Sacramento Kings Offseason: Trade Ideas For a Rebuild

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the Sacramento Kings were one of the elite teams in the Western Conference. They made eight straight playoff appearances including three Conference semifinals and one Western Conference finals appearance. Since then, the Kings have missed 15 straight post-seasons, traded away star players for chocolates, and missed on a number of draft prospects. Most recently, former Sacramento General Manager Vlade Divac passed on guard Luka Doncic in favor of Power Forward Marvin Bagley. Doncic has turned into a superstar while Bagley has been often injured.

With the franchise under the guidance of former Houston Rockets advisor Monte McNair, a new era of Sacramento Kings basketball is upon us. The Kings are desperate for some kind of success but it’s up to McNair to determine which direction the team goes in. It would be prudent for Sacramento to take its time and rebuild around centerpiece De’Aaron Fox. The Kings have a number of needs it must address so let’s take a look.

Sacramento Kings Offseason: Trade Ideas For a Rebuild

Monte McNair and Elton Brand Do Business

In this deal, the Sacramento Kings absorb Al Horford‘s remaining salary, Josh Richardson, and a 2020 first-round pick. It’s not necessarily a huge haul for the Kings but one that allows them to move disgruntled guard Buddy Hield. Sacramento saves close to $34-million over four years with Hield’s four years, $94-million extension kicking in. Josh Richardson is a steady guard who can do a bit of everything. He will be sort after on the market as a two-way wing which Sacramento can parlay for more future assets.

Philadelphia 76ers receive two shooters at spots the 76ers need badly. Hield is a fantastic 41.1 percent three-point shooter in his career while Nemanja Bjelica is an impressive 39.1 percent from deep. Both players would be perfect complementary pieces to Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.

Sacramento Kings and Atlanta Hawks Engage in Talks

There is a premium on age in the NBA so this will be difficult to pull-off. However, if Atlanta is interested in finding another capable ball-handler, Bogdan Bogdanovic could be the answer.

The Sacramento Kings receive Kevin Huerter and Cam Reddish for Bogdanovic plus the 12th pick in the 2020 draft. Sacramento finally receives some wings they can build with franchise centerpiece De’Aaron Fox. They aren’t proven commodities but the Kings have plenty of time to develop them.

Atlanta adheres to Trae Young‘s request and tries to make the playoffs with Bogdanovic. The Serbian is a capable ball-handler, shot maker, taker, and creator. The Hawks are in desperate need of a secondary ball-handler given the team completely collapses when he’s off the court. Atlanta can then offer Bogdanovic an extension and give Young a partner for the near future.

This move also helps the Hawks buy some time given their young players are due extensions in consecutive years. By moving Reddish and Huerter, it takes care of a potential headache down the line.

Harrison Barnes to Minnesota Timberwolves

This deal only makes sense if Sacramento is looking to move Harrison Barnes‘ contract for no return. The Kings receive James Johnson‘s expiring deal and send Barnes plus a second-round pick to Minnesota. This is a pure cap creating move for Sacramento who may look for a future asset or player (ala Jarrett Culver).

Minnesota Timberwolves upgrade at the four spot, receiving a capable defender and scorer next to Karl Anthony-Towns. Barnes is solid across the board without being outstanding in any category. The Timberwolves defense is going to have more holes than swiss cheese but at least the 28-year-old plugs some of their defensive issues. With D’Angelo Russell and Towns in the mix, Barnes gives them more of a chance to make the post-season in 2020-21.

Will the Sacramento Kings Finally Get it Right?

McNair comes from the Daryl Morey team of advanced analytics and his first one is to rebuild this franchise. Fox will likely receive a Rookie Max Contract Extension but the roster is poorly constructed to complement his skills. The logical play is to secure players for long-term success but McNair has a reputation for being aggressive. If this is the case, the Kings will re-tool instead of rebuild.

The Kings will be one of a few teams with cap room and should look to exploit teams heavily in the luxury tax. Sacramento has a lot of options available this offseason and I hope the days of former GM Divac are in the rearview mirror.

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