a poor playoff performer. I wouldn’t expect much more than maybe 10-3-2 for the series from him. And when we’re talking about that contribution from a fifth starter, it puts a very firm ceiling on this team’s postseason.

NorCalKingsFan
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February 5, 2024 10:47 am

Interesting article by Sporting News on how to combat GMs over-valuing their own players (based one of Daryl Morey’s methods).

The writer ranks Huerter as worth a 27th pick while Barnes is rated as worth a 32nd pick, and Caruso at a 10th pick.

BeTheBall
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February 5, 2024 1:15 pm

I’m fine standing pat, and staying with the season’s plan. However, I would prefer a tweak or two around the edges. I look at it this way, we all know this team is really weird and can be completely maddening in how they lose, but….BUT…they’ve also somehow still managed to be playing two games better this year compared to last at this point. This is something they’ve done in a Western Conference that has been said to have tremendously upgraded their talent across the board. That counts for something in my book.

There’s a part of me that’s having a flashback to post-deadline last year, where it was suggested that we’d fall back to a play-in team because everyone behind us got so much better. Yet we took a 1.5 game lead over the 4th seed and expanded it to a 6 game lead over Phoenix, before finishing ahead by 3 games.

Currently we’re 18-13 against the West, and 12-9 against the other current playoff/play-in teams, with 4 of those losses coming against the Pels and 2 others against the Clips. So I don’t automatically think that this team, as currently constructed, is an automatic 1st round exit….but yeah, I’d like to see them tune up the bench a little bit. If nothing else, a backup PG to bring some stability to that spot, and backup wing to remove almost all possibility of Duarte seeing the court ever again in Sacramento.

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