A Sacramento Kings Fan Forum
How To Blow Up The Kings (one way)
In response to Kingsguru21 in the Cleveland recap comments, I’m going to throw out a way to “blow up” the Kings roster.
There is really one parameter. Everyone but Haliburton is on the table to be traded in this reset. I think Haliburton is young enough, new enough, and promising enough to keep and see what he becomes. Everyone else can go if the right offer is there. I looked at buying and contending teams from what I know about them but you may know more about their status so let me know if you think a team is actually rebuilding.
To New York Knicks for Evan Fournier, Kevin Knox, NYK’s 2022 1st Round Pick Top 3 Protected, and NYK’s 2024 1st Round Pick Unprotected. New York is in need of a good point guard with Kemba not working out. Fox can provide that. Fournier is still a serviceable player and has many years left on his deal, but the understanding is that he would soon be traded for another asset or an expiring contract(s). Knox is an expiring contract to make the salaries work. If the 2022 1st Rounder does not convey, it will be unprotected in 2023 and the second 1st Rounder will convey in 2025.
To Cleveland Cavaliers for Ricky Rubio, Lamar Stevens, and CLE’s 2023 1st Round Pick Lottery Protected. The pick will likely be a later pick which makes trading it for Hield acceptable. It looks to convey then but if it doesn’t it can switch to Top 8 then Top 1 in subsequent years until conveyed. Rubio is an expiring contract and Stevens is needed to make the salaries work. If Rubio is too good for the tank, he can be traded by the Kings in another deal.
Harrison Barnes & Maurice Harkless
To Atlanta Hawks for Danilo Gallinari, Cam Reddish, and ATL’s 2022 1st Round Pick Top 5 Protected. Atlanta could use a strong small forward option to put in their starting lineup. Gallinari is included mainly to match salary with Barnes. The idea is to actually take a flier on Reddish as he is only 22. Harkless is included to make up for lost wing depth. The pick should convey with the light protection. If Atlanta does not want to trade both Reddish and a lightly protected pick it can be lottery this year and then top 10 and then top 5, etc. but it must eventually be a 1st round pick, not turn into two seconds or something like that. Gallinari has a full contract year in 2022-23, but one hopes he can be moved again for an expiring.
I tried to find a trade for Bagley that would return a 2nd round pick but it’s hard to find an essentially dead salary to match his $11.3 million contract. Bagley does have an expiring contract. I guess the best option I can come up with is to hold him through the season, renounce his cap hold of over $25 million, and use the $11.3 million space to take on bad contracts with assets attached in the offseason.
Holmes cannot be traded until March 3, which is after the trade deadline, due to being re-signed with bird rights with a 20% raise in salary and the Kings are over the cap (this is per Fanspo). I would still trade Holmes in the offseason, but I am only covering in season trades in this post.
Tristan Thompson & Davion Mitchell
To LA Clippers for Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Boston Jr. Bledsoe has been underwhelming at point guard this year. Mitchell should fit in with the Clippers’ identity and is an interesting prospect for the Clippers to re-tool with. Thompson is included for matching salary. The Clippers don’t have any draft capital, but Boston Jr. is a very interesting prospect who fell in the draft, probably way too far. He is over three years younger than Mitchell. Bledsoe’s salary for next year has only $3.9 million guaranteed.
Terence Davis & Alex Len
I didn’t try to find deals for these players as all they would probably bring back is a cleanly expiring contract. The contracts of Davis and Len are small enough and they are not impactful enough toward winning that they can be moved in the offseason if deals can be found.
I also didn’t project out the entire roster after the trades. You can do that if you want. It’s not really that important in my opinion except you want the roster to be bad enough to ensure a good chance at a high pick for the Kings’ 2022 1st rounder. If it is positionally unbalanced, further trades or waivings can take place and G-League players can be signed. It would also be ideal to not stunt the development of Haliburton, Reddish, and Boston Jr. if that can at all be avoided.
But the important pieces after the in-season reset are:
PG/SG Tyrese Haliburton, 21 years old
SF Cam Reddish, 22 years old
SG Brandon Boston Jr., 20 years old
Sacramento 2022 1st Round Pick
New York 2022 1st Round Pick Top 3 Protected
Atlanta 2022 1st Round Pick Top 5 Protected
Sacramento 2023 1st Round Pick
Cleveland 2023 1st Round Pick Lottery Protected
Sacramento 2024 1st Round Pick
New York 2024 1st Round Pick Unprotected
Richaun Holmes, hopefully traded in 2022 offseason for a 2023 1st Round Pick
Evan Fournier, to be traded for an expiring contract or hopefully that and a minor asset
So, what do you think? Feel free to shoot holes; I only ask that you provide alternative trades. Failing that, make the argument for why our current roster is enough to compete (good luck with that one).
Thank you to Kingsguru21 for pointing out on Twitter that Holmes can in fact be traded as of January 15th. With that given, the Holmes trade I would propose is for James Wiseman of the Warriors. It's a promising prospect for a veteran but Holmes is in a much better position to help the Warriors win a title this year and the next year than Wiseman is. Wiseman could turn into the Kings' center of the future at 20 years old now. The salaries work due to Wiseman's draft position (or they're close enough that they can be worked out).
So to go after these one on one. I'm not in love with it overall although there are definitely things I like more than others.
I wouldn't do the De'Aaron Fox deal, and yes it's been frustrating watching his lack of defense (especially) and his shot not develop. But.....I need more than that to move on and I doubt any team would. I see the Knicks doing that deal without much hesitation, but I don't see why the Kings really would. Their path forward includes Fox figuring out some things in the leadership department among other things. It's one of those deals where you're damned if you do damned if you don't deals. I think the most likely scenario of the Kings trading Fox is he wants out, and he very well may soon.
I don't think Cleveland would go for that Buddy deal but I'd absolutely do that if were I Sacramento.
That's an interesting Harrison Barnes trade, and I'd probably do that. But it makes building a playoff team in Sacramento that much harder. If you're not a playoff team this year, though, then I think you do that deal without hesitation. Wonder whether Atlanta does though.
Bagley's cap hold is 28.28 million, and there's no way they wouldn't renounce him if there was cap room involved. Whether there's cap room who knows? As far as moving on from Bagley, there might be a team out there willing to take a flier on him at this point for maybe a 2nd round pick at best. I think it's possible the Kings might even waive him at the deadline just to move on although they might not. There's a possibility the Kings could do something as far as a S&T as Bagley's in the unique position of having a high enough salary (11.3 million) and there's no likelihood that he'll get anything near 13.5 million which would trigger BYC (since the Kings are likely over the cap) so that the Kings could get something in a S&T. I would put the odds on Bagley being here all the way until the end of the season and I put the odds at near 0% that the Kings seriously consider keeping Bagley on the QO for another season. It'll be interesting to see which way this one goes.
I'd rather keep Davion Mitchell than Brandon Boston Jr but at this point I think many Kings fans have 'grass is greener on the other side' disease. Boston isn't going to do what he's doing for the Clippers in Sac you can guarantee it. That element for success just is not there. I do think the Clippers do that deal in a heartbeat, though.
@kingsguru21 Thank you for responding in depth! Though this post was a response to your comment, so maybe I should have hoped you would. 😉
Yeah, I agree that the return on Fox is not what you want to see if you're moving on from him. The problem there is that while point guard is a very important position, perhaps on par with big ball-handling wing, the supply of good to great point guards is way more ample than that for the big ball-handling wings. In defense of that, I'll just go down the league alphabetically (leaving off the exceptions I'll get to after). ATL - Young, BKN - Kyrie or Harden, CHA - LaMelo, CHI - Lonzo, CLE - Garland, DAL - Luka, DEN - Murray or Jokic (point C), DET - Cade, GSW - Steph, HOU - Porter Jr, IND - Brogdon, LAL - Russ, MEM - Ja, MIA - Lowry, MIL - Jrue, MIN - D'Angelo, OKC - Shai, ORL - Anthony, PHI - Maxey, PHX - Paul, POR - Dame, SAS - Murray, TOR - VanVleet, UTH - Conley, WAS - Dinwiddie.
Fox is better than some of those players, but there is little reason to surrender assets to upgrade at point guard for most of those teams. Of the remaining teams, the Clippers don't have assets to trade, I wasn't sure whether the Pelicans were buying or rebuilding when I wrote the post (I guess they're buying so you could trade with them), and that leaves the Celtics and the Knicks. I think I picked the Knicks because they were lower in the standings at the time. Maybe due to matching salary; I can't remember. But the main point is that there isn't a whole lot of demand for point guards, even a fringe all-star like Fox. The return unfortunately will not be super-great unless we luck into fleecing the right team in their wrong time.
Why does Cleveland say no? I think one of their main weaknesses could be shooting just looking at their FG%'s. Rubio will not be a part of their championship roster. Garland can distribute, and they already have a strong defensive identity. Buddy can be hidden there on D.
On Harrison, yeah this is a Kings rebuild scenario. Since my post, the reporting is that the Hawks want a first for Reddish. So this is a no go.
Interesting stuff on Bagley but since this is a Kings rebuild post, the team would definitely have some cap space so they'd like that $28.8M hold to be gone and the $11.3M in space to be freed.
Mitchell is being moved mainly for both his age and that him being a senior kind of indicates a limited upside. I could be persuaded to keep him for a rebuild. He does have three years left at 9th pick rookie scale salary.
What do you think of the Holmes idea? I asked Nate Duncan and Danny Leroux what they thought. They said GSW is in love with Wiseman. Further, Danny gave it a 70% chance all three of their lottery prospects would get past the trade deadline and Nate gave it 80%. Finally, Holmes would not close games. That is still Draymond at center.
Thanks again for responding.
@catterj I think there are a couple things here that I disagree with. First, there are the guys that Fox is simply better than. Then they guys that aren't up to snuff relative to their teams' ambitions. For example, Maxey isn't at the level that would make a competitor feel set at the position. Second, a lot of those guys could easily play with Fox. The obvious ones are guys like Cade, Luka, Jokic/Murray, Lonzo, Brogdon, etc. that are all big guards or front court players.
@besthyperboleever I think you have good counterpoints to my paragraph. Yes, Fox is better than some of those players, and I tried to state that with my phrase of "Fox is better than some of those players." But my continuation in that sentence is that teams may not want to trade for Fox, which would come with surrendering assets for him, in order to upgrade to Fox when they already have a competent player at PG.
To your third and fourth sentence, well, yes I guess if they want to upgrade bad enough they can go for Fox.
Lastly, yes those primary initiators are big enough that they could slot Fox in and have him be the primary or secondary playmaker with the players you mentioned.
My main contention is that point guard is a relatively stacked position overall in the league. It is obviously a super important position, but a lot teams have a competent player already there. I could try to make a list of competent "big wings/combo forwards" and I suspect it would be sparser across the league.
Indicative of that is the Hollinger and Duncan pod in which they agreed that Harrison Barnes could return two future 1st rounders. I don't know that they're right, but their thinking that just shows how scarce that position is,.