The Kings want to compete for a championship. With two All-Stars and a young rising star already on their roster, they believe that they can get there. To do that, they still have holes to fill and improvements to make, however.
After losing four games in a row, all of them winnable, the Kings are now seventh in the West. The West is a tough conference, but the Kings should not be in the Play-In Tournament. They are better than that.
Right now, there are two major problems keeping them from bigger success. They cannot guard anyone, and the supporting cast often struggles to contribute. The former is undoubtedly the bigger issue. It is difficult to win games if the opposing team’s backup point guard can just waltz into the paint and drop 20 points without even attempting a single three-pointer.
So, the goal is to add better perimeter defenders by the trade deadline. Domantas Sabonis is not a rim protector and never will be. Pairing him with another big is problematic, so better perimeter defenders to keep guards and wings out of the paint is the key to improving Sacramento’s defense.
A perfect trade target might have just become available.
Herb Jones would be a great fit for the Kings
Matt Moore, NBA writer for the Action Network, recently speculated that the Pelicans might be open to moving Herb Jones for the right offer. The reason is supposed to be money. Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, CJ McCollum, Trey Murphy III, and Herb Jones plus Jonas Valaciunas (or another center) would be incredibly expensive.
Jones is only 25 years old, in the first year of a team-friendly four-year deal, and has the potential to be an All-Defensive First Team player in the future. That alone makes him a valuable asset, but the fact that several teams would love to have him will drive the price up even more.
The Kings need a defensive mastermind like that. Having Keegan Murray be the top defender on the team as well as one of the primary offensive options, is a lot to ask from such a young player.
Jones could take some weight off of Murray while not asking for a huge role offensively. Playing next to a bunch of stars in New Orleans, he only averages 7.8 field goal attempts per game, including 3.4 from long range.
Jones currently shoots 37.8 percent from three, by far his best mark up to date, and averages 10.7 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1 block, and 1.2 steals. He does a little bit of everything while making life difficult for the best perimeter scorers in the league. His skill set makes him a perfect fit for the Kings, but that doesn’t mean that they will get him.
If these rumors prove to be true, getting Herb Jones won’t be easy
One problem standing between the Kings and a great addition to their roster is that Jones would be a perfect fit on about 25 other teams as well. If these speculations prove to be true and the Pelicans are serious about moving Jones, a bidding war will ensue, and the Kings might not have the best offer.
So far, they have voiced the willingness to trade Kevin Huerter, Harrison Barnes, and Davion Mitchell. None of them seem to be of particular interest to the Pelicans, and when it comes to draft compensation, other teams could probably outbid the Kings.
One can always dream, and it wouldn’t be the strangest thing to happen in the NBA, but Kings fans shouldn’t get their hopes up too much.