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Kings Pulse: What are the Kings getting in Domantas Sabonis?

Mark Schindler joins the show to break down just how good Sabonis is, his fit, and more.
By | 85 Comments | Feb 8, 2022

The Sacramento Kings finally made their big splash move and to everyone’s surprise, that move included trading away Tyrese Haliburton.

Mark Schindler, who covers the Indiana Pacers for Indy Cornrows, joined me to share his perspective and understanding of just how good of a player the Sacramento Kings are acquiring in Domantas Sabonis.

The full details of the trade are Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield, and Tristan Thompson heading to the Pacers in exchange for Domantas Sabonis, Jeremey Lamb, Justin Holiday, and a heavily protected 2027 2nd round pick.

We start the episode as anyone would: I expressed just how surprised I was to see Haliburton traded and Mark shared his similar reaction with Hali, but how he also felt similarly to see Sabonis being moved.

Mark kindly shared just why Sabonis is so highly valued throughout the league and answered a whole lotta questions I threw his way in this roughly 60-minute episode including:

  • How much can Sabonis’ elite rebounding ability help Sacramento’s teamwide issue there?
  • The potential fit of De’Aaron Fox and Sabonis and what the surrounding pieces would optimally look like
  • Is Sabonis someone who you need to run the offense through every single possession?
  • Just how good of a passer are the Kings acquiring? Is he better than Haliburton in that aspect?
  • And plenty more questions to help me get a better understanding of Domantas Sabonis as a player.

We also touch on the lesser talked-about members that were included in this deal. Sacramento was able to move on from Buddy Hield, who had been asking to be traded since at least last offseason, so where can they look to replace his shooting/spacing?

Justin Holiday, who will still have one year remaining on his deal after this season, is not someone to gloss over in this transaction. Mark explains how good of a shooter than Holiday is, why he think that Holiday could even just be better than Buddy, and the significant upgrade defensively between the two.

I picked Mark’s brain on if he view Jeremey Lamb as anything more of a throw in here. And as we dove further into that conversation, it was easy to think that Lamb could get some notable opportunity with the Kings.

There’s plenty more news to come in the next few days for the Sacramento Kings and NBA as a whole, so this episode was more focused on what Domantas Sabonis brings rather than the entire roster’s fit/balance since there could be more substantial change before Thursday!

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85 Comments
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TerzoM
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February 8, 2022 4:11 pm

Sorry to see you go Rese’ Passes. But you did escape BB Hell so congrats. Please come back and drop 40 on Vivek’s face

RobHessing
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February 8, 2022 6:02 pm
Reply to  TerzoM

Wardrobe change: “Rese’s Passes” out, “ Sabs is good, Domas!” in.

Hippity_Hop_Barbershop
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February 8, 2022 8:56 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

The Lost City of Domantas

Kingsguru21
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February 8, 2022 9:07 pm

I love this one.

Amonk81
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February 8, 2022 7:50 pm
Reply to  TerzoM

Haven’t been able to get on or comment till now. I do not like this deal. It’s a mistake to get rid of Haliburton. In large part because this means they are building around Fox. Why?

Haliburton is everything you want. A PG who can shoot. An analytics darling. His future is super bright. It makes no sense to give him up for s non shooter to pair with Fox?

This move is short sighted, born out of the idiotic attempt at playoffs now rather than build. The Kings are gambling that building around Fox and playing to win now are the way to go, and I think they might have just fucked themselves again. The only hope would be Sabonis “unlocks” Fox potential.

But again, Sabonis doesn’t shoot. Fox doesn’t shoot. You get rid of your best 3 point shooter. It goes against logic. They had a PG of the future. Ever team, practically is seeking that.

This insistence o. Building around a player who can’t shoot and doesn’t play well with others or on D has cost the Kings Doncic and Hali now.

WizsSox
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February 9, 2022 12:51 am
Reply to  Amonk81

Not saying this is your argument, but point of contention I’ve seen everywhere today that Sabonis can’t shoot or spread the floor. In many of these articles or takes they talk about how Turner is a good shooting big man that WOULD have spread the floor. Turner last two years 33% from 3. Sabonis 32%. Sometimes perception isn’t reality. Now defense on the other hand…

Kings-Rebuild
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February 9, 2022 8:13 am
Reply to  Amonk81

Yeah when you think about what could of been it’s really disturbing. I think this was a panic move and will look progressively worse as time goes on. I do however think we will get a small spike up in the short run but long term it will be a disaster.

rc50cal
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February 9, 2022 10:24 am
Reply to  Amonk81

Fox has a weakness–lack of shooting–that makes it difficult to build a winner around him. It is possible to do it, see the Grizzlies, but the Kings have failed to in this respect. I still like Fox and don’t believe he’s been completely beaten down by Basketball Hell.

Big picture:

  • I don’t like the strategy of all-in for 2022. The team is 16 games under .500! They should have sold off all the vets and reset around Hali (I’d have been fine if that included Fox or not).
  • Sabonis is the best player the Kings have traded for or signed since Webber. The price was a bit steep.
  • Kings traded future value for present value.

Small Picture:

  • I really like Sabonis. He’s the best player the Kings have had since at least peak Cousins. He passes well, sets good screens, and hammers dunks on people’s faces. His defense is only ok. His lack of shooting means he needs lots of shooters around him. Also, he’s only 25.
  • I’m really going to miss Haliburton. He would have been perfect WITH Sabonis. Unfortunately, the Pacers wouldn’t settle for less than Hali. That was the cost.
  • I still like Fox. He brings a lot to the table. Building a consistent winner around him and Sabonis is going to be a challenge. We need elite shooting and defense at the 3/4.
  • To make this work, the Kings need to add a big-time difference maker at the wing (It’s Groundhog Day everybody!)
  • I’m thrilled to be rid of Buddy. I think that’s addition by subtraction despite his high volume of 3PM.
Gojira2021
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February 8, 2022 5:21 pm

Even though Tyrese has only been here for a couple seasons, he’ll get the largest, warmest and loudest standing ‘O’ when he returns to Sacto for the first time. He’ll be missed…..

Ccc
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Ccc
February 8, 2022 9:07 pm
Reply to  Gojira2021

Unfortunately there will only be a few hundred people in the stands to give that standing ovation…

ArcoThunder
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February 8, 2022 5:48 pm

Super sad to see Burt get traded but also super happy about getting a true top 30 talent in the nba who fits a huge upgrade at a position of need with an entirely solid skill set. I was calling for Monte to have some guts and make a move. This fits the bill for sure. Stupid of me to complain about it regardless of how much I love Burt. I truly thought he would become an all time Kings great.

sad and happy at the same time. Can’t I ever just be happy on its own with this team?

Chippy23152
Chippy23152
February 8, 2022 7:18 pm
Reply to  ArcoThunder

At least he did something. Kudos for that. Hopeful he’s not done and can make another move or two. Too early to judge this trade. I was bummed when we traded Richmond, J-Will, and Peja but we got better each time. Two time All Stars don’t grow on trees and they most definitely don’t come to Sac in free agency.

MichaelMack
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February 8, 2022 11:11 pm
Reply to  Chippy23152

All-Stars never reach Free Agency anymore with how teams extend their players. This is the only way to get talent like Sabonis, thus the pretty price we have to pay in Tyrese.

rc50cal
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February 9, 2022 10:26 am
Reply to  MichaelMack

How could the Kings give up on Hali? Simple, that was the price. I wouldn’t have paid it, but it’s not like the Kings don’t understand that Hali is good. The Pacers didn’t want our trash for their treasure.

rockbottom
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February 8, 2022 6:01 pm

Sabonis is a top tier talent that is getting better ! Very close to Webber in true ability and physically tougher ! Love Reese but a win for Monte !

RobHessing
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February 8, 2022 6:06 pm
Reply to  rockbottom

It’s a win if/when the Kings land a plus wing – probably need a floor of no worse than Siakam. Sabs & Fox are going to need a 3rd musketeer to make this work.

The Kings have a top 30 player, and one that is cheaper than Buddy Hield. That’s a solid start.

Rosevillain
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February 8, 2022 6:52 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Kings get the first, third, and fourth best players in the trade. Plus the pick. I get the Hali love, but this is Monte’s best work. Hopefully, more to come.

Kingsguru21
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February 8, 2022 7:11 pm
Reply to  Rosevillain

A 2027 2nd round pick isn’t really worth much. I’m kinda amused that it was even thrown in there honestly.

Chippy23152
Chippy23152
February 8, 2022 7:23 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

It’ll probably be used as a trade filler for another trade

Rosevillain
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February 8, 2022 7:32 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Agree, but could’ve just as easily gone the other way. Kings get something like the 36th and 39th picks, and Pacers get none. I’ll take it.

Kings-Rebuild
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February 9, 2022 8:02 am
Reply to  RobHessing

What the Kings have is a solid player, not a franchise player with limitations. Sabonis is not an exceptionally great athlete, a bit stiff, and doesn’t have great feet which is why he’s not a great defender. He is a smart player who distributes the ball well and has very good instincts and basketball fundamentals. Because he’s not a great athlete he has his limitations and will never be a franchise player IMO. I think the Kings will get a small short term blip up from this trade but as time goes on this trade will look progressively worse. I’m not really sure where the Kings are going with this one. I think they are living in the world of unreality thinking they are a move or two away from being a contender. Sabonis by himself is not going to make a significant change in the 16 game below 500 record. Heaven help us in two years when it’s time to renew Sabonis’ contract. The Kings are going to have to pay through the ass to keep him at a price that is likely to be far above his true value. At this point the Kings are all in with a win now strategy and they don’t have that many chips to play. We all can have our opinions at this point and time will tell who’s are right but I’ll go on record that this will ultimately be a deal the Kings regret.

rc50cal
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February 9, 2022 10:26 am
Reply to  RobHessing

Totally agree! I can still be a win IF…

NoRedJerseys
February 8, 2022 7:12 pm
Reply to  rockbottom

lololol what you smoking. Webber is an all-time great. Sabonis is a borderline all-star.

Chippy23152
Chippy23152
February 8, 2022 7:22 pm
Reply to  NoRedJerseys

At this point in their careers, they’re similar. 25 year old All Stars with similar skill sets, although Webber was more athletic.

rockbottom
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February 8, 2022 8:55 pm
Reply to  NoRedJerseys

Was he on the top 75 ? Missed it ! Webb was a Kings great and Sabonis will be as well !

BeTheBall
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February 9, 2022 9:49 am
Reply to  NoRedJerseys

Borderline all-star? That’s a weird take.

rc50cal
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February 9, 2022 10:30 am
Reply to  NoRedJerseys

I love Webber, but look back at his achievements. For most of his career he was actually a borderline all-star. He made the AS game 5 times. All NBA first team just once. Now, the West was STACKED with HOF forwards during his prime, but he probably underachieved.

Ccc
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February 8, 2022 9:15 pm
Reply to  rockbottom

Close to Chris Webber?

33D9241F-FD33-4F0F-914E-3C4FECBC9403.gif
Dan Houlder
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February 8, 2022 6:12 pm

Listening to the podcast now.

I think I’m slowly becoming a Pacers fan.

They’re definitely the more exciting team for me right now.

SexyNapear
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February 8, 2022 6:37 pm

Just to take the contrarian view.

Things I won’t miss about Hali:

Leaping the air with no idea what he’s going to do with the ball.

Questionable ball handling skills at times.

Making one pass and then standing at the top of the key and not moving for the rest of the possession.

Waiting far too long to initiate the offense.

Matador defense.

NoRedJerseys
February 8, 2022 7:13 pm
Reply to  SexyNapear

7:2 assist-turnover ratio. The numbers say that he handles the ball and makes the right decision.

Amonk81
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February 8, 2022 7:56 pm
Reply to  NoRedJerseys

All the numbers, practically point to Haliburton having a high ceiling and already playin great. His 3 point % set, off dribble, etc elite. Top 10 assist, steals, 3 point %. He’s a mini Steve Nash. That type of player.

This deal smells like Cowboys paying Dak a shit ton. They think he’s the guy to get there but he isn’t. Kings hangin onto a bad idea, building around Fox.

I hope im wrong

bjax1
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February 8, 2022 8:40 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

I’m in the same boat. I’d of rather traded Fox. I’m assuming Pacers didn’t want him at his salary. I’ll keep an open mind though.

rc50cal
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February 9, 2022 10:31 am
Reply to  SexyNapear

He has a few warts–slow and low release, bad on-ball defense. He may have them removed in time!

NoRedJerseys
February 8, 2022 7:10 pm

We lost a guy who shoots 40+% from 3 and has a 7-2 assist-turnover ratio for a C who isn’t a rim protector and cannot stretch the floor. This trade would’ve made sense in 1995 (the double-doubles!) but it does not in 2022.

Additionally, this is bad from a contract perspective. Giving up a guy in his 2nd year of his rookie deal and who we can lock up until 2028 for someone who is outta here in 2024…

Last edited 2 years ago by NoRedJerseys
AmateurNerd
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February 8, 2022 8:10 pm
Reply to  NoRedJerseys

So Sabonis made the All-Star team in 1995? I understand not liking the trade, but saying Sabonis doesn’t work in the modern NBA doesn’t fly. He has a track record of All Star-level success. I love Hali and hate to see him go, but the bottom line is the Kings haven’t acquired a player this good via trade since Webber. Time will tell if it pans out or not (I’m 50/50 on that right now), but I don’t think the move is worth immediate scorn at all.

NoRedJerseys
February 8, 2022 10:49 pm
Reply to  AmateurNerd

All-star doesn’t mean much. He puts up stats and so he gets selected (though he wouldn’t if he played in the West). But those stats have to translate into wins for me to get excited, and I don’t see it happening on the Kings. I’m not saying he’s a bad player, only that his game doesn’t move the needle in 2022.

WizsSox
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February 9, 2022 12:54 am
Reply to  NoRedJerseys

Moved needle enough that 2 years ago as an All Star, his team was on pace for 51-52 wins. I’d do a backflip off my house if the Kings won 50+ games. His stats aren’t necessarily empty.

rockbottom
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February 9, 2022 6:54 am
Reply to  NoRedJerseys

Actually Hali had empty stats ! Sabonis has been the best player on playoff teams ! One has done and one has not ! Love Hali but he is not the same proven player !

Kings-Rebuild
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February 9, 2022 8:15 am
Reply to  NoRedJerseys

He also was in the east and probably the lowest all star in the league certainly on the bottom end.

BeTheBall
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February 9, 2022 9:55 am
Reply to  Kings-Rebuild

Only in Sacramento can being an all-star selection be used to knock a player.

I shouldn’t be surprised, considering it’s extremely rare for us to have one on the team.

BeTheBall
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February 9, 2022 10:09 am
Reply to  NoRedJerseys

But those stats have to translate into wins for me to get excited

Which player are we talking about, Sabonis or Haliburton?

GFunkClassic
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February 8, 2022 9:59 pm
Reply to  NoRedJerseys

If you’re looking at it from a contract perspective, there are good things: We get to walk away from paying Buddy 21 mil the next few seasons and instead have 19 mil go to Sabonis,

NoRedJerseys
February 8, 2022 10:46 pm
Reply to  GFunkClassic

I think Buddy will thrive under Carlisle’s tough love and will end up making that contract look less bad. Carlisle is gonna Joeger him and I think Buddy realizes that if he wants a future in this league where teams are paying him a fat salary that he’s gonna have to get coachable and serious again.

Kings-Rebuild
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February 9, 2022 8:08 am
Reply to  GFunkClassic

We also lose a rookie deal and the option to lock up a player like Haliburton for 5 years and more. Remember it wasn’t too long ago when Buddy could fetch Kuzma and Harrell in a trade and I doubt we couldn’t have just dumped his contract for an expiring and a second round pick. I’d rather have Haliburton and no Buddy and an expiring than what we have now. Management is on the hot seat more now than ever. They are going to have to make subsequent moves to compliment this one or it will quickly turn into the disaster I fear.

BeTheBall
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February 9, 2022 9:57 am
Reply to  Kings-Rebuild

Except for the fact that Buddy couldn’t fetch Kuzma & Harrell in a trade.

Chippy23152
Chippy23152
February 8, 2022 7:13 pm

We get a two-time All Star in his prime AND got rid of Hield and yet, I’m still bummed. Trade anyone but Hali and I’d be elated. Unfortunately, Fox’s contract made Tyrese our biggest trade chip. However, looking at this trade objectively, I think the team has improved. Hopefully, McNair can make another trade or two so we can see what we have moving forward before can judge this move. I saw some Twitter headline re: Sabonis not happy about going to Sac. Anyone else see it?

Rosevillain
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February 8, 2022 8:49 pm
Reply to  Chippy23152

No, but why would he be happy going somewhere the fans don’t want him? Not to mention Vivek is his new boss.

BeTheBall
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February 9, 2022 10:00 am
Reply to  Chippy23152

Can you blame him? This franchise eats players’ productivity alive.

I’m glad to have him, but we need 3 or 4 more significant trades to gut those remaining here to even remotely think about moving up.

Kingsguru21
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February 8, 2022 7:25 pm

Jahm’ius Ramsey is in the game!

kgdobter
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February 8, 2022 7:33 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Is this the game thread?

Kingsguru21
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February 8, 2022 7:34 pm
Reply to  kgdobter

I cant even get to the front page right now. Every time I try, the page to my username pops up. This trade broke TKH! LOL

kgdobter
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February 8, 2022 7:35 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Same here

Kingsguru21
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February 8, 2022 7:39 pm
Reply to  kgdobter

It’ll be interesting to see if there ends up any trades happening in the next 40 hours. Certainly would be interesting if it does happen.

kgdobter
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February 8, 2022 7:46 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

No Holmes tonight, personal reasons…any thoughts?

AmateurNerd
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February 8, 2022 8:11 pm
Reply to  kgdobter

He’s pissed he just lost his starting job 6 months after signing an extension to be the starter here. It’s personal!

kgdobter
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February 8, 2022 8:15 pm
Reply to  AmateurNerd

I don’t see why he should be pissed, he still gets paid. If my boss told me that I don’t have to work so hard and have more time off and still get paid the same, I would say thanks man.

Kingsguru21
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February 8, 2022 8:49 pm
Reply to  kgdobter

No thoughts, but I suspect there’s plenty of possibilities and we know what they are. I wish Richaun Holmes well regardless. Like Tyrese Haliburton, and if Holmes has played his last game in a Kings uni, I wish him well in his next stop.

Kingsguru21
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February 8, 2022 8:50 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

If it were Harrison Barnes, I would think a trade is imminent. That could be tomorrow.

kgdobter
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February 8, 2022 9:07 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I would guess they’re both gone by tomorrow night along with a couple of other Kings. How about this…Fox, Barnes, Holmes and Bagley and a first and second for Simmons and Harris

Kingsguru21
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February 8, 2022 9:15 pm
Reply to  kgdobter

I see Philly wanting 2 players. James Harden, who may get traded, and Damian Lillard if Harden ultimately says no to them again. But I see the Sixers keeping Simmons if they acquire Lillard.

WizsSox
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February 9, 2022 12:58 am
Reply to  kgdobter

Well if my increased time off reduced the chance for me to score a good contract after this one ends I might be upset. Also there is the small factor of competitive nature.

alec26
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February 8, 2022 7:26 pm

What is a “heavily protected” 2nd round pick? There’s no draft lottery for the second round. No 31-35? 31-40? Kings could get another Isaiah Thomas at 60.

Kingsguru21
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February 8, 2022 7:32 pm
Reply to  alec26

I don’t think we’ve found out what the exact protections are yet.

RobHessing
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February 8, 2022 7:57 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I read 31-55 somewhere?

Kingsguru21
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February 8, 2022 8:42 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

I haven’t beaten the bushes yet looking around. It might take 24 hours to come out. If it’s protected 31-55, why trade it at all? But it is what it is. I still think it’s funny it’s included regardless of year and exact protection. And I think it’s even funnier it’s coming to Sac.

kgdobter
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February 8, 2022 8:02 pm
Reply to  alec26

It’s five years from now, who fucking cares?

AmateurNerd
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February 8, 2022 8:12 pm
Reply to  kgdobter

2027 Kings GM John Salmons cares.

Chippy23152
Chippy23152
February 8, 2022 8:19 pm
Reply to  AmateurNerd

That’s if the 2026 GM Olden Polynice doesn’t trade it away first

Rosevillain
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February 8, 2022 8:13 pm
Reply to  kgdobter

No, Woj has it in 2023.

kgdobter
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February 8, 2022 8:21 pm
Reply to  Rosevillain

Really, thought it was 2027…my bad then.

Rosevillain
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February 8, 2022 8:27 pm
Reply to  kgdobter

I think it was accidentally reported ’27 at one point.

kgdobter
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February 8, 2022 8:34 pm
Reply to  Rosevillain

Yeah, that’s probably where I got that number.

Rosevillain
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February 8, 2022 8:32 pm

Mitchell with no idea what to do alongside ball dominant Fox again. He’s gonna ask to be included in the trade.

TheBaker
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February 8, 2022 8:42 pm

“I don’t think people understand…”
”It’s easy to forget…”
”What the fans don’t understand is…”

Why does it feel am I suddenly a Fourth-Grader every time the organization wants to spin something.

Loved Tyrese. Watched and respected Sabonis since he entered the league. Let me make my own fan opinion without telling me how dumb I am first.

Kingsguru21
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February 8, 2022 8:46 pm

I wish Metu didn’t take 3’s. He’s so much better 15 feet in. I’m not sure how that plays with the roster moving forward, but might useful off the bench.

Bluejohn
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February 8, 2022 9:40 pm

Still asking: How fucking hard is it to get a game thread up on perhaps the most important night of the season?

This trade makes me sick. I have nothing against Sabonis, both times I’ve seen him play I texted my son I wished that we had a player like Sabonis. I’m looking forward to seeing him play for the Kings. We traded the wrong player. I have no doubt.

Fox = KING OF EMPTY STATS

We will see if McNair has any significant trades left to pull out of his sleeves. I fucking hope so. The good news is that as far as the rest of the season goes I don’t expect Sabonis to get us to the Play In.

WizsSox
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February 9, 2022 1:01 am
Reply to  Bluejohn

Still asking…Why are you such a jackass? Place your anger in the direction it belongs. Relax on staff who obviously endured some technical difficulties today.

rc50cal
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February 9, 2022 10:33 am
Reply to  Bluejohn

Downvote!

rc50cal
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February 9, 2022 10:34 am
Reply to  rc50cal

Probably pretty fucking hard for part-timers dealing with unprecedented volume crashing their site.

GFunkClassic
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February 8, 2022 10:14 pm

It’s a gut punch because I really loved watching Hali. But I’m going to try and hold judgement and see how it works out on the court, and welcome Sabonis in the meantime.

Kings-Rebuild
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February 9, 2022 8:10 am
Reply to  GFunkClassic

That’s a fair take and I hope it works out but my instincts tell me otherwise. We shall see.

RocklinRoll
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February 9, 2022 6:46 am

However unhappy some fans may be about this trade, I can guarantee you that Domantas Sabonis feels worse.

rc50cal
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February 9, 2022 10:34 am
Reply to  RocklinRoll

Welcome to Basketball Hell, Domantas!

Kingme18
February 9, 2022 9:35 am

7 > 2. Sabonis about to get paid. His agent is thrilled money wise

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