This season marks the first time in years that the Kings are a good team. They are winning, are expected to keep winning, have two All-Stars, and an interesting young prospect in Keegan Murray.
If a player wants to join a winning team that is still missing a few pieces, Sacramento should be on top of their list. That is basically what NBA insider Shams Charania said on Run It Back, FanDuel’s flagship NBA show, mentioning that the Kings could be a legitimate player in any future star trade.
Former NBA player Lou Williams, however, did not share this favorable opinion of Sacramento. He admitted that Sacramento is a great basketball city with an amazing fanbase but also contended that it is not an appealing destination for players, especially in free agency.
“When they get there, they’ll probably fall in love with the fanbase. Sacramento is one of the great places to play, great basketball environment. You’ll probably get stuck there once you’re there…but nobody’s just going to go,” he said, suggesting that the Kings’ only chance to get a third star or any big names would be on the trade market.
In recent years, the Kings have not been a free-agent destination. Malik Monk, JaVale McGee, and Alex Len all came to Sacramento as free agents but other than that the list looks bleak.
In 2018, Zach LaVine signed an offer sheet with the Kings, sparking new trade rumors, and in 2016 some bigger names came over as free agents when they signed Zach Randolph, George Hill, and Vince Carter.
Things have changed, though. Most importantly, the Kings are winning now and have a great culture. Every NBA player wants to be a part of a winning team, and the Kings should not be ignored in that conversation.
For players who want to win games, and play for an incredibly talented coaching staff—for players whose focus is on basketball and a great basketball community—Sacramento could actually be a very appealing destination.
Of course, it is not the only city that offers this, but it shouldn't be devalued as a destination because of its history and lack of nightlife. Hopefully, once the summer comes around—unless the Kings make a big move at the trade deadline—Sacramento can prove Lou Williams wrong and attract some impactful free agents.
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