The Kings are off to a solid start to the season with a winning record despite many inconsistencies. Injuries already kept De’Aaron Fox, Keegan Murray, Trey Lyles, Chris Duarte, and Alex Len out for extended stretches.
Partly because of that, partly because of defensive issues, the Kings had some ugly games. On the other hand, however, they put together some beautiful wins, like their game against the reigning champions. In the midst of all that, Fox is playing at an MVP level, and Malik Monk already put his name in the Sixth Man of the Year conversation.
All in all, they seem to be just one piece away from true contention. Their weakest spot right now is the starting small forward position. Harrison Barnes is averaging 11.7 points on solid shooting, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.5 assists right now. He never misses games and provides important veteran leadership, but sometimes, it just seems that he is not enough for the Kings to take the next step.
Of course, Harrison Barnes is not the only reason for the Kings’ shortcomings—other players are struggling to shoot and defend, and the Kings don’t really have much depth behind him—but the team’s lack of production at that spot is concerning.
So, let’s look at four win-now trade targets the Kings could go all-in for.
4. Kyle Kuzma
The Kings were already interested in Kyle Kuzma over the summer. Kuzma opted to stay in Washington, however, inking a new four-year $102 million contract. Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis have since been traded, and the Wizards are in a weird spot.
It seemed they were trying to retool around Kuzma and Jordan Poole but so far it is not going well. The Wizards are off to a horrendous 3-17 start to the season. Kuzma is averaging 22.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 4.6 assists on his way to setting career highs all across the board this season.
Losing gets tiring, though, and Kuzma and the Wizards might come to the conclusion that a trade would be best for both parties. This situation is obviously not working, so the organization might as well get young players and draft picks out of it to accelerate their rebuild.
Getting Kuzma won’t be cheap, but the Kings have the assets and are just waiting for the right deal to become available. At 6’9” Kuzma has great size as a forward, he is a good rebounder, can stretch the floor as well as create his own shot, and is not a bad defender when locked in.
He might not be a perfect fit for the Kings’ system, but he could be a difference maker. Plus, he recently mentioned Fox as one of his top three point guards in the league, suggesting that he wouldn’t mind joining forces with him in Sacramento.