Best trades in Sacramento Kings history: Mike Bibby is the unsung hero of the early 2000’s
The last time the Sacramento Kings and Los Angeles Lakers agreed to a trade, Star Wars: A New Hope had just been released, the first Blockbuster store was 8 years away from opening, and Vlade Divac was a 9-year-old boy that had never left Serbia. This was in 1977, and only the fourth time the two teams have ever traded with each other. I actually admire this level of dedication to the rivalry, but it does make reviewing trade history a little more difficult.
But if we look all the way back to 1956, you’ll find the Minneapolis Lakers sent Clyde Lovelette to the Rochester Royals for a package of five role players including Art Spoelstra, Ed Fleming, Hot Rod Hundley, Monk Meineke, and Bob Burrow. All fine players, but none were long-term league mainstays that left a lasting legacy. Lovelette was not destined for mediocrity though, as he’d become a four-time All-Star and even punched a ticket to the Hall of Fame when all was said and done. He averaged a career-high 23.4 points during his one season with the Royals, before being traded for Wayne Embry, who would be a five-time All-Star with the Royals and also join Lovelette in the Hall of Fame.
- Sacramento received: 12.9 future win shares
- LA received: 9.2 future win shares
If you were a fan of the NBA in 2001, you were a fan of Jason Williams and Mike Bibby. Each were entering the final year of their rookie-scale contracts and had shown a lot of promise leading up to that point. Bibby had age on his side and his statistics were trending upwards, while Williams had failed to improve upon his point and assist averages. Although Bibby was the No. 2 overall pick in the 1998 NBA draft and Williams went No. 7 in that same draft, it was Williams who had developed a larger national profile due to his flashy style of play and Sacramento’s postseason success.
Williams was growing increasingly frustrated with late-game benchings for a stronger defensive unit, while also running into trouble with drugs and altercations. Sacramento used this opportunity to sell the Vancouver Grizzlies on Williams’ flash and come away with the better player in Mike Bibby. He’d go on to average 17.6 points and 5.4 assists per game while being a three-point threat for 6.5 seasons in Sacramento. Bibby was the third-best player on the Kings during those early 2000’s playoff pushes, and things wouldn’t have gone down the same without him.
- Sacramento received: 42.9 future win shares
- Memphis received: 14.9 future win shares