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Chainmail: Talkin’ draft picks, trades, and free agency

Special guest Brenden Nunes joins the mailbag!

Welcome back to Chainmail! We had some great questions this week, so let's dive right in!

From Outrider:

Assuming we stay at #9, who's your guy and why (of those projected to be available at that slot)? Somewhat related, who could be this year's Tyrese and slide?

Tim:  Typically, it feels like the Kings find themselves picking just after a talent-level drop-off, but that doesn't seem to be the case in 2021. There should be two to three guys available at nine who would excite me as a fan, and that's encouraging in and of itself.

I feel forced to decide between two dichotomous players: Alperen Sengun and Moses Moody. Sengun is the high-risk, high-reward potential offensive star, while Moody likely doesn't have the ceiling, but he's unlikely to bust as well. As badly as the Kings need star power, I'm siding with Moody this year. Sacramento desperately needs to change their defensive culture, and Haliburton + Moody may very well be a strong step in that direction.

Moody also isn't the typical collegiate defensive star who can't shoot worth a lick. In his freshman year, he knocked down 36% of his five three-point attempts per game. Of course, we've seen better NCAA shooters struggle to convert their range to NBA standards, but if Moody can become a consistent, above-average sniper, he could develop into a star role player, a la Mikal Bridges of the Phoenix Suns.

As far as who could slide like Tyrese Haliburton, Ziaire Williams feels like a prospect who could cause a lot of regret for a lot of teams, and he's almost who I picked, He had a rough go of it in college, but his circumstances were less than ideal and he has a ton of natural gifts, assuming he can put it all together. He'll likely go in the late teens or early twenties, and the chances of Williams eventually being better than a lot of folks taken before him feel pretty high.

Will: I wouldn't necessarily call him €œthis year's Tyrese€ but coming into the final week before the draft it really sounds like Kuminga has gone from a sure-fire Top-5 guy to someone who has a plausible case to fall to 9 - especially if his knees have issues like some have reported. The über-talented wing/forward is easily the most likely to be the falling knife of the top prospects - and a risk I'd be happy to take over every other draft darling we've talked about over the last few months.

Pulling myself out of a fantasy land where Sam Presti refuses to draft a talented potential two-way guy in Kuminga and then Orlando follows that up by passing on him twice, I think the man to grab is oft discussed Turkish dynamo, Alperen Sengun. His combination of size and offensive skills makes him a fantastic fit for whatever the Kings decide to do this year. Will he ever be a plus defender? I'd venture to guess no. Will he be spurring the Kings to a high playoff seed, year 1? Absolutely not.

The Kings lack high-end talent outside of their young front court and any hopes Sacramento has for extended playoff runs or championship windows will rely heavily on drafting players that vastly outperform their lower draft position. Is Sengun one of those spooky high ceiling-questionable floor players? Yes. The fact remains the Kings have to make intelligent swings for those caliber guys if they're hoping to win a championship in Vivek's lifetime. Sengun is a hard-working, high IQ teenager who just got done with an MVP season at 18 years old in which he led a patched together project team to the semis in the Super League. I'm planting my flag on The Alps.

Brenden: I have been really vocal on wanting Franz Wagner at nine. I wrote a deep profile on him recently that dives into his game, but the idea of adding a 6'9€ versatile defending with good connecting traits on offense just sounds perfect to me. I think a team with Wagner, Fox, and Haliburton could be near the top of the league in steals and lead to more transition opportunities to the fastest player in the league. People are also underselling the ceiling of Franz Wagner, I think he could end up a 16ppg scorer in the league in a modern Harrison Barnes type of way.

As for who could fall, the answer seems to be Jonathan Kuminga and I would be horrified if he was available at pick nine. I would hate to be Monte McNair in that situation, and I personally would pass on Kuminga in favor of Moody or Wagner. Kuminga is going to need a long time to develop but I get why some people feel like you can't pass on his physical tools.

From The BanquetBear:

Why do you think Moses Moody is ranked so low compared to the other prospects (16/17) but still being mocked so high in the draft(6-10)? Is this just a case of upside not being reflected in rankings, or more that his position means that he will be drafted higher than his rank when compared to other prospects as far as fit goes?

Tim: Moody is one of those guys who can help complete a young core, rather than act as a primary option, and most teams in the lottery need the latter, not the former. He's also not a great shooter, which may make some teams hesitant, as we've seen time and again that college defenders who can't convert three-pointers at high level often struggle to find a place in the league.

Will: I'm going to defer to one of the capos of the Moody Mafia here and let Brenden get into detail on this one. I will say that I think that Moody is in an awkward spot: highish ceiling but not superstar high, a very wobbly floor if his shooting or defense doesn't hit hard. He's like eating next-day Taco Bell. Perfectly fine, maybe even good in the right conditions. But you're sure to think a bit longer and harder on if these are really the right conditions.

Brenden: I have no clue why he has been ranked so low, I think people were too quick to just throw a 3&D label onto him and call it a day. Moody has potential to be the third best scorer on a threatening playoff roster with his shooting, which doesn't sound sexy but it's impactful beyond catching and shooting. For the mocks, I know Sam Vecenie did just move him up and I think him usually being selected so high means that some front offices around the league probably really like him.

From Peja

Hollinger in an athletic article pegged Holmes as being worth 18 mil a year. Is this number worth it for resigning Holmes long-term? If not, what is appropriate and how can the kings make it work?

Tim: Richaun Holmes' contract situation has long been a frustration of mine. Assuming that the Kings stay over the cap, which is most beneficial to them financially, their maximum contract offer to Holmes is about 4 years, $47 million using early bird rights. If the Kings dump Marvin Bagley and choose to stay under the cap, they'll have around $16 million to spend on Richaun, which would equal a 4-year deal worth around $68 million, assuming that 5% non-compounding, annual raises are included in the contract.

There is a couple of issues with that plan, however. First, I have absolutely zero desire to pay Richaun Holmes, a solid, if unspectacular, starting center $17 million per season. That's a hefty overpay. Jusuf Nurkic makes $12 million. Brook Lopez makes $13 million. Jonas Valanciunas makes $15 million. All of those centers would be ranked around Holmes' range, if not even a little bit better.

The other concern in dipping below the cap is the other financial tools that are sacrificed in that move. The Kings would lose access to the MLE ($9 million starting salary, 4-year year deal), and the BAE ($4 million starting salary, 2-year deal), and replace that with the room exception, worth about 2 years, $9 million. Running back a much more expensive version of last year's roster, with no spending money to get better, just doesn't entice me.

Will: If a team offered Holmes 18 mill a year, I'd congratulate the man and drive him to the airport myself. He's worth whatever a team is willing to pay and he certainly deserves a significant pay raise for the work he's put in to get to this point in previous years€¦ but if I'm Monty, I'm not maneuvering Buddy/Bagley/Barnes off the team in order to pay Holmes that much. Then again, if I was Monty and I wasn't 100% certain I was retaining Holmes I might have done something at the previous deadline.

Brenden: $18-million is a tough spot for me, and it's right about my walking point but it would be so difficult to watch another offseason with our best asset heading elsewhere with no return. If trading Marvin Bagley into OKC's cap space clears enough space to get the deal done (I think it does? Help me, Tim), then I think I would feel comfortable giving that money to a top-15 center in the league.

Hobby916

What is your philosophy when looking at drafting players? (fit, BPA, upside, floor, specific skills, etc.)

Tim: When you're a bad team drafting in the lottery (the Kings), best player available should always take precedence, but that conversation is often more simplified than reality. Sure, it's easy to say that we should take the best guy available over a player who fits the current roster, but rarely is there a clear better player, with Tyrese Haliburton at 12 last year being the exception. If two players are ranked in the same tier, I'm going to lean toward whoever fits my core (not roster) better.

From a more specific standpoint, and this is going to sound obvious, I look for NBA skills, rather than "I hope this guy develops this thing". For example, Sengun could develop into a stretch big, and that would be fantastic for his game, but I can't assume that will happen, especially with his low success rate on low attempts. If I have to project multiple areas of significant growth for a prospect, they're going to lose me fast. Conversely, a player with at least one identifiable, translatable skill is going to attract my attention.

There is also a hierarchy of skills in the NBA. Great rebounders are great, but they're also a dime a dozen. The same can be said of an athletic off-guard who can drive but can't shoot. On the other hand, wings who can defend and shoot the three, or bigs who can space the floor and protect the paint, are much rarer and much more costly in free agency-type situations. If a skillset is easily replicable across the league, its simply not as valuable in the draft.

Will: Are they seven feet plus, under 200 lbs and like to pass? I'M IN. No, I think it's hard to have a hard set philosophy with the Kings. Last year, I felt picking a high upside player that wouldn't affect the win column would be a good get because I also felt like this current draft was strong enough to tank for and that the pandemic made for a unique scenario where they didn't have to worry about fans in the stands. It didn't happen and it's obvious the Kings felt they were good enough to win now rather than wait an extra year or so.

That being said, I'm not changing my whole preference set because Vivek had big eyes on a very small window. My semi-warm take here is that the Kings do not have their #1 guy yet. Fox is a fantastic 1b or #2 guy and Hali is an optimal #3 option but that backcourt doesn't have much, if any, hope of reaching the post-season achievements of even what Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum have accomplished in Portland without a significant boost in talent. With the Kings constant resistance to bottoming out, they have to find that talent in the fringes of the lottery, so I'm constantly looking for guys who could vastly outperform their position. The Kings also can't afford to full on swing and miss on guys completely either. The Warriors could pick whoever the hell they wanted and not truly be affected if the guy doesn't pan out, but the Kings need this guy to at least be an asset down the road. So right now, my focus on Kings draftees this season is high ceiling, semi-high floor guys that drop to lower in the lotto.

Brenden: It really depends where in the draft you are selecting. I typically break the prospects into tiers and just make sure I am never reaching into a lower tier just for the sake of fit when selecting in the lottery. This year, I want the Kings to play it safe and look towards guys whose ceilings may €œonly€ be elite role players and not stars, because they can't strike out again. I also love defense and the Kings were seemingly allergic to the idea of it last season so I would stay away from anyone who projects to be a potential liability on that end of the floor and love the idea of a difference maker (Franz Wagner) on that end.

From KangzFanForever:

What's up with the Lillard rumor? Any teeth to that? How would you feel about it if the Kings made that move?

Tim: I don't think the Kings have any realistic shot at Lillard, nor should they pursue him. Sacramento would need to give up Fox and multiple picks, as multiple teams could make a more impressive offer than Haliburton and picks, which means that Dame-Haliburton-Barnes is your new core, especially when considering Richaun Holmes' contract situation. Is that team better than the current Trail Blazers roster? No. Would Dame be just as, if not more, frustrated than he is right now? Yes. It would be a terrible situation all around.

Will: No teeth. The Kings could offer up Fox and players and picks and I'm not sure Portland says yes. That being said IF we lived in a world where it happened? I'd understand the thought process behind it. I would be excited in terms of having an incredibly fun basketball player and resign myself to the fact that we're in for 6th-8th seeds for the next five years and that we aren't going to see a Kings €˜ship before our world burns down. It would make sense for both Monte and Vivek's modus operandi. Monte attempts to recreate the Harden trade, albeit with a much smaller window for competition, Vivek gets his superstar and hell, even Dame could say €œI never went to a super team€ if the Kings ever did anything of note. It would be a fun short burst of time followed by us right back here where we've been for 15 years. It's the ultimate short-sighted, swing for the fence and I'd enjoy it while it lasted with zero expectations for anything other than absolute heartbreak.

Brenden: I would guess the Kings and Rockets were linked to Lillard because they were trying to facilitate a three-team deal. I just don't see any possible reason the Kings would trade one of Fox or Haliburton for Lillard where his supporting cast would be worse than Portland. It is refreshing to see the Kings being mentioned by national reporters as a team that is snooping around and being active.

From RobHessing:

Who do you think we can get in trade for the 9th pick (include Hield / Bagley / Barnes as needed to facilitate the trade), and which draft prospects outside of the big 5-6 would you rather have at 9 instead of trading the pick?

Tim: I don't think those packages get you much, although Barnes + 9 is probably the most attractive pairing. The real issue with any of those ideas is that teams trading for Barnes and Buddy are almost certainly trying to win now, which makes the 9th pick less attractive, while 9 + Bagley is geared more toward a rebuilder. However, Bagley's value is extremely low across the league, and a mid-lotto pick isn't that valuable when considering game-changing players, which is who the Kings should be pursuing if they're trading the pick.

To put it simply, I'm not totally against trading the pick in theory, but it needs to be a much bigger, more involved trade for a much better player.

Will: If we assume that the draft kind of goes relatively as planned, I don't think there's much to be gained in trading the pick by itself and packaging it with a player won't bring back as much as we hoped. I could see a Buddy + 9 for Miles Bridges if Charlotte was trying to be rid of some expensive duplication. If the Kings are going to use the #9 as sweetener, I'd prefer it in a big swing for a true game changer, but outside of the Dame and Simmons rumors (neither of whom I think end up getting traded this off-season) I have no idea who that player would be.

Brenden: FRANZ WAGNER or Moses Moody. Bryant and I will scream one of those two into existence until draft day.

If they trade the pick, I think someone like Myles Turner. Is roughly the value you would be expecting back. It's not netting you a star unless combined with future assets and Harrison Barnes, but someone more complimentary like Turner or maybe Robert Covington if Portland blows it up.

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Kayte_Hunter_Fan_club
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July 25, 2021 8:51 am

From Tim
Typically, it feels like the Kings find themselves picking just after a talent-level drop-off. REALLY

We got Haliburton at 12 and before that we had the #2 pick in the draft. What is this guy talking about. Lastly, these drafts are a crap shoot and anyone talking like they really know the talent beyond the top few guys is just blowing smoke. The advanced scouts who have been watching these guys since 8th grade miss and miss often but this guy seems to know something they don’t.

If the Kings have no desire to rebuild, which they seem to be implying, then trade the pick and gets some immediate help.

BestHyperboleEver
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July 25, 2021 8:57 am

For what it’s worth (nothing), I fully expect the Kings to try to trade the pick.

TheGrantNapear
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July 25, 2021 1:41 pm

We’ve passed up on a ton of good players the last decade and a half.
The whole picking after a ‘talent level drop off’ narrative is because this franchise never embraces a tank to get a top pick and is therefore always relegated to picking between 7 and lower. The two times we had a top pick, we got Fox and passed on Luka. Which lends credence to the idea that the FO should have tanked this season as we’d likely be sitting in the top 5; the elite talent drop off of this draft is after the first 4 picks.

nonstripedzebra
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July 25, 2021 8:56 am

At a different point of my life I used to actually watch games of these prospects. That makes me less familiar with this class admittingly. That said I would overlap with a lot of the sentiments and go Sengun if he’s available. 

I have reservations. Most specifically in how speeding up possessions might affect his processing. But the draft is an upside play and his potential is a total league exception. For where we are picking his upside is bar none. Moreover playmaking, beyond a single action I think broadly will end up as our possible best pathway to success. 

This is a small market, our best teams will likely be by committee. Sengun’s intelligence, passing, trailing, rebounding, spacing indicators and PnR game I do think supports Hali and Fox pretty nicely offensively. The indicators spacing the floor are fairly assuring in the film and the FT% (a better indicator than actual 3pt percentage for prospects). Defense is a worry but is intelligence and positioning I do think will make him passable and average in time. In transition where there is some concerns on pace, I think he’s quicker and a better athlete than expected. And he’s shown ability to Pau Gasol-esque lead a break. 

There is the throwback critique, but him doing that in a very physical league I find more assuring oppose to a concern. His overall production in very difficult and grown man teams makes the safety net fairly convincing. And with what is likely a Holmes exit and not a lot behind him there is the need argument as well.

Shout out to the site for great prospect coverage. We shall see.

Last edited 1 year ago by nonstripedzebra
Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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July 25, 2021 9:34 am

I get the Sungun has the potential to a be the next very good Euro big in the vein of Jokic, Nurkic, Gasol(s), etc, but his lack of defensive ability right now makes me think he could be the next Kanter, which gives me pause.

BestHyperboleEver
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July 25, 2021 9:47 am
Reply to  Adamsite

I think his passing insulates him a bit from being a Kanter. Kanter is really only useful as a block scorer. Sengun should be useful as a short roll playmaker as well. I think the most obvious optimistic but realistic comp is Sabonis. Comping anyone to an MVP level player is always rough, and I don’t think he’ll be the defender Gasol or even Nurkic were/are. But, while I don’t think he’ll ever be a great 1v1 defender or high level shot blocker, I do think his BBIQ will allow him to be a useful part of a good team defense. He may be Vucevic-ish if he can develop Vucevic’s ability to be a good interior defender even without getting a bunch of blocks.

MichaelMack
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July 25, 2021 9:50 am

Agree with that take. I have a tough time asserting that an 18 year old as big, talented, and skilled as Sengun won’t be able to learn to play good team defense. He seems like a smart player who has plenty of room for growth.

jwalker1395
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July 25, 2021 11:58 am
Reply to  MichaelMack

Agreed. Of every prospect in this draft Sengun has arguably the highest level of production at the previous level, and played at a higher level of competition at a younger age than most of his draft peers. His talent and his strength at his age makes you wonder what that kid will look like at 26. Hard to imagine someone with such feel, size, and effort would never become a passable defender. I like the idea of him working the low post with Fox and Hali more and more as our Richaun replacement.

TheGrantNapear
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July 25, 2021 1:44 pm
Reply to  jwalker1395

The Kanter comparison seems lazy. Just because they’re both Turkish bigs with offensive oriented games doesn’t mean defensively they’re the same. Sengun has the tools to develop into an average defender which is fine considering his strength will be on the offensive side of the ball.

nonstripedzebra
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July 25, 2021 10:30 am
Reply to  Adamsite

I would suggest his IQ is higher than the likes of Kanter, if not his mobility and his shooting indicators. But definitely possible he ends up a similar tier player. Not all that separated from the median of a mid late lottery pick.

I do think generally though the athleticism critique is misplaced broadly in prospect evaluation. Bounce and frame might make the safety net of intangibles possibly more viable of a median outcome. But beyond plenty of the leagues best top, mid tier, role players not having out of the gym leaps/length, there are also plenty of Kevin Knox, Stanley Johnson’s comparable large wings who were justified on also a false hope on physique ruling over skill.

Thats a profile I am often favoring regardless, but so is unique creativity and IQ of a big that regardless of the tier of player he ends up is an exception skills wise. And again to median draft outcomes, the likes of say Kanter and Taurean Prince ended up relatively comparable in NBA relevancy.

In my estimation Sengun’s upside is comparable to plenty of 3 and D prospects. And the context to which he’s making his case in production and competition level is a fair base for assurance as much as one can have at 9 for me.

Last edited 1 year ago by nonstripedzebra
LesJepsen3pointer
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July 25, 2021 9:14 am

Huh. It turns out Brendan wants to draft Franz Wagner. Who knew?

Brenden
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July 25, 2021 5:29 pm

It’s a new development

MyNeighborTurturro
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July 25, 2021 9:19 am

He’s like eating next-day Taco Bell. Perfectly fine, maybe even good in the right conditions.

Is it weird that I’m eating a day-old black bean crunch wrap as I read this article? At 11:20am, it’s absolutely not the right condition.

Adamsite
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July 25, 2021 9:30 am

Picking up from the other thread, because it relates to this one as well…

If Kuminga falls to #9 and Moody, Wagner, or Sunggen are still there, who should the Kings take? I think I’m still leaning on Moody. I am really beginning to feel it is down to those 4. Also keep in mind, the Kings have not interviewed or worked out Kuminga.

WizsSox
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July 25, 2021 9:45 am
Reply to  Adamsite

It’s swing but I think I would go Kuminga. Bc of reclassification he is only 18.5 and a full year and half younger than the many of the other top prospects this class. If he was going to play 30 games at Duke this next year, what do we think we would produce and be drafted next year? Is he a top 2-3 pick then? Seems worth the gamble at 9 to me.

Last edited 1 year ago by WizsSox
BestHyperboleEver
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July 25, 2021 9:50 am
Reply to  WizsSox

Yeah, I’d probably take Kuminga. I wouldn’t feel entirely confident about it. But the upside is probably too much to pass up at this stage. Then I may take a more mature guy at the same position at #39 (Edwards, Jones, etc.) to put a little less pressure on Kuminga developing quickly.

AnybodyButBagley
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July 25, 2021 9:50 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Kuminga may have chosen not to interview or work out for the Kings. Hopefully the team can build back some credibility in the NBA.

That being said I think Kuminga is a good pick. He looks like a legitimate NBA player in the making.

BestHyperboleEver
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July 25, 2021 9:51 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Kuminga, Sengun, Trade down, Moody, Wagner.

I will say, I can see your McLemore-vibe hesitation. But I think Kuminga’s size and age help with those concerns as he won’t be expected to provide guard level ballhandling early on and this team may be more willing not to throw him to the wolves they way they did with Ben.

Last edited 1 year ago by BestHyperboleEver
SexyNapear
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July 25, 2021 9:53 am

You can’t draft a guy named Franz. Moses sounds much better for a team that needs to be led to the holy land.

BestHyperboleEver
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July 25, 2021 9:55 am
Reply to  SexyNapear

But does “Moody” sound like a better name for a team with a history of drama?

Kosta
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July 25, 2021 10:13 am

“King Kuminga” has a nice ring to it.

Hobby916
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July 25, 2021 10:30 am

Technical foul: Demarcus Cousins

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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July 25, 2021 10:27 am

OT: WTF.

SMF-PDXConnection
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July 25, 2021 10:29 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Eh. At this point, why not?

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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July 25, 2021 10:34 am

Buddy makes $9M more in salary so there would need to be additional parts moved by the Lakers, Maybe Caldwell-Pope is included?

BestHyperboleEver
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July 25, 2021 10:47 am
Reply to  Adamsite

S&T of Horton-Tucker?

Though KCP makes some sense as to backfill Hield’s departure with some shooting.

Last edited 1 year ago by BestHyperboleEver
Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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July 25, 2021 10:51 am

Can a S&T be packaged as part of a greater deal?

BestHyperboleEver
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July 25, 2021 10:53 am
Reply to  Adamsite

NO IDEA!

What about a DOUBLE S&T? Kuzma + S&T THT for Hield + S&T Davis! Let’s get take this CBA out on the freeway and see what it can do!

The bottomline is that I like THT and will be really curious to see what he gets this offseason.

Last edited 1 year ago by BestHyperboleEver
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July 25, 2021 10:57 am

I’d really like to get Hortnon-Tucker, and I’m sure Hali would too, but that seems difficult. I think the easy one is Kuzma and Caldwell-Pope or Buddy, Justin James, and Ramsey. The Lakers need live bodies.

murraytant
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July 25, 2021 5:03 pm

THT had trouble playing with Haliburton in college

AnybodyButBagley
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July 25, 2021 10:38 am
Reply to  Adamsite

This trade has been talked about for three years now I think?

Klam
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July 25, 2021 11:28 am

In that amount of time Buddy has now turned into a Veteran Mentor.

AnybodyButBagley
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July 25, 2021 11:39 am
Reply to  Klam

Shoot super deep threes and do not play defense. You will get paid!!!!!!!!

SexyNapear
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July 25, 2021 10:46 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Get a first rounder and that’s fine with me. Trade Bagley for one of OKC’s 3 first rounders this year and sign Holmes. Add 3 young rooks. I like.

Last edited 1 year ago by SexyNapear
AnybodyButBagley
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July 25, 2021 10:48 am
Reply to  SexyNapear

Nobody is giving up a first round pick for Bagley.

SexyNapear
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July 25, 2021 10:49 am

He’s got way more upside than anyone that OKC can get with their third first rounder. It’s a great gamble for them,

AnybodyButBagley
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July 25, 2021 10:51 am
Reply to  SexyNapear

His three years of not playing offsets his upside. If someone wanted him he would have been gone at the last trade deadline.

BestHyperboleEver
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July 25, 2021 11:00 am
Reply to  SexyNapear

The biggest issue isn’t his upside, it’s his contract. There isn’t much time for a team to assess if he’s going to tap into that upside before having to decide what and if to pay him on his next deal.

SexyNapear
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July 25, 2021 11:04 am

they get an entire year to see how he progresses, then they can keep him as a restricted free agent.

AnybodyButBagley
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July 25, 2021 11:10 am
Reply to  SexyNapear

They can let the Kings keep him for his $11.3 million this year. If he plays decent then go after him as a free agent. If he does what he usually does he will be begging for a two year deal with only one year guaranteed. No need for any team to take a risk on Bagley. The Kings have committed to that risk already.

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July 25, 2021 11:13 am

If you don’t get him, there’s a chance he blossoms as King. Then you don’t get him because Kings match offers and keep him. Trade for him and you have him under your control. Like I said, it probably only makes sense for a team like OKC, who has a billion first-rounders and lots of cap space.

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July 25, 2021 11:26 am
Reply to  SexyNapear

Nobody in the NBA is worried about him blossoming as a King. If he miraculously does play an entire season and learn how to play defense he might have value. Why take the risk in paying $11.3 million to find out? The Kings are already committed to that risk.

He and his daddy have made it clear he wants out of Sacramento. Nobody wants him at this point. Highly doubtful the Kings are going to outbid anyone for him at the end of next season.

TheGrantNapear
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July 25, 2021 1:52 pm
Reply to  SexyNapear

I’m actually surprised no one has traded for Bagley. Look at it from the outside looking in as a GM of another team.
Former second overall pick.
Injured most his short career.
Has the physical tools to be a good player.
Has the stroke to develop a reliable three point shot.
May just need a change of scenery.
Drafted by a team that doesn’t know how to develop players.

Seems like the type of player to take a flyer on. That’s why I’ve said, the ideal type of trade would be a similarly underperforming high pick who may need a change of scenery like Bamba or Knox.

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July 25, 2021 2:01 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

The fact that he was a number two pick means absolutely nothing after three years in the NBA.

If the order a player was chosen in mattered the Kings would have more rings than any team in history.

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July 25, 2021 11:11 am

$11.3 mil for someone who might not even play half of the season. Awesome deal. So glad they signed him up for his fourth year.

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July 25, 2021 3:44 pm

You realize they had to pick up this option prior to last season right? It’s not like they watched his third season and then decided to exercise option. So unless you wanted to release his rights after a decent rookie season and an injury riddled second season, they had to pick it up. The vast majority of nba teams would have as well under those circumstances.

if you wouldn’t then bully for you.

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July 26, 2021 9:37 pm
Reply to  WizsSox

They did not have to pick up his option. It is an option.

Carl
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July 25, 2021 11:09 am
Reply to  Adamsite

It’s a salary dump. Kuzma has reached his ceiling of being 75% as good as pre-2021 Harrison Barnes, which is well, well below average. But if you can offload Buddy’s deal for Kuzma plus a year of whoever, you probably do that for the long term salary savings. The Lakers would actually use Buddy correctly – as a spot shooter, and would benefit from having him, where we’re minimizing his talent and he’s not adding wins.

With Kuzma to play the three (poorly) this also frees up the Kings to move some combination of Barnes, #9, Bagley and the 2023 first for some sort of actual talent upgrade. Kuzma is the basketball equivalent of store brand white bread. Just ugh. But I can see the logic.

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July 25, 2021 11:29 am
Reply to  Carl

Plus watching coach Lebron admonish Buddy every time he dribbles the ball will be refreshing to see.

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July 25, 2021 11:38 am
Reply to  Carl

Oh, I get it from a Kings point of view, just not sure why the Lakers do it when they have Caldwell-Pope who does just about everything Buddy does only at near half the price. Lakers need a playmaker. I could see them doing a S&T for Lonzo Ball for Kuzma.

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July 25, 2021 10:28 am

I think this is the draft where I think it would be better if they just traded it. I don’t trust Walton at all to develop players and I don’t trust the front office at all to do anything about Walton. Might as well not ruin another young guy’s career start by bringing him here and run another mile on the mediocrity treadmill.

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July 25, 2021 10:57 am

How about is we just ruin lower prospects’ careers? #9 for 23, 24, + Martin, Jr.

Carl
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July 25, 2021 11:14 am

I just don’t see any point in keeping it. The team needs an enormous talent infusion to even get to .500, and trying to get that via the #9 is like hitting two holes in one in a row. It’s not impossible, but it’s extremely, exrtremely unlikely. They refuse to tank for a higher pick, so the only way to meaningfully improve is to start dealing assets.

Last edited 1 year ago by Carl
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July 25, 2021 12:31 pm
Reply to  Carl

comment image

Ifeanyi
July 25, 2021 11:03 am

More of a gut feeling but I really like the idea, despite his collegiate numbers, of drafting Ziaire Williams. Either trading back or outright with the #9. Really depends on how is workout went imo

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July 25, 2021 11:45 am

I have started to come around to the idea that rather than having missed out on the top tier of prospects, the Kings are smack in the middle of deep second tier of quality guys. Everyone from Bouknight, Moody, Wagner, Sengun, or Ziaire would all be really exciting prospects that would fit with the roster and either contribute immediately or project as long term stars (or both!) and one of them is 100% going to be there!

Moody in the Bridges role next to Fox-Hali, or Ziaire as our own Brandon Ingram, or Sengun as a younger, leaner, quicker version of Jokic (league MVP at 18!), Wagner as a high-level role player – we’re gonna get someone good, folks! I think we’ve all been getting very worked up and anxious since we desperately need a good player and the Kings have messed it up before – but I have good news; it seems hard to miss where we’re picking! Just relax, don’t overthink it, and take someone nice (or get #16&#18 cuz those will be good, too).

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July 25, 2021 12:16 pm
Reply to  jwalker1395

Yeah, it’s funny. I’ve been coming more and more around to the idea that there are a number of potential prospects and moves here I would be fine with.

TheGrantNapear
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July 25, 2021 1:56 pm

I agree, which is why I’d like to somehow get another mid round pick using Buddy, Bagley and Barnes.
Instead of chasing the 8th seed, load up on more young talent via multiple picks in the first, tank this coming season and hope for a high pick next draft. I know Vivek won’t allow this, but it’s the most prudent decision. Buddy and Barnes are assets for contenders. GM’s are seeing the league as wide open as it’s been in a long time after PHX, ATL and MIL getting as far as they did. Blow it up now for the future!

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July 25, 2021 2:03 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

Vivek will go all in on losing in the first round of playoff games.

Any other team would tank€¦€¦

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July 25, 2021 3:36 pm

The magoofs did the same thing. King’s Fans have been dealing with €˜chasing the 8th seed’ for like two decades now.

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July 25, 2021 6:55 pm

I’m probably in the minority here, but the best strategy may be to stick with the core we have. I know that Holmes is gone, so Monte should draft well and add a couple of affordable free agents. Let this core have a chance at a full training camp and Coach Walton can finally install the defensive game plan that will propel our Kings into the playoffs. This is the way.

0ECA526A-15AA-490F-8868-63A7D1050F0B.jpeg
Last edited 1 year ago by jjdski
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July 25, 2021 7:08 pm
Reply to  jjdski

You are assuming Walton has a defensive game plan. Never a hint of one yet….

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July 26, 2021 2:50 pm

Walton’s only encounter with defense has been in the legal sense.

Otis
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July 26, 2021 6:37 am

Moody also isn’t the typical collegiate defensive star who can’t shoot worth a lick. In his freshman year, he knocked down 36% of his five three-point attempts per game.

I’ve seen this in a few places, just curious (since I’m not a college basketball officiando)…is that percentage decent at the NCAA level?

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July 26, 2021 8:36 am
Reply to  Otis

It’s pretty decent for a freshman at good volume. It you wanted to be optimistic about it you could also consider that they didn’t have any real playmakers, so he wasn’t getting a bunch of open CnS 3s to bolster his percentages. I’ve seen mentioned (maybe in the TKH profile) that a high percentage of his 3s were contested. Though that could be as much a factor of his lack of space finding/creation and slow release as it is a factor of a lack of other playmakers.

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July 26, 2021 12:19 pm

Makes sense, thanks!

1951
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July 26, 2021 1:45 pm

I guess there is no case for hope …

😉

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