NBA rankings: Sacramento Kings fall in Western ladder post-free agency

De'Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis, Keegan Murray, Sacramento Kings. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
De'Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis, Keegan Murray, Sacramento Kings. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /
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With free agency largely complete, this offseason saw plenty of movement. Over $1 billion was spent on player movement and ultimately saw several high-level players change teams via trade. After seeing the first wave of free-agent activity progress, let’s look at how the Kings stack up in the Western Conference next season:

Previous: . Denver Nuggets. 1. team. 73. .

After winning their first NBA title in franchise history, the Nuggets have had a relatively pedestrian offseason, losing two key role players to their championship depth in Bruce Brown (Pacers) and Jeff Green (Rockets). Denver’s only attempt to counter: Re-signing Reggie Jackson after falling out of the rotation later in the season. While they have had a lackluster offseason, the West still runs through a healthy Denver core of Nikola Jokic,  Jamal Murray, Michael Porter Jr, and Aaron Gordon.

Phoenix Suns. 2. team. 66. . . Previous:

After turning an aging, declining Chris Paul into Bradley Beal, the Suns have kept the agenda of “going all-in” full throttle. The question was whether they could obtain quality players through free agency via the veteran minimum, which they could do, improving their depth and roster construction around Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, Beal, and DeAndre Ayton for next season.

. Previous: . Los Angeles Lakers. 3. team. 20.

The Lakers…DIDN’T chase superstars in a free agency? For once in the storied franchise’s long history, they elected towards building their roster through depth and retaining most of last season’s roster post-trade deadline that saw the Lakers make it to the Western Conference Finals before falling to Denver. The Lakers also added Gabe Vincent, Taurean Prince, and Jaxson Hayes while losing Lonnie Walker, Malik Beasley, Dennis Schroder, and Mo Bamba from their team.

This ranking is largely due to the Lakers’ performance at the end of last season, coupled with their playoff run. Combined with a likely healthier LeBron and Anthony Davis, the Lakers have a chance to be at the top of the Western Conference for 2023-24. Their ability to retain Austin Reaves, Rui Hachimura, and D’Angelo Russell without financially hindering themselves was a major win.

team. 84. . . Previous: . Sacramento Kings. 4

The Kings appear to be modeling themselves after Denver: Continuity. After a draft day trade saw the 24th pick paired with Richaun Holmes‘ contract get sent to Dallas, the Kings opened up cap flexibility for this free agency. Instead, they opted towards re-signing Harrison Barnes, Trey Lyles, and Alex Len to ensure their team from last season’s playoff contender. Sacramento was active, though, adding Chris Duarte from the Pacers via trade AND EuroLeague MVP Sasha Vezenkov.

5. team. 211. . . Previous: . Memphis Grizzlies

Apart from one of the more surprising moves of the offseason, the Grizzlies acquired Marcus Smart in a three-team trade with the Celtics, which also saw Tyus Jones head to Washington. While Smart is certainly an upgrade over Jones, they still lost one of their best defenders (Dillon Brooks) and will be without Ja Morant for the first 25 games of next season.