Sacramento Kings: Steps to Contention

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Sacramento Kings player Buddy Hield (R) dribbles a ball during the first pre-season NBA basketball game between Sacramento Kings and Indiana Pacers at the NSCI Dome in Mumbai on October 4, 2019. (Photo by PUNIT PARANJPE / AFP) (Photo by PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP via Getty Images)

The Sacramento Kings did not make it to the Western Conference play-in games, but they made it to the NBA Bubble. That’s a start. The team clearly has talent, but have made a few regrettable front office decisions in the past few years that have held them back. With that being said, it’s not farfetched to say they’re one good off-season away from playoff contention.

Sacramento Kings: Steps to Contention

Step 1: Re-sign Bogdan Bogdanovic

Bogdan Bogdanovic is the Kings’ biggest free agent this offseason. Luckily, however, he is a restricted free agent. Other teams around the league will surely offer him lucrative deals, but as long as those deals are in the realm of reasonable the Kings will have to match.

He’s been solid all season long. Towards the latter stages of the bubble, however, Bogdanovic really showed out. This includes a 35 point outing in a win versus the New Orleans Pelicans and 27 points and nine assists in a win versus the Los Angeles Lakers.

It’s no secret that the Kings will go as far as De’Aaron Fox can take them. He’s their best shot right now as a future star. Bogdanovic, though, has proved to be a great complementary player in their backcourt. He turns 28 this coming Tuesday and is just finished his second year in the league, but he’s already shown signs of improvement. The next three to four years of Bogdanovic’s career will be his best.

Step 2: Explore Buddy Hield Trades

Re-signing Bogdanovic puts Buddy Hield in an odd place. He recently signed a massive extension but was in and out of the Kings starting lineup this year. The best scenario is for the Kings to trade him for perhaps another high-quality starter or future assets.

Hield is one of the top shooters in the entire league, which makes him a hot commodity on the trade market. He’s also entering the prime of his career.

Plenty of teams are expected to be active in the trade market, which means legitimate players will become available. The Kings simply need more talent and have one of the better trade assets in Hield on their side. Names they should take a look at should be Jarrett AllenMyles TurnerKyle KuzmaAaron Gordon, and Steven Adams. They could even swing for the fences and inquire about Bradley Beal.

If Hield isn’t going to be a starter, the Kings absolutely have to see how they can trade him and improve their team.

Step Three: Get Marvin Bagley Insurance

Marvin Bagley has the talent to be a high-quality player, but he spends far too much time on the sideline. Of course, this is not entirely his fault, but the Kings can’t keep waiting on him to prove he can play the majority of a season.

Nemanja Bjelica is a solid fill-in. He can stretch the floor and is an above-average defender. He’s 32, however, and shouldn’t consistently be playing 30 minutes a game. Jabari Parker is on the roster too, but simply put it’s hard to imagine him as a major factor on a winning team. Lastly, Harry Giles is a free agent.

Two free agents to quickly look at are Marcus Morris and Montrezl Harrell. With that being said, it’s hard to imagine both leaving the Los Angeles Clippers, and someone like Harrell will be seeking a major contract.

Other names to look at are Meyers LeonardBobby Portis, and Davis Bertans. All three will add strong depth and play to the Kings squad.

The Sacramento Kings will also have a lottery pick. Precious Achiuwa is a name to watch for them.

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