The Sacramento Kings’ phones must be exhausted already. With so many of their players up for grabs, the front office must have hundreds of potential roster combinations. All the chips seem to be on the table, save for one.
De’Aaron Fox is perhaps the one player the Kings should keep no matter what. The Kings have let it be known that they intend to build around him. But he is reportedly available for trade despite Sacramento’s declaration that he isn’t, per NBA reporter Marc Stein:
The Kings, by contrast, are struggling to convince rival teams that their recent proclamation, via The Athletic, that they intend to build around the duo of Tyrese Haliburton and De’Aaron Fox is genuine. Harrison Barnes, Buddy Hield and Marvin Bagley III remain the three Kings most likely to be traded before the deadline, but there is a sense among some rival executives that Fox remains gettable.
Barnes and Hield are reasonable options to put on the trade table, as is Bagley, who has yet to find his footing in the franchise. Fox and Haliburton have star potential and are both younger than 25 years of age.
However, Sacramento is desperate to make it back to the playoffs and snap their 15-year playoff drought. Looking at trading for stars like Ben Simmons and Domantas Sabonis makes sense for a team looking to win. But those stars will need great players around them to succeed. Fox is that level of player and Haliburton could become one very soon.
The lead-up to the trade deadline on February 10 will be pressure-packed for Sacramento.