The Sacramento Kings are reportedly looking to be buyers for the first time in a long while. The Kings ended their long playoff drought last season but didn’t do much at last season’s trade deadline. Their only move was acquiring Kessler Edwards from Brooklyn.
This year seems poised to be different with all the trade rumors surrounding the Kings. Sacramento Fox40’s Sean Cunningham is among NBA Insiders who believe the Kings will be very active on the trade front.
A big reason that Sacramento appears more willing to wheel and deal this year is that they are a different club than they were in 2022-23. This is despite having essentially the same roster with the Kings adding Chris Duarte and Sasha Vezenkov.
Last year, the Kings finished with 48 wins and reached the playoffs for the first time since 2005-06. The Kings owned the league’s top-scoring and most efficient offense. They were 25th in defensive efficiency.
NBA Rumors: Where The Kings Stand On The Pascal Siakam Saga and Would They Prefer Kyle Kuzma?
Sacramento sits fifth in the Western Conference with a 22-14 record and a +0.4 scoring differential. The Kings are about the same defensively but much worse offensively, as they are 13th in offensive rating, three points worse than in 2022-23. Harrison Barnes, Kevin Huerter, and Davion Mitchell‘s production have all taken a big dip. Meanwhile, Duarte and Vezenkov haven’t really given the Kings anything off the bench.
Sacramento has said that second-year forward Keegan Murray is off the table, which likely means the Kings won’t work out a deal with Utah for Markannen. The Bulls and Kings reportedly talked about LaVine centered around the Kings sending Barnes and Huerter to Chicago. However, the deal only makes sense for the Bulls if the Kings’ include a gaggle of draft picks.
Here is the latest news on Siakam
Siakam has been linked to several teams since last season’s trade deadline. With the Kings reportedly now to be believed out of the running for the 29-year-old Raptors forward the Indiana Pacers are thought to be the current leaders by some rival executives, according to The Athletic’s Sam Amrick.
Amrick added that Siakam doesn’t view Sacramento as a good long-term fit for him. Amrick also said that he heard from a pair of league sources that the Kings should have “very little, if any, optimism” about re-signing the Raptors forward if he’s traded there.
Sacramento out on Siakam?
That may be surprising, especially considering the Kings and Raptors are said to have actual discussions about a deal for Siakam instead of just rumors. Michael Scotto of HoopsHype said those talks between the teams were about a package that would have sent Barnes, Mitchell, Huerter, and a first-round pick to Toronto.
Sacramento reportedly wanted a deal done quickly and pulled out of those talks when Toronto didn’t immediately accept the Kings’ initial offer. However, James Ham of The Kings Beat and ESPN 1320, appearing with Scotto, said he thinks the Kings would still be in on Siakam if they felt more confident about their chances of re-signing him.
While Ham hasn’t been able to independently confirm the reporting of his ESPN 1320 colleague Damien Barling, he told Scotto that Barling has heard from his sources that Siakam made it clear he wouldn’t re-sign with Sacramento if the team were to acquire him.
Additionally, over the weekend, Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca said that the Kings aren’t interested in giving Siakam a max contract. So, that could also be part of why Siakam isn’t keen on heading to Sacramento.
Kyle Kuzma on the Market?
During the same HoopsHype podcast, Ham said Kuzma might be a better fit for Sacramento than Siakam. Ham noted that the Kings had interest in Kuzma this offseason and that the Kings nearly swapped Buddy Hield to the Lakers during the 2021 offseason for a package that would’ve included Kuzma.
The thing here is that there is no word that Kuzma is available. Still, teams are monitoring if the Wizards will make him available, per Tyler Conway of The Bleacher Report.
While Washington has struggled this season, the Wizards invested big money ($90 million over four years) in Kuzma in the offseason. Kuzma’s deal includes a 15 percent trade kicker and up to $12 million in potential bonuses.
Kuzma is a talented offensive player who is having a career season. He averages 22.6 points on 46.3% shooting from the field while making 2.4 treys at a 34.9% clip. Kuzma is also doling out a career-best 4.2 dimes a contest.