With the number 4 pick in the 2022 NBA draft, Monte McNair and the Sacramento Kings have plenty of options. Hopefully they will acquire a high draft pick and a good NBA vet. Not knowing what possibilities are out there, we can only speculate what may be available.
If I’m McNair, the two teams I’m calling first are the Atlanta Hawks and the Portland Trail Blazers.
Atlanta has John Collins and the 16th pick in the draft. The Portland Trail Blazers have Josh Hart, Nassir Little, and the 7th pick in the draft. These are the players and the picks the Kings should pursue.
In a wonderful world where everything works out for the Kings, they would walk away from the draft with the 4th pick, the 16th pick, John Collins, Josh Hart, and Nassir Little. Unfortunately, this is the real world, and other teams also want to win games.
With that in mind, I have two proposed trades that help the Kings. Do the trades help Atlanta and Portland as well? You decide.
Atlanta gets Harrison Barnes, Mo Harkless, and the 4th pick.
Kings get John Collins and the 16th pick.
John Collins is a 24 year old power forward who averaged 16 points and almost 8 rebounds a game last season. He shot 36% from behind the arc and had a PER of 18.7 (which was better than everyone on the Kings except Sabonis).
He would give the Kings another young piece who would fit well beside Sabonis. In limited minutes, Metu, with his athleticism and ability to knock down the long ball, looked fantastic next to Sabonis. Jon Collins would be like that on steroids.
It would open up a whole new dimension to the offense.
The 16th pick gives the Kings a chance to draft a solid prospect or move it in a deal for a better pick.
Atlanta would get a high draft prospect and two vets on expiring contracts.
Barnes averaged 16 points a game last season on 39% from 3-point land, and Harkless would give the Hawks another defender who can knock down the occasional corner 3.
If Barnes and Harkless failed to help the team improve, they could be moved at the trade deadline for other assets.
On expiring contracts, with playoff experience, and equipped to add veteran leadership to any team, both players will be highly sought after by contenders trying to add that little extra before making a run at a championship.
Proposed Trade 2:
Portland gets Holmes, Justin Holiday, and the 16th pick from Atlanta.
Kings get Josh Hart, Nassir Little, and the 7th pick.
Even if the Kings can’t make a trade with Atlanta, they should trade with Portland. However, this trade proposal imagines the Atlanta trade happened.
If the Kings can, they should try to hold onto the 16th pick, but I proposed sending it because the Stepien Rule prevents Portland from trading away their first round pick on draft night. If they don’t get a first round pick, they have to wait until free agency to make the trade official.
That’s not a big deal. The Lakers did the same thing last year with the Westbrook trade. However, for this proposal, the Kings send Portland the 16th pick.
Hart is a solid SG/SF, though not the best 3-point shooter, who was fantastic last season. He could start for the Kings or come off the bench.
He is also good friends with Fox. Keeping players happy is important when there are so many negative comments about the organization.
Little showed last season he was a solid defender with a growing offensive game. He will be coming back from two different surgeries (shoulder surgery and core surgery), but he flashed a lot of promise when he played.
The 7th pick would allow the Kings to pick a high prospect like Duke’s A.J. Griffin, Arizona’s Benedict Mathurin, G-Legue Ignite Dyson Daniels, Baylor’s Jeremy Sochan, or Wisconsin’s Johnny Davis.
Portland would get a starting center (which they need) in Holmes, and a decent 3-point shooter who works hard on the defensive end in Holiday. They’d also have a chance to add some young talent with the 16th pick in the draft.
Theses two proposals would allow the Kings to add a third borderline “star” in Collins, two quality pieces in Hart and Little who could start or come off the bench, and a high draft pick.
They kings would fix the glaring holes at the wing positions, and the cost wouldn’t effect their immediate or future plans.
Does Atlanta do this trade? I don’t know. Two vets and a high pick seems like a solid proposal for a team that may want to shake things up after a disappointing season. But, maybe they don’t value the 4th pick as much as some other teams. Maybe they want vets on longer contracts instead of expiring ones or maybe they believe they can get a better trade package for Collins. I can’t claim to know.
Does Portland do this trade? Once again, I can’t know their thinking. They need a center. I think it’s time to move on from Nurkic. He is a free agent and has struggled with injuries. Holmes would give Lillard a big who can play above the rim. Holiday would be a solid vet who can knock down the three and play defense.
I think Portland would move on from Little. He doesn’t fit their timeline if they’re running it back with Dame.
I’m not quite as certain about Hart. He had a solid season last year. They may like him too much. But once again, I think this is a solid proposal that would give them a starting center and a starting or bench vet who can spread the floor.
I don’t know if these trades are realistic, but if I’m the Monte McNair, these are the two teams I’m calling first. Adding Collins, Hart, Little’s potential as a two-way player, and a top 10 pick would be a dream come true.