Are Sacramento Kings Tanking In Bleacher Report GM League?

There have been some questionable trades made by the Sacramento Kings rep in the Bleacher Report GM League. But, might they be an evil genius that we are overlooking?

There is not a whole lot to discuss when it comes to the Sacramento Kings, or the NBA for that matter. There have been plenty of ways that media outlets have attempted to bring us some sports-related entertainment, from televised H-O-R-S-E games to creating every “all-time” list imaginable.

Bleacher Report is the latest to get in on the game, and they have created a fantasy general manager game based on the current NBA rosters. The teams are run by B/R employees, and we have a serious issue with how the Kings GM is handling the roster.

Let us preface the issue by explaining exactly what the goal of Bleacher Report’s project is. From the second paragraph of the official post about the league:

“The intent is to weigh advice from B/R app users and readers to make trades and draft picks, with the goal of putting their roster in the best position for future success.”

Sounds like a lot of fun, actually. We were excited to see how the league would turn out and what kinds of ideas the Kings representative had in store for our squad. That person would be someone with the Twitter handle @HughesNBA, and we have a serious bone to pick with him/her.

You see, we don’t know anything about @HughesNBA because the account with that name has been suspended. We’re not sure why, but we wouldn’t be surprised if Twitter saw the trades that they made and banned them for life.

Things started out with a bang. In a blockbuster deal, the Kings sent Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes, and Cory Joseph to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Tobias Harris, Josh Richardson, Zhaire Smith, and a protected 2022 first round pick.

Alright. I wasn’t in love with the deal personally, based on Harris’ future contract and the question of whether his addition truly makes the Kings any better. I felt like Hield should garner a return that isn’t as risky, but there were a surprising number of our followers who liked the deal. We even voted on it, and the results were closer than I would have imagined:

Fine. We’ll make our peace with this. We still have our first round pick, and loads of talent including the newly acquired Harris. It is the next trade that was executed by @HughesNBA that really got me wondering what in the world was going on here. Check out this abomination:

Kings get: P.J. Tucker, Danuel House, 2022 unprotected first round pick

Rockets get: Marvin Bagley, Nemanja Bjelica

What?! In what world does this benefit the Kings? How does trading an unproven top draft pick with a high ceiling and one of the best value contracts in the league for P.J. Tucker and a fringe starter make any sense?

Check out the responses to our tweet about the trade. Yikes:

Could it be the 2022 first round pick that we are really after? Yes, Emoni Bates looks like an other-worldly prospect, but how does a pick that likely won’t even be in the lottery help at all? The Kings did also pick up the 76ers first rounder in 2022, but that is protected, and would likely fall somewhere in the 20s.

That would give the Kings their own pick, plus the 22nd and 25th picks. Solid haul for a loaded draft, but was it worth taking on Harris’ ugly contract and dealing away Marvin Bagley? I don’t think so.

Hey, at least we still have our 2020 first round pick so that the Bleacher Report GM Draft will still be fun.

But wait! There’s more!

@HughesNBA and the Kings were a part of a three-team trade that resulted in little for Sacramento.

Pelicans get: Garrett Temple, Sacramento 2020 first round pick

Nets get: Jabari Parker

Kings get: Nicolo Melli, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, 2021 2nd rd pick (WSH), 2021 2nd rd pick (BKN)

Something is going on here. No, Parker is not a part of the Kings’ long-term plans, and his departure doesn’t create much of a ripple. But dealing away the first round pick? Questionable. In return, the Kings received two raw, unproven talents and a couple of valueless second round picks.

Is @HughesNBA tanking? Are all eyes on the 2022 Draft? The Kings young core now consists of De’Aaron Fox, Nicolo Melli, Danuel House, and Nickeil Alexander-Walker. Are those players + three 2022 first round picks a better future than what they have now?

I am interested to see and hear exactly what @HughesNBA had in mind during these trades. Is he tanking for 2022? Is this a message that we should be listening to?

This guy/girl is either an atrocious GM, or a genius that is 3 steps ahead of the rest of us. I’m not really sure yet.

For continued coverage of the Sacramento Kings, stay tuned to A Royal Pain.