It might not seem like it right now, but the NBA trade deadline is getting close fast. The trade deadline is a chance for teams to fix issues they couldn’t address during the offseason or to make win-now moves if the season isn’t going quite as expected.
The Kings have a 10-7 record right now and are off to a solid start despite some inconsistencies and bad injury luck. To take the next step, to become a true title contender, it seems that they have to make a trade, however.
Thus, they have been linked to several big names that could be available on the trade market soon, like Zach LaVine, Pascal Siakam, or OG Anunoby. While LaVine does not look like the solution to the Kings’ problems, the other two would surely be interesting additions.
The Kings have a number of interesting young players in Keegan Murray, Davion Mitchell, Colby Jones, Keon Ellis, and Kevin Huerter, who teams would love to get in a trade. To get a third star, at least one of those players would have to be included in a deal.
Keegan Murray, the Kings’ former number 3 pick, is the most appealing player out of that group, but the organization does not want to part with him. They trust him to develop into a core player and he was showing first signs of that before suffering a back injury that has kept him out for several games already.
He has already become one of the Kings’ top defenders and is growing as an offensive player. With him off the table in any trade talks, HoopsHype listed Davion Mitchell as the most likely King to be traded.
Could Davion Mitchell be on the move soon?
To some Kings fans that might come as a surprise. We have been talking about upgrading from Harrison Barnes ever since the playoffs, so shouldn’t he be the most likely King to be traded?
It makes sense to pick Mitchell, however. For one, he is much easier to replace than Barnes. Just recently, Mitchell found himself out of the rotation. Behind Fox, Huerter, Malik Monk, and Chris Duarte, minutes at the two guard spots are tough to come by. Before twisting his ankle, even Keon Ellis was ahead of Mitchell in the rotation.
Barnes on the other hand, is a starter, averaging 31.4 minutes per game for the season. Finding a player who can stretch the floor, defend bigger wings, and bring championship experience is not as easy as a backup point guard.
Mitchell is a great on-ball defender and can produce offense if given a chance to find his rhythm. Chasing playoff success, the Kings don’t necessarily have the capacity to allow him that.
Everyone on the team, outside Fox and Sabonis, has an incredibly small margin for error. Another team might be what Mitchell needs to establish himself as a true two-way player in the league.
While it would be unfortunate to lose Mitchell’s potential, moving him could help bring in a third star or a key rotational player. The Kings won’t trade Barnes or Huerter unless a big move they think can elevate the team requires it. Mitchell, on the other hand, could also be part of a smaller deal if the Kings continue to deem him expendable.