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Sacramento Kings Potential Trades and Future Moves

Just about halfway through the 2020-21 NBA season, and the Sacramento Kings look to be sellers in the NBA trade market. Ahead, I outline a few Sacramento Kings potential trades. As well as some of the possible ‘motives’ behind different types of moves that Sacramento Kings general manager Monte McNair may make before the March 25th NBA trade deadline.

Many Potential Trade ‘Motives’

There many possibilities in terms of Sacramento Kings potential trades and future moves.

Carmichael Dave‘ said it well in his recent article, “Monte’s Plan is Clear Ish”Sacramento Kings GM Monte McNair needs to think in the MACRO, not the MICRO.

The Kings had a stretch earlier in the season where they won 7 of 8 games and showed flashes of playoff prowess! Though, after that hot streak, the consistent inconsistency got the best of the Kings, who have recently lost 9 of their last 10 games … as of Saturday 2/27/21.

That hot stretch gave the Kings fans some ‘false hope’ in terms of a playoff push. I think the Kings are SELLERS as the trade deadline approaches.

Kings Have Valuable ‘Playoff Assets’

Sacramento Kings Team Payroll

The Sacramento Kings roster is full of players who can potentially fill MANY roles on teams contending for the playoffs and championship.

In late January I went over my ‘Sacramento Kings Trade-Ability Tiers’ for EVERY player on the Kings roster.

I still mostly stand by the ‘three tiers’ I outlined in that article. Besides De’Aaron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton, and Marvin Bagley III (for now), all Sacramento Kings players are tradeable, in my opinion. Some of the ‘nuance’ behind my thoughts on each player and their future with the Kings will be expanded upon more, later in this article.

The Kings have many players whom I think can offer a lot of value to the right team, at the right time.

Buddy Hield

Buddy Hield is a polarizing figure in the Sacramento Kings basketball world. I think the Kings would be best suited if they can move on from Buddy.

The Kings might be able to get ‘lucky’ and find a trade partner who is willing to ‘overpay’ to add Buddy to a championship run.

Another scenario may involve the Kings trading Hield for a ‘salary dump’ type of player(s), in order to free up room to make more moves in the future.

I think the most realistic scenario is that the Kings do not move Buddy Hield this season. He is making $24 million this season, declining by $2 million each season until his contract is over at the end of the 2023-24 season.

Hield might be hard to trade, this season.

Who knows though, Buddy could age well, and fit into an ELITE shooting role off the bench for the Kings at $18 million during a playoff run in the 2023-24 season ….

Richaun Holmes

Richaun Holmes ranks in the top of the league in multiple categories!

Holmes ranks in the top 4 in the league in 2PT FG percentage.

He also ranks first in the league in personal fouls. Although, Holmes is getting better at not getting into foul trouble. It is hard sometimes though, when he is the only one playing defense on the floor for the Kings.

I am going to get straight to it ….

Does Monte McNair value Holmes enough to re-sign him? How do Bagley III and Richaun Holmes pair together in the future?

Does McNair want to utilize the ‘Robinhood’ method, and trade Holmes at his highest value? Maybe even do the ‘unspeakable’ and trade him with the hopes to pursue him back to Sactown in the free agent market, with an added piece from trading him previously ….

Or, just move on completely.

The next few weeks leading up the the March 25th NBA trade deadline, and the decisions made with Richaun Holmes will really dictate the Kings future, short term and long term.

McNair has some tough, and exciting, decisions ahead!

Harrison Barnes

I love what Harrison Barnes brings to the Kings in terms of defense, and at times offensively. Though, Barnes is sometimes ‘inconsistent’ on offense.

To me, that inconsistency is due to a few different reasons. Sometimes, he is just off and doesn’t score much. Sometimes he is tasked with defending the opponents best offensive player, night after night.

Barnes has even been playing some ‘5’, or center, for the Kings in smaller lineups. Being consistently productive on offense is tough, especially when Barnes is giving a high level of individual defensive effort, on an all-time bad defensive team.

Barnes can add a LOT to a playoff or championship contending team, depending on need and fit. Barnes can even play a role on a team that isn’t quite contending for a championship this season, but building for the future.

Harrison Barnes is under contract for two years after this season. He makes $22 million this season, with that number declining by $2 million or so the next few seasons. That could work in the favor of the Kings, or it could work against them.

The right team, at the right time, with the right need …

Nemanja Bjelica

Bjelica is a sharp shooter, who doesn’t shy away from the big shots … or the big inbounds pass.

Big Shot Belli‘ has made some CLUTCH late game shots, many times for the Kings.

ANY playoff bound team, especially a team with championship aspirations this season, would benefit from having Bjelica on their roster.

Even if that just means Bjelica plays a few minutes here and there. If he can hit even one big shot, to help on a team’s quest to win a championship, it would be well worth ‘renting’ out Bjelica for a playoff run.

Will the Kings trade him as part of a package deal? Or just indivdually?

The ‘package deal’ option seems like the best way to get the most VALUE out of most Kings trade options for Belli. Maybe add in a third team. There are LOTS of options out there for Bjelica and the Kings to make moves, if they choose to do so!

Bjelica has been looking good in his limited role recently with the Kings. What happened with him sitting out earlier this season? Are the Kings tempted to keep him? Will they look to re-sign him in the off-season?

Since the Kings aren’t making a legit playoff run this season, and Bjelica is a free agent at the end of the season, I think the Kings SHOULD move him.

Hell, for the good of the view-ability of the NBA playoffs, Bjelica and MANY other Kings should be spread around the league to teams who can utilize their skills to pursue a championship …

Maybe I should write an article about former Sacramento Kings players currently ballin’ on another team …. who knows?

Hassan Whiteside

Whiteside can add DEFENSE to a team that needs a big, slow, lane clogger! He also has 6 fouls to use up for a team …

I think that any team who may want to trade for Whiteside will do so based on a future potential playoff matchup with a specific opponent. Not necessarily for the their current team needs, but based on an important playoff matchup in the future.

Maybe a team’s coaching staff thinks the way to stop Embiid, Giannis, or even an elite, lane penetrating guard … is to just clog the lane up and force a different mode of attack.

Again, I think the Kings can get the most value out of a Whiteside trade if they package him with other players.

Cory Joseph

Cory Joseph seems to be another one of those Kings players that will play much better when on a better team, with better players, more established systems, etc.

Joseph can lock down on defense with the best in the league. On a playoff team, with POTENT offensive weapons around him, Joseph could shine in a championship run!

Just like multiple of the players listed above, Joseph will probably bring back the ‘most value’ paired with other Kings players in a trade, or potentially involving the third team.

Joseph makes $12.6 million this and next season. If the Kings decide to just get rid of him for a ‘salary dump’ and add someone else going into next season, I’m alright with that.

Three Ways Kings Can ‘Upgrade’

Trades, Free Agency, NBA Draft

I posed a poll on my Twitter and 36 people voted on how they think the Kings should look to upgrade in the future.

The results showed that 54% of voters think they should do that mainly through the NBA draft, 38% trade, and 8% free agency.

The ‘farm system’ of the NBA G League is improving daily! Though, it doesn’t seem like all that many players are getting NBA call-ups and making impacts on playoff teams. I think that is going to be more of an option in the future. Right now though, developing ‘impact’ players on playoff teams isn’t something the G League is doing consistently, yet.

Former G League and Stockton Kings standout DaQuan Jeffries has seen increased minutes since his return from injury. Many Sacramento Kings ‘talking heads’ out there are calling for more minutes for Jeffries, and even to start him over … Buddy Hield.

Kings rookies Jahmi’us Ramsey and Robert Woodard have been playing well in the G League ‘Gubble’ this season. Will they ever make an impact on a playoff-bound Sacramento Kings team? I need to do more research, and let time take its course. Patience seems to be a theme with Kings basketball …

Dump Salary and ‘Reset’

One approach to the Kings long term playoff-type improvement, may be to just trade some of our higher salary players. That might be for other high salary players, or players which teams are looking to move on from, with expiring contracts.

This route may give the Kings a bit more money in the free agency market going into the upcoming off-season.

This ‘dump and reset’ (no not Carmichael Dave‘s morning routine…) approach also gives the Kings more opportunity in the trade market. With more money available, they may be able to trade draft picks and ‘non-core’ players for a player on another team to take on an ‘impact’ player with a ‘higher’ salary.

Acquire Draft Picks

Another avenue the Kings may travel down is to trade players for draft assets.

Those draft assets may come along with some young unproven players. Players who have fallen out of favor/rotation on their previous team, or veterans to add salary to the trade.

Monte McNair has talked about having ‘control’ of the roster going forward. One of the best ways to do that, is to choose the players in the draft to build your team around.

‘Mid-Level Star’ to Complement ‘Kings Core Three’

One more ‘farfetched’ possibility would be for the Kings to acquire a proven player through trade or free agency.

In my opinion, this would have to be a player who the Kings can pair along with their ‘core three’ of De’Aaron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton, and Marvin Bagley III.

This could be a player who the Kings are willing to potentially trade for, using their future first-round draft selections and ‘non-core three’ players.

The likelihood of the Kings landing a major free agent during the next off season are low, in my opinion.

In the future, I think the Kings will build a positive reputation around the NBA and be a more sought out free agent destination.

For now though, the Kings still need to build that league wide free agent rapport. That will most likely be done through the draft in the short term, and by cleansing the roster with salary dump and reset type trades.

This will give GM McNair more control of the future of the Kings. Which will put them in a position to contend for the playoffs and a championship consistently, for years to come.

Remember the wise words of Carmichael Dave … ‘macro not micro’.

Sacramento Kings Potential Trades – NBA Trade Machine Fun

I’m not going to go over multiple, unrealistic Sacramento Kings potential trades. I try to not predict too many trades or moves. But … the ‘NBA Trade Machine’ is fun to play around with from time to time.

I will present one trade option that I think works well for the Sacramento Kings and Philadelphia 76ers.

Questions Remain

What is Marvin Bagley III future ‘position’ on the floor with the Kings?

What does GM Monte McNair think of the price and the future fit of Richaun Holmes?

How does McNair feel about head coach Luke Walton‘s long term future with the Kings?

Future is Bright in Sactown

I think the Kings future is exciting and bright!

There is a lot of upside for all of the Kings players.

I mean, do we really want to break our 15 year playoff drought when Golden1 Center isn’t allowed to be ROARIN’ at FULL capacity? I’ll wait another year for a first round playoff home game, and most likely exit. That whole patience thing again, jeez!

I Want YOUR Opinion

What are your thoughts on Sacramento Kings potential trades and future moves?

Who/what position/type of player do the Kings need to add alongside their ‘core three’ to make a consistent playoff presence in the future?

Let’s start the conversation on Twitter @sactowncrown

Go Kings!

-Tom Witt

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