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Kings Pulse: There’s no NEED to Trade De’Aaron Fox

The Kings need more talent... so maybe they shouldn't trade away their best player?

When I first saw media commentary that De'Aaron Fox needs to be traded, I was shocked. Frustrations with the max-player had obviously been growing and the "Well, what could they get for him?" question understandably has surfaced, but I refuse to view it as a necessity.

I spent the entirety of this 90 minute Kings Pulse podcast episode explaining why I disagree. The Sacramento Kings need more talent first and foremost. And De'Aaron Fox is kinda good at this whole basketball thing.

Last season, he averaged upwards of 25 points and seven assists at the age of 23. Those are historic numbers at that age and something only six other players in NBA history have ever accomplished -- I listed all seven on the pod.

There's no way to know how good De'Aaron Fox truly can be because of the constantly changing subpar circumstances around him. He's dealt with three coaches and two general managers and he's just halfway through his fifth season. And he still led the 2018-19 team to a win percentage that Sacramento hasn't accomplished since 2006.

Fox has ended every season of his career as Sacramento's leader in assists per game. Before Tyrese Haliburton, no other player even manages to contribute an average of more than four assists.

I spent a lot of time diving into teams into all teams from that timeframe who had only one player averaging more than four assists and shared my findings on the episode. To put it vaguely, expecting De'Aaron Fox to carry the surrounding talent that he's had is unfair.

Tyrese Haliburton is (probably) the best player that De'Aaron Fox has ever gotten the opportunity to play alongside in the NBA. Haliburton has proven to be phenomenal, but think about that from Fox's perspective...

And now, when Fox finally has a teammate with a potentially comparable ceiling, people are demanding they be split up?

I respond to the idea that Haliburton can't be the best version of himself alongside Fox and vice-versa. Spoiler: I disagree.

The roster is imbalanced, yes. The roster also lacks talent, consistency, and ideal coaching. Trading De'Aaron Fox is not a necessity.

I always enjoy hearing everyone's responses and opinions to episode topics, so please leave them in the comments section or reach out on Twitter!

The Kings Pulse podcast is available on all major listening platforms.

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RobHessing
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January 6, 2022 6:55 pm

There was no need to trade DeMarcus Cousins…until there was. Just sayin’. There may not be a NEED to trade Fox today, but tick-tick-tick.

1951
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January 7, 2022 12:07 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

“Need” cheapens the analysis. Of course there is no “need” to make any one move.

The proper question is: what is the best path to meaningful improvement? And if trading Fox is the best of all the bad options to get there, then he should be traded.

LesJepsen3pointer
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January 6, 2022 7:06 pm

WRONG

KingsSince85
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January 6, 2022 7:06 pm

What the kings are missing is good consistent coaching and a good “alpha male type” player. This new player doesn’t necessarily need to be an all-star, but he needs to be both mentally and physically strong and get in other players faces when they don’t give full effort. Ideally, you’d get said new player without having to trade Fox and/or Hali.

Last edited 13 days ago by KingsSince85
SelecaoKOJ
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January 6, 2022 9:34 pm
Reply to  KingsSince85

Lets get real…. Players are not going to listen to other players. Unless, those said players are Stars or that team already has a long and extensive culture of winning. LIke the Heat, Spurs, etc. You think one person is going to come in hear and change the Kings culture. Please… You’re deluded. Especially, with this team.

What your suggesting has already been done over the last 16 years. In case you haven’t remembered. Signing role players who are past their prime but have pedigree. How did that work out for the Kings. Desmond Mason, Rondo, Thornton, and now Thompson.

You’re NOT getting much for a grab bag of 2 players making 20 plus million in Barnes/Hield. In addition, you’ll be lucky to get a second round pick for Bagley.

Idealistic you are. Realistic, you’re not. Alot of teams have more assets than the Kings. Teams will be lining up for Lillard, Brown, Sabonis, Wood, Ingram, Reddish, etc

Trading, Marcus Smart and his 25 million for the next 4 years, sounds about something the Kings Brass will pull. That would be oh, so typical.

SexyNapear
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January 6, 2022 7:30 pm

Sure thing. Now that he has a few good games, let’s keep him. Myopic media and Kings management have no idea how to value Kimgs players or build a team.

rockbottom
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January 6, 2022 8:09 pm

Fox is the Kings best player and as long as he is the best player losing seasons are likely to accumulate ! Hope it’s possible to trade others and pick to upgrade talent but doubt it !

BestHyperboleEver
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January 7, 2022 9:47 am
Reply to  Brenden

The other guys matter too!

I mean, this is clearly true. But how does trading away all the Kings decent “other guys” jive with that? I’m certainly not saying it’s definitely the best or only way to go, but trading Fox is one way to ensure that you aren’t creating a 2020 Warriors top-heavy situation. Also, I’ll point out, that the Warriors were 39-33 last season. There are worse outcomes. For example, every Kings season for the past 15-going-on-16 years.

SexyNapear
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January 7, 2022 10:19 am
Reply to  Brenden

The point is that you, and a lot of media and Kings front office folks, swing from one direction to the next depending on the last few games. Three weeks ago, the thinking was completely different. He was fat, indifferent, and not a winner. Of course Fox is a really good player, but any franchise worth its salt would have evaluated him by now and decided whether he’s a good fit or isn’t.

There is zero thought about future planning and overall team construction. It’s been that way for a decade.

Should they trade Fox? The answer is simple. If it it puts them in position to turn the franchise around and be a playoff and title contender in three or four years, you make the trade. Period. Simple. That is all.

By the way, that takes forethought, cleverness and patience.

Kings have none of that.

Last edited 12 days ago by SexyNapear
Claystreet
January 6, 2022 8:21 pm

If he were their best player, you might be right. Inconsistent effort on defense and poor shooting and BBIQ continue to hinder him. He’s certainly not the problem with the Kings but he’s not part of the solution either. Defense is part of the solution. I’m not a huge fan of Simmons and was absolutely against trading for him. I may still be on that side of the fence but damnit his defense is enticing. After watching this team play poor defense game after game it’s becoming unbearable. My pipe dream is for the Kings to become that bruising, punishing, physical team that win or lose teams hate to play and are in pain after they do. I’ve always felt you have 6 fouls for a reason, might as well use them.

BestHyperboleEver
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January 7, 2022 9:25 am
Reply to  Brenden

Both of those guys are still terrible defenders. As you point out, their teams just mitigate it by having good-to-excellent defenders around them.

Fox and Haliburton certainly CAN be part of a good defense. Now you just have to go out and get: A two-way front court playmaker, A 3-and-D stud, and a high level interior defender/rim-protector (preferably one that can shoot a bit).

Go!

Kings-Rebuild
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January 7, 2022 4:47 pm

All true but how do you get those guys. I think you have to trade Fox.
I’d offer Fox, Bagley, and 2022 first rounder for Sabonis and LaVert. Maybe Mitchell,, 2023 first rounder, 2023 and 2024 second round picks, Thompson for Wood and Gordon. Buddy and Holmes to Boston for Pritchard and Smart. We have no draft until 2024 but I think a pretty solid lineup along the lines you mentioned.

Starting
Haliburton,
Smart
Barnes
Sabonis
Wood

Bench
LaVert,
Gordon
Davis,
Jones, Len
Metu,
Pritchard,

SelecaoKOJ
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January 6, 2022 9:00 pm

Usually, I like Nunes. I am afraid he’s deluded here.

You’re not getting much back in a grab bag of Barnes/Hield/Bagley. Your return on any of those said players will be at best: more role players, possible young assets and late first round picks. In addition, the Kings draft picks are not that valuable. They usually pick 8-12 historically. Kings are not getting any difference makers unless they are trading equal talent.

I would love to hear how Nunes elaborates on how the team becomes good. Holding on to both Fox and Hali.

The team has dire needs at the 3-5 positions. You cannot WIN in the NBA without competent wing players. Kings have one. They have no stretch 4. The front line is one of the bottom 5 in the NBA. Holmes is competent(But Undersized) Gets manhandled against real bigs.

Besides that you have the comedy group of bumbling hands Len, Kardashian Thompson. Moe, I can shoot Harkless, I always have the green light Metu, Journeyman Jones, who usually can’t handle physical athetic players and definitely can’t handle real bigs, and lastly Bagley. That’s 6 players. Not a single one of them would get any more than 15 minutes on a good team.

Last edited 13 days ago by SelecaoKOJ
rockbottom
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January 7, 2022 5:51 am
Reply to  Brenden

Sabonis makes the Kings better than Vic/Zingis ! Fits an exact need as a triple double caliber power forward !

PlayoffModeT
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January 7, 2022 9:26 am
Reply to  Brenden

I agree with both your perspectives, KOJ and Brenden. I do think the Vuc deal would be something the Kings should mirror for a Sabonis type.

  • Mitchell, TT, Bagley, and 2 1sts should be an ideal/competitive package (or adding Holmes instead of TT)

A trade like this would provide talent and answer both of your wants. I agree that Fox and Hali just need talent.

My big gripe is that we are top-heavy with below-average talent. Get some talent!

Last edited 12 days ago by PlayoffModeT
BestHyperboleEver
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January 7, 2022 9:41 am
Reply to  PlayoffModeT

My big gripe is that we are top-heavy with below-average talent. Get some talent!

Really? I’d say we’re more pear shaped. The Kings are a team made up entirely of guys that would be decent 3rd-6th guys.

PlayoffModeT
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January 7, 2022 2:02 pm

My top-heavy comment was directed at the Kings needing Fox/Hali and to some extent Holmes providing max and efficient production in order to be close to .500.

I think we are on the same page with your pear analogy.

SelecaoKOJ
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January 7, 2022 10:56 am
Reply to  Brenden

I disagree. Buddy has one skill. Shooting 3s. He’s a liability otherwise. Barnes is 29, owed 20 million. Barnes might net you a mid-late first rounder. Maybe a young asset. But, your’re not getting the Likes of any players like Sabonis, Wood Reddish Siakem for that. Other teams have more young assets and picks. Mitchell has close to no value. Sac’s picks are not that valuable. You speak as if a 8-12 pick is high value. Kings rarely get a top 5-6 pick. The Pick doesn’t hold much value for teams on the rebuild. Both Buddy and Barnes will also be 30 next year.

Indy won’t bite on that package. I understand from their organization is going total rebuild. Everyone is on the table. Lavert, Sabonis, Turner, brogdan and lamb. They are not competing anytime soon. They are looking for low picks and young assets.

Houston: Self explanatory. Unless you have picks and young assets, forget it. Wood is only getting paid 11 million. They also would have Zero interest in any of Barnes/Hield/Bagley

Atlanta” Hawks want a low first rounder for Reddish at a Minimuum. Hawks would also have zero interest in Barnes/Hield. Once Collins, Hunter, Bogi, and Trae come back, they will be fine.

Toronto: Will also want young assets and picks. They are not competing for a championship. So, taking on Barnes/Hield makes little sense.

Hield and Barnes will only make sense for teams that are competing now for a serious playoff run. Rebuilding teams or those on the cusp will have zero interest.

The teams that could have interest in those 2: Dubs, Knicks, Celtics, Philly, Lakers, Miami, Brooklyn, etc

Teams that have at least one young player of multiple young assets they can move for a vet that can help now.

For example a team like the Warriors could easily get Wood. They have Peyton, Kuminga, Wiseman, Toscano, etc. I t would be easy from them to take on that salary.

Kings have nothing the Rockets could want. Unless, it involves Hali and a PIck. The Kings bench is loaded with Fodder that most teams would have zero interest in. Thompson, Harkless, Len, Metu, Bagley, and Jones. That’s 6 players that have little to no worth on the trade market. None of them would get 10-15 min on any good team.

Jack
January 7, 2022 7:37 am
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

What is more important talent or culture? Will the current Kings ‘ players ever make the playoffs? Can the current players ever play defense?Can Alvin Gentry coach the Kings to the playoffs? How can they improve on rebounds,turnovers or toughness? All of these questions and more need to be addressed. The Kings have talent but need more.My opinion on a Ben Simmons trade should not be done. You are giving up too many assets for one player.In order to rebuild you will have to give up some of your favorite ones to improve. I have some ideas on trades.I would appreciate comments both positive or negative.Here goes. Trade Harrison Barnes and a first rounder for Christian Wood. Trade Holmes,Bagley,Metu and Davis p;us 2 second rounders for Myles Turner and Caris LaVert. Trade Buddy Heild to the Pelicans for Josh Hart and Tomas Satoransky. Satoransky’s contract is up this year and save 10 mil. Trade Fox to the Spurs for Dejonte Murray,Deivn Vassell,Zach Collins and a first rounder.The roster would look like this. Starters – Murray, Haliburton, LaVert, Wood, Turner.Backup- Mitchell, Hart, Vassell, Collins, Jones.Trade Len for whatever. Thompson’s contract expires this year and save almost 10 mil. You will still have your first pick in the draft next year.

BestHyperboleEver
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January 7, 2022 9:37 am
Reply to  Jack

I feel like this doesn’t really follow the Monte rule of considering it from the other team’s POV. Young talent like Wood on a team-friendly is exactly the type of player the Rockets would want to keep. I’m not sure what the Pacers gain in your deal. Murray by himself is probably more valuable than Fox. This year he’s basically been what people hoped Fox would be, and he’s doing it for half the contract.

Jack
January 7, 2022 12:55 pm

The Rockets are looking for trade partners for Wood. A first rounder could be their incentive along with an above averae SF/PF. The Pelicans are really looking for a shooter and scorer. I believe this trade could be possible.They also want to getr id of Satoransky’s contract. The Pacers are looking to move both Turner and LaVert. We would give them young players. Holmes is the biggest incentive in this one and 2 seconds. Fox is a far better player than Murray. Vassell and Collins are subs on the Spurs but both have really good potential going forward. Turner and Wood would solve your rebounding problems.Wood is good stretch four and Turner can rim protect, rebound and play with the other bigs of the league.Toughness needs no excuse. Hart can play three different positions and likes to drive to the basket.I reallyappreciate ypur comment. GO KINGS

KingsFanKrish
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January 7, 2022 7:54 am

Talent and balanced rosters with chemistry win games. The Kings lack all three elements. IMHO the best avenue to balance the roster and receive equal talent in return is to trade Fox. He has the most trade value on the team. With that said, I’m holding out for a Brown, Simmons, Sabonis, Siakam, Grant + 1st, or Sabonis type deal. I do not advocate trading him just to trade him. I don’t think we should trade him solely for picks, but for the right deal the Kings should pull the trigger, hand the keys over to Haliburton, and whoever comes in the deal.

If the Kings can pull off getting the type of talent I outlined above without having to give up Fox by all means go for it. It is just not realistic. I also wouldn’t trade Haliburton. To me, Hali is the franchise player. The one who when given the reigns can elevate the rest of the team with this style of play.

Last edited 12 days ago by KingsFanKrish
Kingme18
January 7, 2022 7:55 am

This team doesn’t have that dawg. Our defense continually stinks because the organization doesn’t have that pride, toughness like a Doug Christie, Bobby Jackson, Brad Miller or Ron Artest and Bonzi Wells. The Kings are bunch of pretty boys. Hopefully Daivon Mitchell becomes that but where’s the toughness and leadership?

sonny
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January 7, 2022 11:16 am

There’s no need to fix this team.
Everything’s good.

sonny
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January 7, 2022 11:19 am

Kings pulse = 0

They’re dead,

nonstripedzebra
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