The Sacramento Kings came into the season with some optimism. With new GM Monty McNair replacing Vlade Divac, many were hoping the Kings could repeat their success from two seasons ago. Sadly, the Kings haven't replicated that success, currently sitting at 17-25, 13th in the West. The tea leaves read strongly that it's time to tear down again.

Kings Need To Move Contracts

The Kings have some solid veterans they can trade. Specifically, Harrison Barnes is a player with a ton of value and they could likely get good assets for him. The value of Buddy Hield is much less certain. After getting a giant extension in the summer of 2018, Hield's value has fallen precipitously. He's a player who does very little outside of shooting and that makes his value among good teams questionable. The other elephant in the room is Marvin Bagley III. Bagley was the second pick in the 2018 NBA draft, but since then he has dealt with countless injuries and his father has been vocal about demanding a trade from the Kings. The Kings will have to be active at the deadline to make all three deals work, but there are some moves that make sense.

Trade 1

Boston Celtics Receive: Harrison Barnes and Justin James

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Sacramento Kings Receive: Tristan Thompson, Romeo Langford, Aaron Nesmith, and a 2022 Top 10 Protected First Round Pick

Harrison Barnes is exactly the type of player the Celtics are missing. Barnes is a do-it-all wing or forward and he can fill into the starting five at the 4-poistion next to Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. He can spread the floor, score, and make plays. He really fills into the Gordon Hayward role, which is something Boston has missed all year due to his departure to Charlotte. It has become a significant weakness for the Celtics. Harrison Barnes fits comfortably into the Gordon Hayward trade exception, which is the largest in NBA history at $28 Million. They also get to trade Tristan Thompson who has comfortably been a negative value this year.

The Kings get a lot of value for Barnes here. Romeo Langford and Aaron Nesmith are both former lottery picks and still have a lot of upside as developmental wings. Nesmith is an elite shooter and would be a fun wing to play next to De'Aaron Fox. The first-round pick is incredibly likely to convey in 2022 because the Celtics are a consistent playoff team. Thompson is a negative value contract, but he is still cheaper than Barnes.

Trade 2

Philadelphia 76ers Receive: Kyle Lowry

Toronto Raptors Receive: Buddy Hield, Richaun Holmes, Jahmi'us Ramsey, and Isaiah Joe

Sacramento Kings Receive: Danny Green, Mike Scott, Patrick McCaw, Terrance Ferguson, Tony Bradley, and a 2023 Top 10 Protected First Round Pick (via 76ers)

This is an interesting trade from the perspective of the 76ers and the Raptors. I won't delve into the Kyle Lowry aspect of this because I already did that in a 76ers and Raptors trade piece, but Buddy Hield and Richaun Holmes are interesting targets for the Raptors. Holmes is one of the most underrated centers in the league today. He is a good defender with versatility and rim protection on that end. Add that to being one of the best roll-men in the NBA and that makes him an excellent fit into a Raptors team in desperate need of a starting-caliber center. The Raptors are a perfect place for Hield because they have offensive playmakers who run in transition and defensive stoppers who can cover up his deficiencies. He can be specialized as a shooter and start next to excellent defenders who can cover up his deficiencies.

The Kings don't get a ton of on-court value here, but getting a pick for Hield is nice. Danny Green could likely be flipped to another team for a couple of seconds round draft picks or a decent young player. That would go a long way towards making this trade really valuable for the Kings. Terrance Ferguson is also a good buy-low bet because he has upside as an athletic, 2-way shooter.

Trade 3:

Charlotte Hornets Receive: Marvin Bagley III

Sacramento Kings Receive: Malik Monk, Cody Martin, and Caleb Martin

If a team is going to take a bet on Marvin Bagley III, they need three things: 1) A system that can play to his offensive strengths, 2) wing defenders or help-side defenders who can cover for his lack of rim protection and 3) a coach who is willing to give a young guy a long leash to explore. When scouring the league for a trade partner, the Hornets stick out in bright lights. They run their offense in transition a lot and in the half-court set, which will allow for Bagley to play to his strengths. Defensively, the Hornets aren't great, but Miles Bridges and PJ Washington are the perfect complements to Bagley's skill set. James Borrego is an excellent coach and he's proven adept at putting young players in good situations. This trade makes a lot of sense for a Hornets team looking to build around LaMelo Ball.

The main benefit for the Kings is getting off of Bagley's contract and getting him out of the locker room, but this is a solid return. Malik Monk gets to reunite with his college teammate De'Aaron Fox, and the Martin twins are a fun combo of wings. The Kings need to be looking at ways into building around Fox and making him happy. Adding his college backcourt mate and friend would surely help him continue blossoming into a star and remain happy with the franchise.