The Sacramento Kings are somewhat limited in their trade assets as we near the 2023 NBA trade deadline. Does that make rookie forward Keegan Murray the stand-alone asset the Kings can hypothetically build a blockbuster trade around?
Earlier this month, Bleacher Report referred to Keegan Murray as the Kings best blockbuster trade asset. That’s extremely fair and reasonable right off the bat. They also suggested that his standing as the Kings best blockbuster trade asset was unchallenged.
That last part is the eye-catcher. Unchallenged? That would mean no one else on the roster or any of the team’s tradeable draft picks in coming years is even close to the kind of trade chip that Murray currently could be (‘Could be’ because there is no reason to believe the team would even entertain the idea of moving him).
If the Kings decided they wanted to pursue a blockbuster trade before the NBA trade deadline, would Murray be the only player they could offer that might even pique the interest of opposing teams?
Fact or Fiction: Keegan Murray is the Kings only blockbuster trade asset
In order to go through the Kings roster and trade assets so a final determination can be made we must get the apparent elephant in the room out of the way. De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis are not being included as trade assets here because they could not be involved. T
hose two are the only reason some might argue the Kings should pursue a massive blockbuster trade. A star talent could only be chased in order to be placed alongside the Kings current stars.
Now, here’s a list of the Kings assets and players that would generate at least some level of positive interest in the trade market.
- Davion Mitchell
- Kevin Huerter
- Harrison Barnes
- Malik Monk
- Trey Lyles
- Terence Davis
- Chimezie Metu
Knocking the easy ones off the list first, Davis and Metu are fine players that would certainly find NBA homes if the Kings were adamant on shipping them out this year regardless of the return.
On their contracts and with their skillsets teams would take them, no doubt. No teams are calling the Kings on them as we approach the deadline, though. Very very far from the level of assets we’re looking for here.
Less far from what we need to call someone a blockbuster trade asset but still nowhere near that discussion is forward Trey Lyles. He has emerged as a very solid role player in recent games and he could provide a bench role on plenty of good NBA teams. Bench rotational role guy, nothing more.
The final four options are Barnes, Huerter, Mitchell and Monk. Harnes is playing some great basketball but is only getting older and happens to be on an expiring contract. A team trading away a star player would only value the cap return that comes off the books at the end of the season.
Part of a potential blockbuster? Potentially could be if the pieces lined up with his salary number. He is not anything more than a money matcher in that kind of deal.
Lastly, all three of Monk, Huerter and Mitchell are still young enough to value highly but too old to be buying on their potential. Each of them is a known commodity in the NBA and drastic changes aren’t coming in their games anytime soon.
Good to great role players and pieces? Sure. Still, nothing that would get a team flipping a star player excited about getting back.
Fact: Keegan Murray is the Kings only blockbuster trade asset
It’s pretty clear, BR got it right. They suggested Keegan Murray is the Kings only blockbuster trade asset and it really isn’t even close. None of the players behind him would be starting points in a blockbuster trade. Murray defaults into ‘the Kings best blockbuster trade asset’.
The good news for many Kigns fans is that Murray won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. Even though he has the status and title he was given in this article it doesn’t give any credibility to discussions about the Kings actually trading him