Rumors are swirling around the NBA about several teams showing interest in a blockbuster trade prior to the trade deadline. The Sacramento Kings are one of many franchises that have hit headlines as a possible destination for one of the biggest moves of the season.
So many stars have been made available around the league, most notably Ben Simmons. The 76ers have been working with the former No. 1 overall pick to trade him out of Philadelphia with several suitors already making offers. Will the Kings make a deal?
The Sacramento Kings need to continue building around De’Aaron Fox.
A deal for Ben Simmons would likely include the return of De’Aaron Fox to the 76ers unless Philadelphia wants a package with Buddy Hield instead. Boston, Indiana, and New Orleans could also be in the mix to swing a deal for Fox at the right price this season.
Value aside, trading Fox would go against the idea of rebuilding around a star, which Sacramento has tried relentlessly to do. DeMarcus Cousins was the last true star the franchise had and he was traded away when the right deal came their way. They cannot do that again with Fox.
The Kings have tried for years to get a building block that can run the show for the future. That’s what landed Fox a massive contract extension despite the lack of team success during his early years. As things settle for Fox, the Kings have done everything to replace him already, drafting two guards in the first round while lacking depth in the frontcourt.
As much as I love Tyrese Haliburton and Davion Mitchell, the strategy of building around three guards is not going to get them very far. And while De’Aaron Fox could get them a huge return in a trade, I would vote to trade one of the other guards and keep Fox around as the centerpiece.
Hield, Haliburton, and Mitchell could all get something of value in a package that would allow the Kings to continue building through their best player. His lack of defense is a problem, yes, but De’Aaron Fox is exactly what you want from a top-five pick.
Fox is consistently putting up 20 points, 5 assists, and 1.5 steals over the past three seasons but has struggled with shooting and turnovers a bit. This is a bit of a down season for Fox and he is still scoring 21.0 points per game with 5.1 assists and 3.6 rebounds.
It’s also fair to point out that Fox has not played with any other real stars in his career, which most other stars have done already. Richaun Holmes has become a very good starting center and Buddy Hield is certainly one of the best shooters in the NBA, hitting over 40 percent of his career three-point attempts.
Rather than moving a player like Fox for another star that will have many of the same roster concerns, the Kings would be smart to use the young assets to go get a proven player to pair with Fox.
Domantas Sabonis, Jaylen Brown, and perhaps even Brandon Ingram are worth kicking the tires on. Sacramento can build a very exciting core around two stars and Richaun Holmes if they are willing to part with Haliburton, Mitchell, Hield, and/or a 2022 first-round pick.
None of this is to say that Fox is the perfect player and trading him would only result in the further demise of the franchise. It is very possible that the Kings turn him into another star and find someone that can fit the rest of the roster without sacrificing the youth.
A chance of scenery may even be good for Fox after four and a half years of losing basketball. The Kings should be willing to do whatever it takes to get back into the playoffs in the Western Conference.