It seems widely evident to the league just how many options the Sacramento Kings have sitting there with the 4th overall pick in the draft. For some of those options, the more grandiose they sound, the less realistic they truly are. However, now, with a little shake up to a longtime Western Conference juggernaut, the chances for the Kings to add a phenomenal talent seems well within reach.
As has been explained, the top-three picks in the draft are nearly a sure bet and what will presumably be left for the Kings will, of course, still be a group of massively talented prospects, but none of those potential selections add the maximum impact in trying to achieve Sacramento’s primary objective: to end the playoff drought.
A guy like Jaden Ivey doesn’t exactly fit. Someone like Shaedon Sharpe is a mystery and not reliable as a year-one difference-maker. And a guy like Keegan Murray may be a stretch at that point in the draft.
In turn, the possibility that a trade occurs seems likely. The Ringer laid out this fact plain and simple earlier this week.
“League sources say the Kings are looking for a win-now player with the fourth pick, whether they draft one or deal the pick to acquire one,” Kevin O’Connor wrote. “Trading out of the draft is a possibility, but so is moving down. Sources say Sacramento is willing to move back for a lower pick and a player who would fit into the same trajectory as De’Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis, and Davion Mitchell.”
There has, of course, been the speculation that trading up to the Thunder’s number-two position would be an option, but with the likelihood Jabari Smith Jr. goes number-one to Orlando, the leap forward would not be to grab an impactful day-one starter. Not that Chet Holmgren is incapable of that, but Smith’s shot-making ability and defensive versatility is just too perfect for the modern mold of the stretch-4, and right away.
Much has been discussed on the matter of trading back slightly, or even a good deal back and out of the lottery, and both potential partners and deals have emerged in the speculation. One is swapping picks with Detroit and getting Jerami Grant in the process. Or swapping with Indiana and adding Malcolm Brogdon or perhaps Oshae Brissett. Another is a swap with Portland while acquiring Josh Hart. Then there’s also belief that a pick swap with San Antonio could happen because they have some talent nearing the end of their rookie deals, perhaps a Keldon Johnson.
There have been other options that may seem more fantastical than trading up into the top-three. Trading out of the first round altogether to, say, grab some kind of star would certainly make a difference. A New York Daily News piece posited potential scenarios where the Kings trade their coveted pick as a hefty chip in a deal to get a star. The piece suggested the pick be used to get either Chicago’s DeMar DeRozan, Washington’s Bradley Beal, Brooklyn’s Ben Simmons, or OKC’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
But how realistic are any of those deals?
A departure from Chicago for DeRozan is unlikely. Beal and Washington seem committed to an extension. Brooklyn just got Simmons, and the Australian still has questions following him around regarding injuries and character. The Thunder—who notably have three first round picks, and four total this year—are doing a lengthy rebuild, but not so lengthy as to be looking to openly dump SGA, who signed a max extension a year ago.
Maybe a pairing of the Kings and those specifically aforementioned stars is a mere pipe dream, but using that fourth pick to land an impressive talent may not be a complete delusion.
Lots of buzz has stalked the Utah Jazz for what seems like the whole season. After finishing with a Western Conference best 52-20 record the year before, the Jazz did not live up to expectations this season.
The primary source of problems for the organization—which has made the playoffs for the last six years—has been the disharmony between it’s two foundational pillars. Reports of discontent between Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert—which was dubbed “unsalvageable” a year ago—just never seemed to go away.
Utah’s future going into this offseason following a first-round exit in the playoffs was characterized as an unknown, but it was nevertheless obvious that one of the stars was going to have to move, and many believed that Gobert would be that guy.
However, after Quin Snyder stepped down this week, the whole thing looks ready to blow.
Sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that Mitchell felt “unsettled” by the news, left to wonder “what it means for the franchise’s future.”
If the Jazz are on the precipice of an implosion with the Mitchell-Gobert strife that seems to foretell the possible exit of both stars and Snyder’s exit after eight years at the helm, then the fact they don’t hold a first round pick illuminates a long, difficult road ahead.
But that road would not seem so desolate if Utah were to acquire the fourth pick in the draft and gain the opportunity to snag what many consider a future star in Jaden Ivey, or whoever else they may be high on.
Likewise, Sacramento could land a star that would create a legitimate three-headed monster if Donovan Mitchell were to team up with Fox and Sabonis, one that would significantly shrink any doubt about the season ahead for the Kings.
Keep in mind, however, that the cap situation would require the movement of some big money. In addition to parting with Richaun Holmes—which is largely anticipated regardless—Sacramento would almost certainly be forced to part ways with Harrison Barnes.
Plus, the Jazz would also probably require some future draft capital. Last offseason, when Chicago got DeRozan via a sign and trade, the Bulls coughed up a first and two seconds to San Antonio. With an outright trade for a star like Mitchell, two additional future first rounders may be necessary alongside this year’s 4th overall pick.
Such factors are a part of every big acquisition, though, and as was seen with the trade for Sabonis, winning moves often require considerable change. Thus a Mitchell-Kings marriage is not out of the realm of possibility.