A Sacramento Kings Fan Forum
Kings Offseason Proposal
I have scoured the upcoming free agents, and all of the plausible trade targets on other teams. If the Kings want to fill their needs of length, shooting, and defense to pair with Sabonis and Fox, here is what I propose they do:
1. Resign Donte Divincenzo and Damian Jones
2. Trade Barnes, Davis, and a 2023 Top 10 protected pick to Orlando for Jonathan Isaac
3. Trade Metu or Lyles for long, defensive-minded PG depth (I chose Metu for Ntilikina)
4. Draft Shaedon Sharpe
5. Sign TJ Warren and Malik Monk in free agency
Fox Mitchell Ntilikina (Trade)
Divincenzo Monk (FA) Holiday
Warren (FA) Sharpe (Draft) Harkless
Isaac (Trade) Jones Lyles
Sabonis Holmes Len
I'll begin with likely the most controversial point which is moving our best trade assets for a guy who hasn't played basketball for the last two seasons. But outside of the Kings lucking into Chet Holmgren this draft, I simply do not know who else in the league could slide in next to Sabonis so perfectly. If Isaac can return to form and stay healthy (a big IF), he is a long, switchable, agile defender who can step out beyond the arc on offense. They are perfect complements as players: Sabonis as the offensive focal point in the high post with spacing from Isaac, and Isaac as the defensive centerpiece with Sabonis closing out possessions with rebounds. If it were to work out, we'd have an elite level frontcourt for the next 5-8 years, and receive a 25-year old All-Defensive caliber player in exchange for Barnes and some sweeteners. He is the single most talented player in the league that could theoretically be had at that price.
In free agency, we pursue the additional shooters that we need to surround Fox and Sabonis with. TJ Warren is another long, two-way player that can reliably knock it down from deep who is in his prime. However, given his injury history, we may be able to snap him up on a bargain deal. Monk is another shooter who can play well in transition that would fit nicely with the rest of the roster, as well as offer a different look in relief of DD. He also makes TD expendable in the Isaac trade.
With Warren as the starting SF, I then feel more comfortable taking an upside swing in the draft. Sharpe and Mathurin make me nervous despite their obvious upside. Absent of Warren or another SF option, I'd rather go with a guy like Agbaji who you can reliably plug in as a 3&D wing from day one. But with Warren to take the bulk of minutes and relieve the pressure on Sharpe to perform early on, I believe it enables us to make a play for star power in the draft, which is what this team ultimately needs more than anything. A year or two playing behind Warren would likely serve Sharpe or Mathurin quite well in their development, too.
Finally, just to balance the roster, I move Metu for Ntilikina. This is more of an afterthought but Lyles and Metu take up 2 roster spots despite having rather redundant skillsets. Lyles has shown a bit more consistency and so that's why I stick with him but either is fine. Ntilikina likely won't see many minutes barring injury, and can serve as defensive depth at PG.
In the end, the Kings end up with the length, shooting, and defense needed to cover up the deficiencies of the Fox-Sabonis pairing. Isaac, Warren, and DD are all versatile 3&D players, Monk is a microwave off the bench, and Shaedon Sharpe is provided the time and space to become what he may. That is two full units of quality, switchable players with skillsets that complement one another.
The Kings simply don't have a lot of assets to put together a good team - and free agency doesn't offer a lot of promise without massive overpays. IMO, these moves take advantage of potential bargains for high-upside talent that fit the Fox-Sabonis timeline. Could it be a total disaster? Of course. Isaac could never play or be a shell of himself, ditto for Warren. Shaedon Sharpe could be a complete bust. But frankly, what's gonna happen? Are we gonna miss the playoffs?
If we're gonna go down anyway, let's take a swing. What do you think?
I appreciate the though and time put into this. Personally, I'm not sure relying on two guys that have played a COMBINED TOTAL of 4 games over the past two seasons as your starting forwards (and couldn't stay on the court in the seasons prior either) is a great pathway. If you want to buy really low on them and think of them as lottery tickets, then fine. But paying a high price for Isaac and relying on them to play important roles is a non-starter for me.
@besthyperboleever Totally fair. It's the most obvious reason to not pursue this path and if I'm Monte and my job depends on it I'm probably going to look the other way, too. I just don't see how this team suddenly acquires the high-level talent it needs to compete with the assets it has (Barnes, 7th pick in a weak draft, future picks, Davion, DD, Davis, Holmes). So I tried to figure out how to get the best possible players for the cost of these meager assets. My solution ended up being looking for potentially high-value guys by making calculated risk-reward plays. The risk is obviously great with Sharpe, Warren, and Isaac, but on the flip side they can all theoretically reach an all-star caliber level if they are able to optimize their potential, along with being perfect fits on the Fox-Sabonis timeline and scheme. Those types of players aren't coming here in free agency, and other teams aren't giving them up for the assets we have.