Could the Sacramento Kings have had both Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis on their roster? Or was there false reporting back in 2018?
The 2018 NBA Draft was a landmark event for the Sacramento Kings, and the way that things unfolded are sure to affect their long-term future. But things could have been even more monumental had they accepted a trade proposal from the New York Knicks on that memorable night.
One of the upstart teams of the 2019-’20 season was the Dallas Mavericks, which has been due in large part to their savvy front office moves over the past few years. They were comfortably locked in to a playoff spot in the mighty Western Conference when the season was suspended back in March and will be a tough out when/if the postseason begins.
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The Mavericks are top-heavy. Their supporting cast is average, but they have two potential superstars in Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. And both of them could have been on the Sacramento Kings roster had things broken a bit differently.
De’Aaron Fox had just finished his rookie season, which was by all accounts underwhelming. He had yet to break out in to the developing force that he is today, and we were all unsure exactly what he would turn out to be.
As it turns out, the New York Knicks still saw him as a star in the making.
Sacramento Kings Turn Down Porzingis Offer
As ESPN’s Zach Lowe originally reported, the Knicks offered an unhappy Porzingis in a trade package that would bring Fox to the Big Apple.
The relationship between Porzingis and Knicks’ management had soured, and the big man was as good as gone after the 2018 season. He was at the beginning of a rehabilitation process that would force him to miss an entire year of action, but there were plenty of suitors for the seven-foot three inch long ball shooter.
Whether the Kings hung up the phone immediately or if there was a snag along the way is unknown, but the potential for what could have been is enough to keep Sacramento fans up at night.
The primary reason that has been given for the team drafting Marvin Bagley instead of Doncic that night is that they didn’t want to take the ball out of De’Aaron Fox’s hands. Had they accepted the trade for Porzingis, Fox would no longer be an issue, and the team would be in need of a primary ball handler.
If that was the case, the Kings would have (hopefully) selected Doncic.
After Lowe reported this trade initially, he went back and amended his original story. The Knicks offered Porzingis for Fox, yes. But it was not during the 2018 Draft as previously reported. Lowe’s sources corrected him, that the offer was made closer to the 2019 trade deadline, which was when the trade with Dallas was made.
If that is the case, then the Kings made the correct move, and fans can rest at least a bit easier. A trade of Fox for Porzingis would have given the Kings a front court of Marvin Bagley, Richaun Holmes, and Porzingis, while Cory Joseph and Yogi Ferrell manned the point guard position. The Knicks would be crazy to think that any team, even the Kings, would want a situation like that on their hands.
To be fair, that one little detail and amendment by Lowe changes the entire perception of the story. Had the trade offer been made around the 2018 Draft, then we’d have a huge “what if” on our hands. But if the Knicks thought the Kings were dumb enough to accept that trade AFTER they had already selected Marvin Bagley, then Vlade Divac was smart for hanging up the phone.
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