Grade the Trade: Kings give up on Davion Mitchell in salary dump with Raptors

Mitchell's time in northern California is over.
Sacramento Kings v Toronto Raptors
Sacramento Kings v Toronto Raptors / Mark Blinch/GettyImages

The Sacramento Kings went from perpetually rebuilding to an exciting playoff contender in the last few years, though most of that success was due to the 1-2 punch of De'Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis. Former top pick Davion Mitchell was thought to be a long-term piece, but has since flamed out.

The Kings gave Mitchell three years worth of chances to prove himself, and he never quite stepped on the accelerator. With Providence dynamo Devin Carter selected at No. 13 overall in the 2024 NBA Draft, Sacramento found a replacement that let them part ways with Mitchell.

Mitchell was traded with Sasha Vezenkov (who signed a three-year contract last offseason) to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Jalen McDaniels. Reports also confirm that Toronto will receive the No. 45 pick in the NBA Draft and an additional 2025 second-rounder owned by Portland.

Monte McNair has proven to be a quality GM, but that doesn't mean he necessarily nails it all the time. Even if Sacramento was done with Mitchell, moving him in a salary dump for next to nothing of value in return represents a huge missed opportunity.

Grade the Trade: Kings send Davion Mitchell, Sasha Vezenkov to Raptors

Picking Mitchell seemed a bit odd from the jump. While he had a tremendous college career at Baylor and proved to be a terrific on-ball defender, the presence of Fox made it difficult for him to get as many minutes as he needed. While he averaged 11.5 points per game as a rookie, his minutes and production fell off a cliff under Mike Brown.

Sacramento's breakneck style of offense under Brown never really meshed well with Mitchell's skillset. Still, giving away a draft pick, a young guard, and an experienced forward who can shoot to essentially get nothing in return greater than financial breathing room is a tough pill to swallow.

McDaniels was one of the worst players in the NBA last year. Within one season, he went from a promising bench player who signed a two-year contract with Toronto to someone who was out of the rotation entirely just five games into the season. Getting him back on track is a complete lottery ticket by McNair.

With the Kings possibly gearing up for a bigger move or trying to stay away from the tax apron after bringing back Malik Monk, Sacramento needed to free up some extra space. Unfortunately, that desire brought about the end of the Mitchell era. The return they got in this trade is simply inadequate.

Grade: C-

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