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Kings News and Notes: Domas changes numbers, trade speculation, and a Sasha update

Sabonis will switch to the number 11.
By | 70 Comments | Jun 17, 2024

Dec 18, 2023; Sacramento, California, USA; Sacramento Kings center Domantas Sabonis (10) drives in against Washington Wizards center Daniel Gafford (21) during the first quarter at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Silly me, I though mid June would be a good time to go camping for a couple days without missing much Sacramento Kings news. I was wrong! We’ve got a few things to catch up on, so let’s dive in.

You need a new Sabonis jersey

Domantas Sabonis is changing numbers, switching from number 10 to number 11. Sabonis has worn 11 throughout his NBA career, but had to switch to number 10 when he came to Sacramento as the number 11 had been retired in honor of Bob Davies. The family of Bob Davies have given their blessing for the change:

“My siblings and I are so proud of our father and everything he accomplished throughout his legendary NBA career,” said Bob Davies’ daughter Camy Davies Keck. “He was a great influence on our family as well as many young aspiring athletes. He was definitely a man of true character. Given the Sabonis family’s special connection to number 11, we thought it was fitting to share our dad’s number with Domantas and wish him much success. We are thankful to the Kings organization and fans for their continued support.”

Bob Davies played for the Rochester Royals for all 7 years of his career, including the 1950-51 season in which the franchise won its only NBA Championship, and was MVP of the NBL in 1946-47, and is in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1969.

Sabonis will wear number 11 in honor of his father, Arvydas Sabonis, who wore 11 during his NBA career with the Portland Trail Blazers.

“The number 11 holds a special place in mine and my family’s lives, having worn it throughout my career in honor of my father,” said Domantas Sabonis. “I’m incredibly thankful to the Davies family for sharing number 11 with me and I look forward to building on the legacy of all those who wore it before me.”

Kevin Huerter and Harrison Barnes are expected to be on the trade block

Michael Scotto of HoopsHype has a new mock draft up, and it includes notes and rumors from around the league. Scotto has the Kings selecting Devin Carter, who I wrote about last week, but also has a note about Kevin Huerter and Harrison Barnes:

Rival NBA executives who spoke with HoopsHype expect Kevin Huerter to be available again on the trade market this summer along with forward Harrison Barnes as the Sacramento Kings look to upgrade their roster in the vaunted Western Conference.

This isn’t really surprising, as pretty much all of us also expect Huerter and Barnes to be available on the trade block this summer, but I wanted to include it because I’ve seen a few instances of this being misconstrued as “the Kings are shopping these guys”. It’s a minor difference, but “execs expect these guys to be available” is different than “the Kings are in talks about these guys”. Semantics, perhaps, but still worth noting.

Scotto also mentions that Luke Loucks is expected to move to the front of the bench as an assistant coach, which had been written about previously following Jordi Fernandez getting hired as the Brooklyn Nets head coach. Seems like that is still on track, and it doesn’t sound like the Kings are looking at external hires to bolster the coaching staff.

Initial Sasha reports off base?

Sean Cunningham reported this weekend that Sasha Vezenkov, while unhappy, has no intention of leaving the NBA and will honor his contract, despite earlier reports.

This is kind of a “duh” report (not directing this at Sean, but at the initial reports), as it was never realistic for Sasha to leave the NBA. I still expect that Sasha is moved this summer, if the Kings can find a deal. Vezenkov clearly wants a bigger opportunity, and there isn’t a clear path for him to get more minutes in Sacramento based on the current roster construction. Of course, there’s also always the possibility that offseason trades create that opportunity, and Sasha ends up being needed here. We shall see.

 

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AnybodyButBagley
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June 17, 2024 8:51 am

Sasha said what he really feels. He and his agent were reminded how a contract works. Hopefully he moves on easily.

AnybodyButBagley
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June 17, 2024 9:18 am
Reply to  Greg

Set the man free. He was happy there. Hopefully the last year is drama free.

RikSmits
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June 17, 2024 10:01 am
Reply to  Greg

Or, just as likely, the initial report that the Kings told him he has no place in Sacramento was correct and then someone floated the story that he wanted out.

Sasha’s agent is Bartelstein (also the agent of Keegan and Huerter, among others), so I have my doubts that they would let Sasha demand to be let go.

TheGrantNapear
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June 17, 2024 10:21 am

Guessing MM does his best to trade Sasha.
HB, KH and Sasha: my guess is at least two of the three are traded this offseason.

Jack
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June 17, 2024 11:41 am
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

My guess all 3.

TheGrantNapear
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June 17, 2024 2:38 pm
Reply to  Jack

I hope you’re right!

Scorliss_In_Sacramento
June 17, 2024 8:19 pm
Reply to  Jack

I think none are traded. They have little value.

Jack
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June 18, 2024 6:24 am

Yes they do.

AnybodyButBagley
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June 17, 2024 7:45 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

I like the idea of HB staying. He can do a lot for this team.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
June 17, 2024 9:53 am
  1. I mentioned in the other thread that if Carter is the pick at #13 I would take it as a sign that Monte feels Monk will walk.Carter would be redundant with all of the 2 guards on this roster unless a major hole opened up.
  2. The Sasha report by Sean smells of front office clean up. Sean is a local guy who gets info direct from the FO while the previous reports felt leaked by Sasha’s camp. Time will tell, but my money would be on Sasha being traded. Huerter and Sahsa for John Collins makes sense for all parties. Just do it.
  3. comment image
Adamsite
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June 17, 2024 10:05 am
Reply to  Greg

Totally agree. If Carter is the pick at #13 I’m gonna be totally confused and frustrated.

RikSmits
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June 17, 2024 10:20 am
Reply to  Adamsite

So, just another (draft) day as a Kings fan?

TheGrantNapear
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June 17, 2024 10:30 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Worst day of the year each and every year for King’s fans.

I just noticed we drafted and traded Jaden Hardy in 2022 to the Mavs. Dude looks like he’s going to be a stud, gets to the basket with such ease. I think starting next year he’s going to help Luka and Kyrie carry the offensive load a ton.

Of course Hardy was probably picked for the Mavs, but still, it’s a player we could have had. Another missed opportunity by the Kings on draft day. Keegan and Hardy in the same draft would have been quite the haul.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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June 17, 2024 10:45 am
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

The Kings got two future second round picks in that trade (’24 and ’28). They have since traded both of those picks away as well.

RobHessing
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June 17, 2024 12:22 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

This FO does not make me as nervous, though the influence of ownership and $$$ restrictions gives me the yips –

Haliburton was the inaugural pick of this FO, and 12 it was a homerun. Not going to parse here – if we’re going to hold the FO accountable for the misses, they get full credit for the hits. And they could have easily been the 12th team to pass on Hali, and they did not.

I liked Moses Moody over Mitchell, but the glaring miss was Sengun. Mitchell is not a top 9 pick in his draft to this point, and considering the depth at PG that the Kings had at the time of the draft, this one is a loss.

Murray is in the definite conversation for the 4th best pick in his draft, and has thus far been head and shoulder above consensus pick Jaden Ivey. Chalk this one up as a win for the FO.

Now, you get to the selling off of 1st and 2nd round picks, which I think smacks of ownership influence. Regardless, when looked at on the whole, the Kings gave away the 1st round pick last year to unload Holmes, and the cash considerations for 2nd round picks have yet to reward the roster in any way that has translated into wins.

Overall, I give the FO an A- return on the 1st round picks (Sabonis, Murray, and solid if unspectacular bench guard in Mitchell, and an F for its 2nd rounders, though the grade could change via Colby Jones (with Slawson being a longer shot). Also, they get a screaming A for signing Ellis within minutes of the completion of the ’22 draft.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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June 17, 2024 12:33 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Solid takes. If I recall correctly, Monte stated when he arrived that he only makes moves that improve the team. He definitely started out that way with Hali, Monk and Huerter, but that notion flew out the window with recent cash trades and the Holmes and #24 dump. Those smell of ownership purse string decisions.

I’ll have to wait and see how this draft and free agency go before I give a verdict on this current front office, but would it really surprise anyone if the #13 is traded for a late first rounder, future 2nds, cash and then Monk leaves via free agency because of “future flexibility?”

RobHessing
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June 17, 2024 12:41 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

My hope is that McNair feels a little heat after last season and understands that he can’t afford to sit on his hands this off season, adding that “almost had a deal” does not count.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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June 17, 2024 12:50 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Yeah, and I’m with you…I’m not worried about Monte, it’s ownership that concerns me. Also, the A’s coming to town next summer could be the elephant in the room (pun intended) when it comes to financial abilities of the Kings going forward. Vivek is not rich by NBA owners standards.

RobHessing
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June 17, 2024 12:58 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

The A’s factor is a real concern for me. I love the thought of MLB in Sac., hate the shitnanigans that have made it possible, and fear that we could see the Kings on the tightest of budgets for the foreseeable future.

UpgradedToQuestionable
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June 17, 2024 12:53 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Starting next Wednesday (1st round, Thursday 2nd round) for the NBA Draft, followed by 3 PM PST Sunday 30 June as the start of Free Agency.

A very “eyes glued on X/Twitter” time period for fans.

It’s anyone’s guess what will transpire for Sacramento and the other 29 teams.

If they Kings show they are not players – and let’s face it, we here know better than anyone that until last season, they have NOT been up to snuff – it will be dark days ahead as the hope that has been built erodes.

andy_sims
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June 20, 2024 12:11 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

What Monk does has nothing to do with the front office. He’ll be offered the maximum allowed by Sacramento, and Monk will take it or leave it. Future flexibility isn’t part of the equation.

BuiltToSpill
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June 17, 2024 1:11 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Yeah, I’m very comfortable with Monte’s ability to navigate the draft for all the reasons you mention above.

The hit rate on second round picks is so low, it would just take a single impactful second rounder to make MM look like a genius.

TheGrantNapear
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June 17, 2024 2:42 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Fair assessment of the first round picks under MM.
And yes, the second round under MM has been a disaster and perhaps due to ownership. I hope we make use of the 45th pick in this draft and don’t sell it off. Keep taking stabs at players.

murraytant
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June 17, 2024 3:46 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

X. Tillman was traded as well. Now on Boston.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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June 17, 2024 10:35 am
Reply to  RikSmits

It would be similar to when Monte picked Mitchell with Fox, Hali, Buddy, and TD on the roster. So many guards.

UpgradedToQuestionable
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June 17, 2024 12:59 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I think Monte went for his version of “safety” BPA in choosing Davion Mitchell.

At this point, as we’ve all discussed- he’s had four drafts and has chosen a particular style of player in regards to age/experience/stats/personality (the traded off #24 last season can somewhat be replaced by #34 Colby Jones who was an upgrade from #38 via Celtics/Hornets for Player Type purposes of this discussion, IMO)

Last edited 1 month ago by UpgradedToQuestionable
UpgradedToQuestionable
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June 17, 2024 1:43 pm

That Monte/Wes type –
It’s also why he passed on Jaden Hardy. It’s a miss by all accounts, and he’d likely agree, but remember that Hardy was an G-League Ignite player with inconsistent play and less than 20 years old at the time.
Not his cup of tea. And that means you are either going to have change /expand your choices – or stick to your guns but miss out on some winners and just as likely have a greater chance of avoiding some losers.

Jack
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June 17, 2024 11:43 am
Reply to  Adamsite

IMO the #13 pick will be traded.

Hobby916
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June 17, 2024 3:00 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

That would signal to me that 2 or 3 of the guards listed above would be gone or at least heavily involved in trade talks once the “moratorium” is over with.

TheGrantNapear
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June 17, 2024 10:25 am
Reply to  Adamsite

KOC’s latest mock has the Spurs taking Carter at 8 and the Kings taking Topic at 13. Carter makes a ton of sense for the Spurs and he just seems like a Spur anyways.

As you said, Carter doesn’t make sense for this roster right now. I also prefer to take a flyer on a high risk high upside type of player, it’s been a long time since we’ve made a pick like that.
Got to throw darts at the wall from time to time and hope to land top end talent. Can’t keep taking safe picks all the time. This roster needs more elite talent.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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June 17, 2024 10:49 am
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

Carter does make a lot of sense for the Spurs, as does Topic. I could see them taking both of them at #4 and #8. If I’m Monte I’d get on the phone and ask about Keldon Johnson.

TheGrantNapear
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June 17, 2024 11:20 am
Reply to  Adamsite

I see Keldon’s name mentioned a lot. I personally haven’t seen him play much so don’t have an opinion on him.
I could see the Spurs being active this offseason to push a long what they’re building, especially while Wemby is on his rookie contract. The West is so wide open, and Wemby is so good at such a young age, I think it makes sense for them to make moves to get better now instead of focusing too much on the future and pushing a slow rebuild the way a team like Portland is.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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June 17, 2024 12:15 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

It could be argued that KJ was the Spurs best player until Wemby came along, but the best player on a horrible team may not be saying much. He got moved to a 6th man role in favor of Sochan (for his defense) and Vassell (for his shooting). KJ is a solid player but doesn’t really excel and one thing, but he is strong, long, and athletic. He’s more like a better and younger (he’s 24) version of Kelly Oubre. If Monte sees Keegan as the 4 of the future, KJ could potentially slot in nicely next to him at the wing.

KJ’s contract is also very good as he’s locked up for 3 years on a deal similar to Barnes. My guess is he’d be used by the Spurs to acquire significant talent to put next to Wemby. However, if they want to move him now, I’d imagine the Kings would have to start with the #13 and go from there.

TheGrantNapear
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June 17, 2024 2:45 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Sounds like KJ is the type of player we could use. Change of scenery could also result in improved play.
Looking at KJ and HB’s contracts, it’d be nice if the Spurs did a straight up trade looking for HB’s vet leardership. I know that’s not happening, but it’d be nice.

murraytant
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June 17, 2024 3:54 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

KJ is ok, inconsistent. Just not an impact guy. Gets buckets. Reminds me of a TJ Warren or A. Burks- box score shows points but eye yest shows no impact.

Adamsite
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June 17, 2024 4:42 pm
Reply to  murraytant

Yeah, that’s fair. That also makes him a perfect 4th or 5th banana on a good team.

I do pause on the notion that he was moved to the bench on the Spurs. If Pop feels he’s better as a 6th man, then it’s likely the case. It could also just be a fit and rotation issue.

Jack
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June 17, 2024 11:46 am
Reply to  Adamsite

I would like to include Zach Collins with that phone call.

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June 17, 2024 12:17 pm
Reply to  Jack

I would to, but I’d imagine the Spurs like Collins next to and behind Wemby at times. He’s really the only other big they currently have.

murraytant
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June 17, 2024 3:51 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Spurs also are linked to Dillingham and to Saluan.

UpgradedToQuestionable
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June 17, 2024 1:12 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

Topic is a guard, Euro, and <19 years old – with an injury concern. And then they have the poor Euro translation with Vezenkov to add. KOC is not reading the Kings, he’s reading his draft boards.

McNair/Welker taking Nikola Topic is would be a huge surprise (ain’t gonna happen).

Should the Kings keep the pick-
and neither Knecht, Clingnan and maybe Cody Williams drop all the way to #13:

Da Silva, Edey, Ware, Filipowski, DaRon Holmes II are who I’d bet on with Terrence Shannon as an outside chance if he passes the sniff test after his recent legal clearance – in no particular order.

murraytant
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June 17, 2024 3:50 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

If Carter goes above 13, a player will drop- could be Topic, could be Holland. I would take either.
In any event, too many guards.

Jack
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June 17, 2024 11:42 am
Reply to  Adamsite

I would go for that.

TheGrantNapear
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June 17, 2024 10:33 am

NBA draft and FA are less than two weeks away. Anybody have any fun and realistic trade ideas they’d like to get off their chest?!

Jack
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June 17, 2024 11:48 am
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

Huerter, Lyles, Mitchell and a first for Johnson and Collins.

TheGrantNapear
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June 17, 2024 2:48 pm
Reply to  Jack

Has Collins done much? I don’t know that we’d have to throw in a first in that trade, maybe a second.
KH gives them shooting around Wemby and DM defense. Even Lyles I could see Pop working some magic with similar to how he used Boris Diaw once upon a time. Maybe a second go around with the Spurs changes things for Lyles.

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June 17, 2024 4:45 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

They really don’t need Huerter. They have a better and younger version of him in Vassell, whom they’ve made their highest paid player.

That being said, I could see Lyles being a perfect fit in San Antonio.

jwalker1395
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June 17, 2024 10:58 am

FWIW I’d like to hold on to Huerter at least until the trade deadline to see if he rebuilds his value. History suggests he’s closer to the player he was in year 1 than he was in year 2.

Even if he’s coming off the bench, a positionally versatile sharpshooter that can rebound and playmake out of the PnR is pretty valuable. I think he’s worth more than what people are trying to trade for him with at the moment.

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June 17, 2024 11:01 am
Reply to  jwalker1395

Although I understand the mindset, that is also a risk.
And how far can Monte kick the can down the road, again?

Adamsite
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June 17, 2024 11:05 am
Reply to  jwalker1395

You’ve got a solid point. Plus, if the Kings were to trade away Huerter at the draft and then Monk walks, they could be in a pickle. Then again, if Monte thinks he’s got the talent in Ellis and Jones and/or takes someone at #13 to fill that role (Carter?) It could help to rebalance the roster both financially and in roles.

That all being said, it would be foolish to go into camp with potentially $35M in backup guards in Huerter, Monk, Duarte, etc. if Ellis is your starting two guard getting 28+ minutes a night.

Jack
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June 17, 2024 11:53 am
Reply to  Adamsite

If Monk walks which IMO he won’t but just in case this is where the trade for Keldon Johnson comes in. IMO he would be a fairly could replacement for Monk.

Jack
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June 17, 2024 11:58 am
Reply to  Jack

Now Monty needs to go after either John Collins or Kuzma. I perfer Collins but Kuzma would also wotk.

TheGrantNapear
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June 17, 2024 11:17 am
Reply to  jwalker1395

I agree on holding on to KH if the offers for him aren’t fair. He also represents salary filler in a potential bigger trade. So he has value in that sense as well.
Overall, I’d like to see HB go more than KH, ideally they’re both traded this offseason. The rotation players on this roster need a complete make over.

Amonk81
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June 17, 2024 11:22 am
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

I just don’t subscribe to this FO cautious-not gonna trade unless deal is perfect. Fuck that. Time to move. Even if it isn’t exactly what they want.

They talk about not wanting to sacrifice the future—- future already here. Window opened two summers ago. They can’t be patient anymore.

Plus, I think I saw reported Monte is looking to deal and feels he has all the assets needed.

Amonk81
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June 17, 2024 11:19 am
Reply to  jwalker1395

Jesus Christ…just trade Heurter already. They shoulder have gotten rid of him and upgraded Barnes last year.

And I think Huerters value is still the same as it’s always been around the NBA.

Monte and Vivek need to do something this summer- have to. This sitting around waiting for who knows what ain’t working.

Hobby916
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June 17, 2024 3:19 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

I didn’t know Jesus Christ was the GM of the Kings.

andy_sims
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June 20, 2024 12:26 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

He’d need to be in order to just dictate trades and always get what he wants, which is, I’ve read here, very easy to do.

And let’s face it: He’s no Brad Stevens.

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June 17, 2024 12:41 pm

With his modern era record of double doubles (and his being the League leader in rebounding and triple doubles) I fully embraced Domas as having the number 10.

But with this new jersey, I think, incredibly, that Sabonis will turn it up a notch
comment image

Also of interest, is that Domas and Shashana have a daughter, who was born on July 11 (2023) and is named….. Eleven.

(Domas wore #3 at OKC and #11 for the Pacers. He donned the #11 for the Gonzaga Bulldogs)

Last edited 1 month ago by UpgradedToQuestionable
BuiltToSpill
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June 17, 2024 1:42 pm

The Kings brought in Edey, Ware, Jamison Battle, Boogie Ellis, RayJ Dennis, and Jonathan Mogbo for a pre-draft workout today. Edey and Ware are interesting – I wonder if they’re considering trading down or simply grabbing a big man a little above their projected spots. The other guys seem like considerations for undrafted FAs.

TheGrantNapear
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June 17, 2024 2:54 pm
Reply to  BuiltToSpill

I would be fine with Edey or Ware at 13. I think Ware has more untapped potential so I think he’d be a solid pick.
Odds are MM surprises us with someone we weren’t expecting at 13.

Hobby916
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June 17, 2024 3:23 pm
Reply to  BuiltToSpill

Ware seems the “homerun” swing. How much more can they get out of him? Is he Jaren Jackson Jr. type of guy, or more Willie Cauley-Stein? Hopefully more like JJJ.

Edey just doesn’t seem like a big man that will play much in the NBA.

Swings in the draft at #13: Ware and Salaun

Safer picks at #13: da Silva, Carter.

Monte really needs to make sure the talent evaluation is on point.

ScrumhalfVinny
June 17, 2024 3:57 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

I’d really like Salaun if he is there at 13. If you aren’t gonna trade the pick as part of a package for a proven win now type of player, might as well take a swing on the raw talent.

In this weak of a draft, I’m not sure there is anyone who will be available at 13 that will considerably improve the rotation this year. So, why not take a chance on Salaun’s upside?

That said, it would be a departure from the way McNair has drafted in the past, so I don’t see it happening.

Hobby916
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June 17, 2024 4:06 pm
Reply to  ScrumhalfVinny

Maybe this is the year where he strikes for a player like that. The other years I think he had some options for “safer” types of picks, and he may not this draft (?) Gotta get a star somehow, and FA doesn’t seem to ever be an option for Sacramento.

murraytant
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June 17, 2024 4:03 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

Ware is a lob threat guy. Can help- Mavs in early playoffs but can be stopped as in Finals. Ware is Claxton with some offense.
Doubt Saluan drops to 13 but he would be fine.
The picks between 13 and 20 or so each have different qualities. Someone will fall in love with one of them. Kings can pick that loved guy, trade down and get about the same value later at 20. If Toronto loves Edey, if some one loves Carter, there are options, Then Ware, or Filipowski or Walker or TDS will be around.
Washington wants a second lottery pick and has #26. Get Kuzma + 26 for #13 and HB. Toronto wants Edey and has 19.

Jack
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June 17, 2024 4:39 pm
Reply to  murraytant

I would do the HB plus #13 for Kuzma and #26.

Adamsite
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June 17, 2024 4:50 pm
Reply to  BuiltToSpill

Kings bringing in bigs? I’m not sure I like the idea of paying lottery money to a guy you know is going to be backing up your best player and may only get 12-15 mpg. You can find bigs on vet minimum deals for a cheaper commitment.

UpgradedToQuestionable
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June 17, 2024 5:46 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Talent is talent. BPA but if all things equal, draft for need/

Domas is perhaps superhuman, but not invulnerable – the Kings need size. They need athletic bigs! They might be a back up at first, they might allow Sabonis to play the 4 spot.

Or maybe they are so good, you can trade them later (Haliburton <->Sabonis).

The #13 is $12M/3 years. They might not pay Jalen Smith that, or they may pay him $20M/3 years. Would you rather Jalen Smith or #13 (Edey, Ware, DaSilva, Holmes, Filipowski)?

Jack
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June 17, 2024 6:00 pm

I would take Jalen Smith using the mle and use #13 as a trade chip.

ajonez81
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June 26, 2024 9:21 pm

I would like one more season to see what Sasha can do (probably won’t be much though he’s not athletic enough for NBA game), and have been waiting forever for them to trade Huerter and Barnes. Please just do it, they don’t even have much value as some people seem to think, just get rid of them.

Last edited 24 days ago by ajonez81

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