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Kings’ bold trade deadline plan as they try to end postseason drought

Kings, Ben Simmons

The Sacramento Kings are on pace to continue their NBA-leading 15-year playoff drought. Currently, at 16-23, they would qualify for a spot in the play-in tournament, but that wouldn’t guarantee them a postseason spot.

According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, the Kings are urgently looking to improve the roster in a significant way. Amick mentions disgruntled All-Star Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers as someone Sacramento is interested in.

…sources say Kings owner Vivek Ranadive has continued to make it clear to [general manager Monte McNair] that he has the green light to do whatever is necessary to meet those goals. And while the Kings would prefer to keep building around De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton, their strong appetite to improve means that no player is off the table in terms of potential talks. Wherever there’s an impact player who can be had, in other words, they’ll be exploring the possibilities. And yes, as you likely wondered, that includes Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons.

While I reported in early September that a Kings-Simmons was looking very unlikely, that was long before team officials had a chance to see nearly half a season’s worth of (mostly subpar) play. Sacramento’s interest is definitely there.

Sacrificing Fox for another star seems to be counterintuitive. The idea of swapping stars, rather than pairing them together, doesn’t make sense for a team looking to drastically improve. Haliburton, a young player with well-rounded skills, makes more sense a someone to dangle in the hopes of luring in a star.

The Kings have other options besides Simmons. They could look to obtain Domantas Sabonis from the Indiana Pacers, who are looking to start over. Regardless of who they get, the Kings need to find a way to make it back to the playoffs.