The Sacramento Kings, after a strong 48-win season but an early playoff exit, are strategically positioning themselves to actively pursue every top-tier player available in the trade market this season. Shams Charania from The Athletic revealed the Kings’ intentions, stating they aim to engage in discussions for star players hitting the market, including Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby, and Zach LaVine.
Currently boasting an impressive 8-4 record, the Kings are displaying superior performance on the court. With De’Aaron Fox leading the charge, they’ve secured a 6-1 record and exhibit a formidable point differential against opponents. Their offense remains potent while their defense has notably improved, hovering around the league-average mark. This puts them on the brink of contention for the championship, if not already there.
Financially, Sacramento is well-positioned for a major trade after operating below the salary cap, maintaining the ninth-lowest payroll in the NBA. This flexibility allows them to absorb substantial contracts, especially considering the extended rookie deal of rising star Keegan Murray. Their depth at various positions also enables them to navigate potential trades without significant impact, as seen with players like Kevin Huerter and Malik Monk who share similar skill sets.
Despite owning the Hawks a first-round pick from a prior trade involving Huerter, the Kings still possess assets, offering three first-round picks and swaps, which hold less immediate value due to their young core roster. This makes them a formidable trade partner for prospective deals that could elevate their standing in the league.
The priority for Sacramento lies in fortifying their defense. Despite boasting historically efficient offense, they struggled defensively. Acquiring players like the Raptors’ forwards or a defensive-minded contributor like Alex Caruso could significantly bolster their performance. While they previously explored options like Bradley Beal and Zach LaVine to enhance their strengths, the ultimate aim is to create a team that excels on both ends of the court, with a sharp focus on defensive upgrades.
In essence, the Kings are poised to aggressively pursue improvements this season, to elevate their defensive capabilities to solidify their position as legitimate championship contenders.