Welcome back to Chainmail! Last week, Will and I foolishly asked you to come up with your best Kings-centric trade ideas, and we are prepared with our responses.
Before we get into the mailbag, we also want to thank our sponsor for the mailbag, Carter Imports! Carter Imports is a Sacramento-based company that imports some of the very best Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Cretan Thyme Honey available in the world today. There has never been a better time to support one of our own than right now!
To kick things off, we responded to the trades that inspired this insanity, which were proposed by Bill Simmons of The Ringer and Zach Lowe of ESPN.
From Bill Simmons
Kings Receive: Andrew Wiggins, #2 pick
Warriors Receive: Buddy Hield, #12 pick
Tim: This is the kind of deal that is interesting to me in Buddy's weird situation. I'm getting rid of an unhappy player who isn't going to push my team into the playoffs, and I'm swapping him for a much better pick and a guy who also isn't going to help me get into the playoffs. Wiggins makes more per year than Hield, but his contract also ends a season earlier. I wouldn't hate Monte McNair for pulling the trigger on this sort of trade, nor would I be upset if that offer was leaked and the Kings declined. It's right on the edge for me.
Will: So, I'm entirely fine with this deal. Wiggins will only turn 26 a few months into next season and is a talented, yet aloof scorer. He will never be the promised 'Maple Jordan' but on a team built to get out and score quickly, the Kings could do a lot worse. He's played shoot guard and small forward in his career so there's still flexibility that the Kings can use to draft who they want and re-sign who they want. Wiggins also isn't by any means a headcase or someone who stirs the pot. In fact, much of his issue is that he's probably too even keeled to the point of looking disinterested. The contract is a wash in my mind and getting the #2 pick, even in a weak draft allows the new front office to pick whoever the hell they think has the most star potential. Kings get younger, don't get much more expensive and they replace the scoring with someone of fairly equal stature.
Kings Receive: Gordon Hayward, #14
Celtics Receive: Buddy Hield
Tim: Yes! Yes! Yes! I would take this deal in a heartbeat. Sacramento sheds long-term salary, gets rid of an unhappy player, takes on no long-term deals, and gains a lottery pick to add a rotation player. The Kings would also gain some flexibility to move up in the draft if they so desired. Give me something like Saddiq Bey and Tyrese Maxey and I'm thrilled.
Will: This is a deal that is almost solely about the future. Gordon Hayward could be a $34 million rental of the Gorton Fisherman's likeness and it would probably end up being a decent deal. Would casual fans enjoy that we traded Buddy for a pricey rental? Hell no. But it clears salary, gets Buddy to a spot where he can shine (probably off the bench) and the Kings get draft assets in return. Hayward won't help the Kings sniff the playoffs, so a high 2021 Draft pick would still very much be on the table. Having the 12 and 14 would also allow the Kings to pick a more NBA ready player while also adding a home run swing like Poku a few spots later. Oh, yeah, just assume if the Kings get any second pick in this draft, the lowest selection in the first round goes to the Serbian Scorpion.
From Zach Lowe
Kings Receive: #2 pick
Warriors Receive: Richaun Holmes, Nemanja Bjelica, #12, top-5 protected 2021 first rounder
Tim: When I first heard about this proposal, I was a yes vote, but I've changed my mind over the last few days. From a value perspective, I couldn't care less about Holmes and Bjelica, as they probably wouldn't garner anything more than a second rounder on their own, but the protections on the 2021 pick are far too low for me. If I can bump those up to top-10, I would consider making the deal, but missing out on a top-6 or 7 pick in the 2021 draft would be pretty devastating. Also, I'm going to need to see that Anthony Edwards is still on the board before completing the transaction. Wiseman and Ball aren't worth it to me.
Will: There's almost nothing on this green Earth that could persuade me to give up this years pick and next year's pick with any protections higher than "lottery protected". Richaun and Bjelly can be had, no ifs, ands or buts about it. The #12 can likewise be packaged in for a trade up with those two. But the Kings need to inject youth and talent into this team and the risk of losing the #6 or #7 pick in a deep 2021 draft class is just too rich for my blood. Now, say that Top-5 turned into Top-12 and the next year converts to second rounders or something that is steep in the drop off, I'm fine with the risk.
Kings Receive: Victor Oladipo, Grant Williams
Pacers Receive: Gordon Hayward, Robert Williams III
Celtics Recieve: Myles Turner, Buddy Hield
Tim: I have no idea why the Kings or Pacers would do this deal, to be honest. For the Kings, they're getting one year of Victor Oladipo and then he's walking to Miami. I also legitimately have no idea who Grant Williams is or what position he plays. I know he's probably not very good. From Sacramento's position, I would much rather take Myles Turner on for Buddy Hield. He fits the timeline and fills a position of need.
The Pacers may be interested in Hayward, but I can't imagine they'll have to give up Oladipo AND Turner to get him and a project center. The Celtics would be thrilled with this deal, though.
Will: I've got to be honest, Victor Oladipo scares me. Trading him for one year scares me, his injuries scare me. Even if he said he'd agree to contract extension, it would make me very nervous pulling something like this off. Obviously, I would do it because it only costs the Kings Buddy and we also get a nice little asset in Grant Williams but Victor is rather fragile and every fall or drive into traffic would have me holding my breath. Without an agreement from his side to play beyond next season for the Kings, we're really dumping Buddy in the hopes of mowing Oladipo's lawn well enough to get him to stay.
Kings Receive: Kevin Huerter, #6 pick
Hawks Receive: Buddy Hield
Tim: I would love this return for the Kings, but I think it falls too much in Sacramento's favor. Monte McNair would probably need to give up #12 in this deal, and even then, I'm not sure Atlanta pulls the trigger. They can find not quite as good, but not nearly as expensive shooting elsewhere in free agency and in trades. That being said, I'll be the Kings could send Hield and #12 for #6, which is a deal I would take as well.
Will: We've heard that Atlanta is all in on making a playoff push this next season and this might be the kid of deal Trae Young pushes management for. With Hield by his side, Young would have himself a Dollar General version of the Splash Bros. ( "The Puddle Buds" perhaps) and their scoring would be more than enough to get to the outer edges of a playoff race. But is Buddy enough to get that deal done? I'd be willing to part with a guy like Nemanja Bjelica, who furthers the shooting prowess of that Atlanta team while also not hampering them long term. I'd stop short of offering the #12 and offer other guys on contract, but with enough pressure, I could be convinced to toss it in, especially if I knew someone like Okongwu was still on the board.
Kings Receive: Aaron Gordon, #15 pick
Magic Receive: Buddy Hield, #12 pick
Tim: This one one of the most interesting to me fair value-wise, but in the end, I don't pull the trigger. Aaron Gordon doesn't fit at all with Marvin Bagley, and we're still hoping/betting/praying that Marvin become an above-average starter. Neither of those guys can stretch the floor or protect the rim. I like the idea, but I don't like it for the Kings core.
Will: I'm breaking with Tim here. I do this deal and to hell with Marvin Bagley and whatever positioning he thinks he's deserving of. Gordon has a contract that descends from $18 mil this season to $16 mil next season and if this season doesn't quite work in terms of spacing, I trade whichever between he and Bagley doesn't fit next season. Each will be assets in their own way and I have a year to evaluate both guys and their fit with De'Aaron Fox. Gordon's a local kid with ties to the central valley who is looking for a change of scenery to give his career another boost. He's a good defender, a very streaky scorer and a highlight reel that can get the Kings on SportsCenter without being good enough to ruin much of any draft stock. The #15 pick also isn't much of a sink, especially in this draft. The Kings could very easily like a guy at #12, pull this trade off and find that kid dropped to #15.
Kings Receive: Al Horford, Josh Richardson, Matisse Thybulle, #21
Sixers Receive: Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes, 2021 second rounder, 2022 second rounder
Tim: I'm intrigued. I'm very intrigued. The Sixers got themselves a new coach and some new front office personnel, so I'm not exactly sure how all of their pieces are valued within their organization. Probably the biggest issue with this deal is that Philadelphia wants to get out of Horford's long-term, overpaid deal, and I'm not sure that the long-term, overpaid deals of Barnes and Hield are exactly what they need. I'll say this, if we can take on Horford for Buddy and get Thybulle and another piece, I'm thrilled.
Will: Did Sacramento give up any first round picks? No. Did they get better? Also, no. Adding Matisse Thybulle and the #21 is the real prize here and a perfect use of renting your cap space. Fox and Josh Richardson will play well together as a scoring tandem, Horford and a healthy Bagley could be nice in theory without being dominant. Adding a budding defensive monster and high character guy in Thybulle plus another youngster at #21 is a big boon for the youth movement. Fox, Tyrese Maxey (at #12), Matisse Thybulle, Mavin Bagley (and of course POKU!!) is a damn good, quick rebuild, not to mention the 2021 pick and the option to resign Bogi. I like this deal. I like it a whole hell of a lot.
Kings Receive: Mitchell Robinson, Frank Ntilikina, Bobby Portis, #8 pick, 2021 NYK first rounder
Knicks Receive: De'Aaron Fox, Nemanja Bjelica, Jabari Parker
Tim: If, and I can't imagine this would actually happen, that 2021 NYK first rounder is fully unprotected, I'm taking the deal. If there are any protections, even top-1 protected, I'm out. Trading Fox has to give you a near guarantee at a top pick in the stacked 2021 draft, so if I can get two of those shots (Knicks and Kings picks both likely being high), I have to consider the deal. I'm too lazy to figure out the different salaries, but Bjelica, Parker, Ntilikina, and Portis have less than zero meaning to me in this deal. If it's two first rounders and Robinson, I'm in. With those two picks, plus Sacramento's own selections in the next two years, the Kings could build a core of 21 and under that looks something like:
Will: So I've been one of the few on this writing staff willing to publicly say that I would trade Fox for the right deal. I'm pretty set in that thinking. That being said, I'm not sure I trust the Knicks to stay bad enough in the East with Fox and whatever pieces are left after this deal. Thibs being a new coach there doesn't assuage my concerns either. All you need is one maligned star to decide that he wants to play in New York and the Kings are looking at a pick in the teens next year. Robinson is a good get, the #8 is fun too. I just... the Knicks have been screw ups for so long that with Fox, Thibs and a midseason swing, they might just screw up and wiggle Sacramento out of a high pick. I'll give it to you, it's definitely close.
Kings Receive: Russell Westbrook
Rockets Receive: Harrison Barnes, Richaun Holmes, Cory Joseph, 2021 SAC first rounder (top-8 protected)
Tim: NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO.
Will: Not going to lie, the thought of Westbrook in Sacramento, three years from now while making $47 million is hilarious to me. I have no idea why. That said, it would be an all-time dramatic move and McNair might not survive to the end of his contract if he pulled this off.
Kings Receive: Victor Oladipo, Myles Turner
Pacers Receive: Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes, #12 pick
Tim: I don't know why either team makes this deal. Similar to what I said above, the Kings shouldn't be paying a high price for a one-year rental of Oladipo, nor should the Pacers settle for such a low price for two pretty good players.
Will: I agree here. I think the Kings would be happy to do this deal, and if Indiana offered, it might be worth it just to get out of their salaries and collect Turner in the process. That being said, it isn't enough for Indy to be remotely interested in it and it might be a bad use of Kings resources if they were.
Kings Receive: John Wall, 2020 WAS first rounder, 2022 WAS first rounder, 2020 WAS second rounder
Wizards Receive: Cory Joseph, Buddy Hield, Richaun Holmes
Tim: There's no doubt that Wall is probably on the worst contract in the league due to his injuries, but Washington probably can't afford to do anything but wait him and out hope he works his way back to decent production. I don't forsee the Wizards engaging in a salary dump when they're almost certainly going to be bad over the next couple of seasons.
Will: I'm pretending in this moment that Washington is the one that offered the deal as a way to reset after a disappointing last few years. The Kings would have Wall, the #9 pick and whatever Washington's pick is the year that high schoolers might be allowed back into the draft. That's almost tempting to me. Wall makes the exact same amount of money as Westbrook, but I'd venture a guess that even if you told Wall to stay home and collect the largest paid vacation money in history, a year or so down the road, some team desperate to build a superteam might come knocking. I'd leeeean towards a no on this deal, but its a risk that is nearly worth taking. Maybe toss in another first rounder to really make up for that nasty contract and I would make it work.
Kings Receive: Gordon Hayward, Enes Kanter, #26
Celtics Receive: Buddy Hield, Cory Joseph
Tim: I'm going to need a hell of a lot more for Hield than two expiring contracts and a late first rounder in a bad draft. If this is the best offer I receive for Buddy, I'm waiting until the trade deadline or next offseason to pull the trigger on a deal.
Will: Two year-long rentals and the #26 isn't enough for Buddy at this moment, but I will say that if he starts publicly mouthing off about wanting out? This might be the deal the Kings HAVE to take. I would be disappointed in this haul, but it really isn't a lowball given the reality of the situation.