Grade the trade: Kings land 3-and-D forward in proposed deal with the Nets

Brooklyn Nets v Sacramento Kings
Brooklyn Nets v Sacramento Kings / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

The Sacramento Kings are widely expected to make a move by the trade deadline in February. They have been linked to some bigger names like Pascal Siakam, Zach LaVine, and Kyle Kuzma over the last few months. 

Any hopes of a Siakam trade to Sacramento seem to be dead, however, and LaVine just doesn’t seem like a good fit for the Kings. Thus, they might just make smaller moves at this point to address the quality of their role players and bench. 

Bleacher Report’s Grant Hughes proposed the following trade to get the Kings some defense.

Kings receive: Dorian Finney-Smith

Nets receive: Davion Mitchell, Chris Duarte, lottery-protected 2027 first-round pick

Grade the trade

We have already identified Finney-Smith as a good fit for the Kings who addresses most of their issues here at A Royal Pain. He has good size, guards other forwards very well, and shoots 40 percent from three on a high volume. 

Defensively, he would be a huge upgrade from Barnes and could completely change the Kings’ identity while also providing playoff experience. The trio of De’Aaron Fox, Keegan Murray, and Finney-Smith could be the core of a solid defensive team. 

With Domantas Sabonis at the five and no rim protector, the Kings have a low defensive ceiling. Solid, middle of the pack, is exactly what they are going for and this move could really help with that. 

Plus, the cost is not bad. Mitchell and Duarte have both only had limited impacts on the Kings’ season. Finney-Smith would be an upgrade over both and is on a great contract that would only make him the fifth-highest-paid player on the roster.

For the Nets, taking on Mitchell and Duarte might not be the perfect compensation for Finney-Smith, but it could be worth a shot. Especially Mitchell seems like he would benefit from a fresh start. Playing with other defensive-minded players on a team that has no pressure to win and can let him work through some things could revive his game. 

If this move were to happen, the Kings would probably have a starting lineup of De’Aaron Fox, Kevin Huerter, Keegan Murray, Dorian Finney-Smith, and Domantas Sabonis with Malik Monk, Harrison Barnes, and Trey Lyles powering the bench unit. 

It is only a small tweak, but it would make an obvious difference. Better defense leads to a better offense after all. 

From the Kings’ perspective, this is a clear ,A and they would make it without hesitation if the Nets were to accept this offer.