The Sacramento Kings have made it clear that they want to turn Kevin Huerter, Harrison Barnes, Davion Mitchell, and some draft assets into players that can help them take the next step forward.
Last season, they put an end to the longest playoff drought in league history, and meaningful basketball has finally returned to Sacramento. The Kings are a good team, one of the top five teams in a tough Western Conference actually.
The next step is to find success in the playoffs and eventually become a real contender. Big names like Zach LaVine, Kyle Kuzma, and Pascal Siakam have been linked to the Kings recently. Just basketball-wise, Siakam would easily be the best fit and would definitely make the Kings a better team.
The problem is that he is on an expiring contract and apparently doesn’t view Sacramento as a place he’d want to stay in long-term. So, the Kings need a Plan B. Kuzma could be an alternative. He is not as good a player as Siakam but offers a similar skill set and is on a great contract.
The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor had a different idea, however.
Kevin O’Connor proposes deals with Blazers and Pistons to upgrade the Kings’ roster
O’Connor likened the Kings to the Denver Nuggets as a team that has its star guard and center but still needs to find its Aaron Gordon—meaning one, or maybe even several players, to glue it all together.
O’Connor suggested the following to do that:
"Sacramento’s attention should also be glued on Blazers forward Jerami Grant and Pistons forward Bojan Bogdanovic. And not just one of them, but both. Neither player is better individually than Siakam, but together they could be. In theory, the Kings could send Barnes and Mitchell with picks to Portland for Grant and send Huerter with picks to Detroit for Bogdanovic."- Kevin O’Connor, The Ringer
Both shoot over 40 percent from three, which would make up for losing Huerter, even if he starts to shoot like he did last season, and both are solid defenders. Grant and Bogdanovic would be great fits in Sacramento and pretty certainly upgrades over Huerter, who is a defensive liability, Barnes, who has been rather inconsistent, and Mitchell, who doesn’t play.
The only concern is availability. Neither one has played close to a full season since 2018-19, but that is a problem every NBA team has to deal with.
O’Connor concluded his suggestion by writing, “Acquiring both would maintain the Kings’ long-term flexibility while making them bigger on defense and more dynamic on offense, giving them a better chance to win it all.”
Kings fans have had their problems with O’Connor, who is not a fan of Domantas Sabonis, but he is right about this. The Kings’ starting five was the engine behind a historically great offense last season.
Now, it seems that they have stalled out, and a shakeup is needed. Huerter and Barnes are the two starters you want to move in that case, and Grant and Bogdanovic are good fits to replace them.
Plus, both are on rebuilding teams, one of which already started to make moves to free up salary. Thus, both are reasonable trade targets.