We get excited when the Sacramento Kings make a trade around the deadline. In 2009, we got four trades over the span of three days.
In 2009, the Sacramento Kings were in the midst of their decent to the NBA’s basement. Kevin Martin was their star player and John Salmons was the secondary scoring option. The team didn’t seem to be headed in any particular direction, and a massive overhaul was needed. The team did what they could in that regard in February of that year as they executed an impressive four trades over the span of three days.
The trade deadline that year fell on February 19th, but the Kings got to work early.
Trade #1 – Top-55 Protected Draft Pick for Sam Cassell
This may be one of the more forgotten trades in recent Kings memory. Sam Cassell had won a championship with the Boston Celtics the previous season but didn’t play a minute during the 2008-’09 season. He was a sort of player/coach, though he didn’t do much playing.
In order to lower their luxury tax bill, the Celtics needed to rid themselves of Cassell’s contract, so they sent him and cash considerations to Sacramento in exchange for a top-55 protected draft pick. The pick never conveyed, and the Kings used a portion of the cash to buy out Cassell’s contract the next day. He never played another NBA minute.
Trade #2 – Brad Miller and John Salmons for Drew Gooden, Andres Nocioni, Michael Ruffin, and Cedric Simmons
Miller had spent five and a half memorable seasons in Sacramento including an All-Star appearance and a few playoff runs. By trading him and Salmons, the Kings gained some long-term financial room, though didn’t exactly get any better in the process.
After being quoted as saying he would like to audition for the team for a potential roster spot the next season, Gooden famously played in one game before being waived. Simmons played 23 total minutes for the Kings and scored one point. Nocioni ended up being the only contributor, playing in 98 games in two seasons with Sacramento.
As for Michael Ruffin..
Trade #3 – Michael Ruffin for Ike Diogu
In a corresponding move to the first trade on the 18th, the newly acquired Ruffin was immediately traded to the Portland Trail Blazers for Ike Diogu. Diogu played in 10 games for the Kings and averaged 9.2 points and nearly 4 rebounds per game. Ruffin played 11 games for the Trail Blazers and scored 6 points.
Trade #4 – Shelden Williams and Bobby Brown for Calvin Booth and Rashad McCants
Shelden Williams was acquired in a trade for Mike Bibby a year prior, but never ended up being a good fit in Sacramento. He and Bobby Brown were traded at the February 19th deadline to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Calvin Booth and Rashad McCants.
Like many of the players acquired over the whirlwind three days, Booth and McCants both failed to make much of an impact on the Kings. It was the end of the line for both of them in fact, as they both finished out their seasons and careers in Kings uniforms.
The multitude of trades may have looked exciting on paper, but it was mostly just moot moves that only saved money, if anything at all. At the end of the day, this was the final haul for the Kings:
Brad Miller, John Salmons, Bobby Brown, Shelden Williams
Drew Gooden, Andres Nocioni, Cedric Simmons, Ike Diogu, Sam Cassell
You want a grade for these trades? There really is none. The Kings got rid of some players, saved a little money, got a little worse, and the fan base was just scratching the surface of the incompetence to come.
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