Sacramento Kings: Three Trades to Consider With the Fourth Pick

Spread the love

The Sacramento Kings are unaccustomed to receiving luck from the NBA gods. They have the longest postseason drought in NBA history and last made the postseason in 2006. Their defeat to the Lakers in the 2002 Conference Finals series featured so many controversial referee decisions that a presidential candidate wrote to David Stern to request an investigation. Kings fans aren’t used to having nice things.

Shockingly, the Kings got lottery luck and received the fourth pick. The deadline deal headlined by Tyrese Haliburton and Domantas Sabonis signals Sacramento could trade their draft pick for a veteran. The Kings’ desire to make the playoffs could lead them to make a trade that isn’t best for the franchise long-term.

Who could the Kings target if they pass on their chance at Jaden Ivey or Keegan Murray? They won’t be the only team looking to trade their pick. Julius Randle might be an option but appears to be a poor defensive fit with Sabonis and Harrison Barnes. What team could find itself picking fourth on June 23rd?

Sacramento Kings: Three Trades to Consider With the Fourth Pick

Trade for Donovan Mitchell in Utah

Unlikely? Of course. But not entirely impossible.

Donovan Mitchell probably isn’t leaving Utah. He’s younger than Rudy Gobert and would likely be management’s choice if forced to keep one star. But let’s say he’s told owner Ryan Smith and new head decision-maker Danny Ainge he’s tired of Salt Lake City. Ainge is notoriously unsentimental, notably trading Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to Brooklyn in 2013 and breaking up the ubuntu-Celtics. He may not want to trade Mitchell to his hometown of New York and opt to take the best package instead.

Is Davion Mitchell, Barnes, Justin Holiday, the number four pick, the Kings’ second-round pick, and two more first-round picks the best package? What if you give Utah the option to swap two more first-round picks? This would allow Utah to form an airtight defensive unit around Gobert. If things go wrong, Barnes and Holiday are tradeable on deals that expire this year. 

There’s no need to explain why the Kings make this trade. Mitchell instantly becomes the Kings’ best player since…DeMarcus Cousins? Maybe Chris Webber? Possibly Oscar Robertson?

Trade for Mikal Bridges in Phoenix

This isn’t the unlikeliest trade on this list, but it might be the most enticing option for Kings GM Monte McNair. This trade depends on Phoenix’s GM James Jones feeling major changes are necessary after their defeat to the Mavericks. Phoenix might consider moving Deandre Ayton since he is a restricted free agent; that’s how Devonte’ Graham and Lauri Markkanen changed teams last offseason. Additionally, Chris Paul just turned 37 and wilted in the playoffs. The Suns can hope to replace Ayton with a similarly talented player, but that isn’t possible with Paul. Phoenix could trade with Ayton, and deal Mikal Bridges to Sacramento for Richaun Holmes, Holiday, and the fourth pick. Holmes, a former Sun, takes Ayton’s place at center. Holiday is a low-cost Bridges replacement, and the 4th pick gives Phoenix a chance at a star to replace Paul down the road.

The Kings should be elated if they can trade their draft pick for Bridges. He currently embodies the much-coveted “three-and-D” template as a rangy, All-Defensive Team wing shooting 37% from three for his career. He has shown mid-range shot creation ability and has the knowledge to cut to the rim when openings appear. That should make him an especially good fit with Sabonis, and he slides in perfectly on the wing with the Sabonis-Barnes-De’Aaron Fox trio. Minutes with Mitchell would give Sacramento a hellacious pair of perimeter defenders. The Kings just need Phoenix to tear their team down.

Trade for Saddiq Bey in Detroit

The Kings were rumored to be interested in Jerami Grant at the 2022 trade deadline, but the team should want to trade its draft pick for a different Piston. Saddiq Bey would be a tremendous fit in Sacramento as a powerful, 23-year-old 6’7” wing who averaged 36% from three across two seasons. Bey’s not the defender Grant is, and can’t compete with his athleticism despite being five years younger. He’s a more reliable and versatile shooter, however, and would fit seamlessly in Sacramento. His presence would allow new coach Mike Brown to have a starting lineup with Fox as the only player under 6’7”. Adding Maurice Harkless or Trey Lyles to Fox-Bey-Barnes-Sabonis would give the Kings enviable perimeter size and defensive versatility. If the Kings re-sign Donte DiVincenzo, he could replace Harkless or Lyles to form a well-rounded closing lineup.

Bey’s youth and shooting are also reasons why Detroit GM Troy Weaver values him over Grant, however. Detroit has the number five pick in the draft and is unlikely to give up Bey to move just one spot. The Pistons can’t trade a future first-round pick until 2025 due to the Stepien rule, and they wouldn’t be willing to trade that pick without protections. Perhaps Detroit would package Bey with a top-eight protected 2025 first-round pick and the second-round pick the Pistons own in this draft (no. 46 via Brooklyn)? Finding the right combination of picks for this deal is difficult, but Bey would be a fantastic fit in Sacramento.

Sacramento Kings: Other Possible Trades

Could the presence of a new GM (Tim Connelly, poached from Denver) in Minnesota inspire roster changes? The Kings could offer to trade their draft pick to the Timberwolves in exchange for Jarred Vanderbilt and Jaden McDaniels. Minnesota would include their pick at no. 19. Vanderbilt is a strong defensive frontcourt reserve; he can help Mitchell lock up opposing benches and play some with Sabonis. McDaniels has starter upside as a potential three-and-D wing.

The Kings could trade their draft pick to the Thunder for Luguentz Dort and Oklahoma City’s pick in the draft, no. 12. The Thunder have the second pick, and adding the fourth gives them the resources to potentially move to number one. Dort would be a lead perimeter defender for Sacramento with the strength to guard larger players. Since is a free agent after the 2022-2023 season, the Kings should try to pry an additional second-round pick from GM Sam Presti.

Sacramento could look to trade their pick for Deni Avdija and the Wizards’ number 10 selection. He played sturdy perimeter defense off Washington’s bench last season. Avdija’s free throw percentage improved from 64% to 76% from year one to year two, offering hope his three-point percentage can rise from 31%. The Kings have the pieces to form an egalitarian offense with Fox’s spontaneity, Sabonis’ passing, and Brown fresh off the Warriors’ bench. Avdija is just 21 and has plenty of time to improve in a new system.

It feels likely that the Kings will trade their draft pick. If they don’t draft the best player available at four, there are a number of deals to be made that don’t fully mortgage the future of the franchise. Ideally, the Kings target immediate help and a pick between 10-20 if they make a trade.