Sacramento Kings: Best trade in team history with every NBA franchise

Chris Webber, Sacramento Kings (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
Chris Webber, Sacramento Kings (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /
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Ron Artest, Sacramento Kings
Ron Artest, Sacramento Kings (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

Best trades in Sacramento Kings history: “Tiny” Nate Archibald sets a seemingly unbreakable record

Of all the trades on this list, you’ll be hard-pressed to find one that worked out in the Kings’ favor as much as the deal that sent “Tiny” Nate Archibald to the Cincinnati Royals, the team now known as the Sacramento Kings. In exchange, the Royals sent back Adrian Smith, a loyal veteran to the team who spent 8.5 seasons with the squad. At 33-years-old, however, Smith was nearing the end of his career. After being traded in 1969, Smith would retire following the conclusion of the 1972 campaign.

In his place, Archibald was ready to let the world know his name. After being drafted No. 19 overall in the second round of the 1970 NBA Draft, Archibald exploded onto the scene averaging 16 points and 5.5 assists per game. In his second season, he upped that to 28.2 points and 9.2 assists per game. By his third season, he led the league in both categories averaging 34.0 points and 11.4 assists per game. To this day, Archibald is the only player to lead the NBA in total points scored and assists over an entire season.

Archibald also stuck with the team as they transitioned from Cincinnati to Kansas City, and even saw the franchise change names from the Royals to the Kings. In six seasons with the team, Archibald would receive be named an All-Star three times, and received All-NBA honors four times before being traded to the New York Nets. The Kings would go on to eventually retire Archibald’s No. 1 jersey, forever cementing his legacy as a franchise legend.

  • Sacramento received: 53.7 future win shares
  • Golden State received: 0.9 future win shares

This 2008 exchange saw the Sacramento Kings exchange Ron Artest for a package of players that would ideally help build their future. Reggie Theus was charged with coaching this team, but after the team started the year on a 6-18 stretch he was let go. This leads me to believe Sacramento was hoping to contend yet again, but it should have been obvious by that point it was time to rebuild.

Regardless, switching out Artest inadvertently kick-started the Kings’ rebuild instead of wallowing in mediocrity. Unfortunately, Bobby Jackson would retire one season after being traded, Donte Green was out of the league by the time his rookie contract finished, and Omri Casspi played for the Kings before being traded for J.J. Hickson.

So you may find yourself asking, why was this trade a good thing? Well, moving Artest put the team in a position to be so unapologetically bad that they would sink to a terrible record of 17-65, following up on it at 25-57 the next season. These two terrible seasons had a silver lining, however, as Sacramento selected Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins in subsequent drafts. That doesn’t happen if the Artest trade doesn’t go down.

  • Sacramento received: 14.3 future win shares
  • Houston received: 5.5 future win shares