Proposed trade sends Sacramento Kings $90 million ex-Sun, Western Conference Champion

Sacramento Kings v Brooklyn Nets
Sacramento Kings v Brooklyn Nets / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

The odds of the Sacramento Kings winning the lottery are about as high as Domantas Sabonis' chances were of winning Defensive Player of the Year: Next-to-nothing, but there's still a sliver of hope.

And hey, he actually got a third-place vote! So never say never!

Should the Kings beat all odds and snare the No. 1 pick, Bleacher Report's Zach Buckley proposed the following trade that would send them NBA champion and ex-Laker Kyle Kuzma. The following would be agreed to:

Kings receive: Bridges

Nets receive: Harrison Barnes, Keon Ellis, No. 1 pick, two future first-rounders

Buckley explained why there would likely be urgency on the Kings' end to get a trade done for a win-now player like Bridges.

"Domantas Sabonis just turned 28, and De'Aaron Fox will be 27 in December. If there's a chance to win big with that tandem, the time is right now.

"So, if Sacramento strikes gold at the lottery, it would be better off flipping that pick (and more) for an immediate difference-maker. Bridges might not be a star, but he still fits that label with how well he'd fit this team," Buckley wrote.

Buckley then explained how Bridges would fit with the rest of the team.

"Give him a forward spot alongside Keegan Murray, and the Kings would have two defensively versatile, fire-balling wings alongside their centerpieces. Throw in a starting-level 2-guard—a re-signed Malik Monk might do the trick—and you should have a first five that's light on obvious weak spots and loaded with interlocking strengths."

The Nets acquired Bridges in 2023 as the centerpiece of their deluxe package in return for Kevin Durant. At the time, Bridges was seen as the building block of their next chapter. However, in his first full season with the team, Bridges did not look like a No. 1 on a playoff team.

Bridges averaged 19.6 points, a step back from the 20.1 he averaged overall during the 2022-23 season. His effective field goal percentage went from 50.3 % to 49%. To top it all off, the Nets didn't just miss the playoffs—they missed the play-in. This is not to take anything away from Bridges as a player in the slightest. He is simply miscast in Brooklyn.

So, while Bridges may not be one of the stars the Kings could pursue via trade this offseason, he could be a useful upgrade along the wing for the Kings. Trading the No. 1 overall pick for him seems steep, and the Kings would likely turn to a better player first. Given that the 2024 NBA Draft doesn't have any big names, it's not the worst idea.

However, even if the Kings were interested, there's only one problem.

Mikal Bridges is not available via trade

Even though the Nets are not a playoff team, Bridges will stay put until further notice, it appears. The Athletic's Shams Charania reported that the Rockets tried to pry Bridges away from the Nets

"Houston made an offer including multiple first-round draft picks for Bridges in recent weeks, but the Nets have zero interest in any deal involving Bridges, who is part of Brooklyn’s core moving forward," Charania reported back on January 31.

There haven't been any updates since then. Until there are, Bridges will stay with the Nets until either they cut the cord or if he leaves via free agency. Trading the No. 1 overall pick for Bridges seems like an overpay, but he would vault the Kings further in their hopes of taking that next step.