The Kings are off to a 12-8 start to the season, their eyes set on another playoff appearance. Ideally, this time around they will make it past the first round, setting the foundation for a long future of success.
After 16 seasons of irrelevance in the NBA, the Kings are finally in a good position. De’Aaron Fox is playing at an MVP level, Domantas Sabonis is an All-NBA center, Keegan Murray is developing into a true two-way threat, and Malik Monk is a legitimate Sixth Man of the Year candidate.
Over the summer, they added size by signing JaVale McGee, shooting in the form of Sasha Vezenkov, and a young player with two-way potential in Chris Duarte. Nevertheless, it seems that they don’t have quite enough to be true contenders yet.
Thus, the Kings are widely expected to make some moves to upgrade their roster by the trade deadline. So, some players might not finish the 2023-24 season in Sacramento. Here are three of them.
3. Kessler Edwards
Kessler Edwards was a late second-round pick in 2021 and came to the Kings at the 2023 trade deadline. Over 22 regular season games, he averaged 3.9 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 1 assist in 13.9 minutes per game before falling out of the playoff rotation.
Edwards’ value is on the defensive end of the floor. Other than Keegan Murray, he is the only really good wing defender on the Kings’ roster. The problem is just that he struggles to produce offensively and that makes it tough for Coach Mike Brown to play him.
Murray, Harrison Barnes, Trey Lyles, Sasha Vezenkov, and Chris Duarte are all generally ahead of him in the rotation. He has only played 15 games so far, averaging 6.1 minutes. The only Kings seeing less playing time than that are two-way players Jalen Slawson and Jordan Ford, but they are at least getting reps in the G League.
Now that the Kings are winning, Sacramento doesn’t seem to be the right place for Edwards to develop. He is only 23 years old, however, and has had some nice games when given the chance to play.
A team that is not trying to compete—maybe because they’re blowing it up and the Kings want to trade for one of their bigger pieces—could very well be interested in him. Thus, Edwards might not finish the 2023-24 season in a Kings jersey.