The Sacramento Kings are in the midst of another poor season. They are, granted, close to a potential spot in the play-in tournament, as they are only a few games behind the 10th placed Portland Trail Blazers. Still, even in the case that they reach that 10th place, their chance of winning one of the spots in the playoffs is fairly slim. The play-in might feature teams like the Lakers, Clippers, potentially even the Nuggets.
That all being true, this is still the best chance that the Kings break their playoff drought. That is why the Kings have been involved in many trade rumors, mostly around Ben Simmons. The latest report, however, said that they are out of that race, but still in another – for Jerami Grant. Thus, here are two reasons Kings must risk it all for Pistons star Jerami Grant.
Why the Kings must risk everything to get Jerami Grant
Diversifying their offense
Everything that was said about the Kings above is very true. There are healthier franchises and better rosters the Kings will be playing if they reach the play-in this season. However, the Kings only need to win two games, in the worst situation where they get the 9th or 10th place. Winning two games in any setting in the NBA is not simple, but it is not impossible as well. With Jerami Grant coming into the roster, the Kings might actually have a fighting shot, even against the Lakers, Clippers, or even the Nuggets.
Grant brings a lot of the things that the Kings really need. He is an excellent offensive wing, something the Kings need to put beside Harrison Barnes. Barnes is a great complementary player and that is why he was an important starter on the 2015 and 2016 Warriors teams.
However, he is nowhere near the offensive weapon that Grant is, and putting them together might unlock both. Barnes has been asked to do more than his talent and skill can take as part of the Kings for the last few seasons, and while he has done an admirable job, that has not translated into any playoff success for the Sacramento franchise.
With Grant, Barnes could be relieved on some pressure and while his numbers would take a hit, the former Warriors and Mavericks forward would be able to better utilize his skillset on both sides of the floor, without the added stress of carrying the offense.
Grant is a 20-point per game scorer and has been for the last two years. He would bring an athletic side to their offense from the forward spots, something the Kings have mostly been getting from their guards. Barnes is a scorer in a different way, as he takes almost half of shots from behind the three-point line. Grant, on the other hand, takes two-thirds of his shots inside the line and while a big number of that is long two's, he still gets inside the paint.
Bringing Grant in, without losing Barnes of course, would give the Kings a completely new dimension. A potentially extremely explosive one-two punch on the wings, while also having massive support from the guard spots. Of course, the trade obviously means that some of the guards on the roster would be traded away, but whoever sticks around, due to the quality of all four of the main guards on the Kings roster, would be great support for their forward pairing.
Trimming the fat on the roster for a great player
As mentioned above, the Kings have four guards on their roster that are great talents. Buddy Hield is in the league the longest, and while he has had All-Star-esque stretches, his consistency is highly questionable. De'Aaron Fox is a great talent, but his lack of shooting prowess might spell doom for him realizing his full potential. Tyrese Haliburton is still developing, but what he has shown has been almost perfect. Last, but not least, the Kings also have Davion Mitchell, who had some great games, but still struggles to break into serious minutes, with the other three guards on the roster.
When the case of Marvin Bagley is added to the mix, it gets even more interesting. Clearly, at least two of the mentioned five need to go and getting Grant for Bagley, one of the guards mentioned above, and probably one first-round pick, would be a great deal for the Kings. Of course, this depends on what the Pistons want, especially since the Pistons already have their guard of the future in Cade Cunningham. However, the Pistons might pull the trigger on a deal for a guard, simply because Killian Hayes has not been contributing on the level they expected out of him coming into this season. If they can get another great player next to Cunningham and also get Marvin Bagley to get the most out of him going forward, the Pistons will definitely start the conversation with the Kings.
It is clear that the Kings still need help. The fortunate thing about their season is that they have been good enough to still be in the conversation. Many teams around the West are struggling, mainly due to injuries, which has given the Kings reasons to believe in their potential playoff success. Still, they desperately need someone like Grant to push them over the edge. Grant would not guarantee anything, as the Kings might be routed in the first game of the play-in. Regardless of that, without Grant or any other change to their roster, the Kings might be facing their 16th season without a playoff appearance.