NBA Trade Deadline: The Sacramento Kings Could Be the ‘Team of the Deadline’ and Make the Biggest Splash: ‘I’d Be Stunned if They Didn’t Make a Big Trade’

Perhaps more than anyone not named Ben Simmons (who the team is interested in, of course), the Sacramento Kings have rented space in the NBA trade rumor mill.

Initially, the Kings weren’t going to trade star point guard De’Aaron Fox. Then reports suggested they could possibly trade him in the right deal. After that, news broke that Sacramento wanted to build around the combination of Fox and Tyrese Haliburton, and neither, in fact, is available.

The Kings have been a mess for almost two decades now, so why would the trade rumors surrounding them be anything else?

Based on the activity coming out of Sacramento, this could be the organization’s year to make a blockbuster splash and shake up the NBA, and more importantly, the franchise.

The Sacramento Kings are looking to thread the needle with a trade

Rumors surrounding the Sacramento Kings, who could be the biggest players at this year's trade deadline.
De’Aaron Fox of the Sacramento Kings looks on during a game against the Los Angeles Lakers. | Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Two examples of the Kings disaster, again, at the trade deadline:

  • According to James Ham of The Kings Beat, the franchise wants to build around Fox and Haliburton and neither of them will be dealt.
  • Via NBC Sports, Philadelphia 76ers general manager Daryl Morey claims, “I can tell you for sure there are deals with the Sacramento Kings that I think would work” in response to a question about Simmons.

Both reports were released on the same day. And there are no deals that would work without Fox or Haliburton.

After a six-point loss to the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks on Jan. 22, the Kings fell to 18-30 on the year. That leaves them in 12th in the Western Conference standings.

And Sacramento is trending in the wrong direction. The team’s loss in Milwaukee was its eighth in the last 10 games.

In the same breath, though, the franchise hasn’t made the playoffs since 2006 and is only 2.5 games behind Portland, which has its own problems, for the 10th seed.

That would put the Kings into the final spot in the play-in tournament if they can reach it.

So it’s a tricky needle to thread for general manager Monte McNair. Your team’s bleeding losses, but a franchise desperate for any semblance of positivity is only a few games back of some sort of postseason.

Do you blow it up? Do you make a trade to push for the playoff spot that’s never available?

Or is there a move in between?

It would be “stunning” if a big trade didn’t come out of Sac Town

Regardless of which option McNair chooses, it appears the Kings are poised to make some sort of move.

On The Athletic NBA Show, Sam Amick said it could be Sacramento who may end up making the splashiest move before the Feb. 10 deadline:

In terms of interest-slash-desperation I don’t know how many teams are that hot. There’s a lot of pressure. I’d be stunned if they didn’t make a big trade.

There’s a lot (of pressure) in Sacramento. Monte McNair is in his second year as GM and the word from ownership is like, he’s been kind of keeping his powder in his gun this entire time … But there is a real expectation for him to make a move now and I think something is going to happen there.

Sam Amick on The Athletic NBA Show speaking about the Sacramento Kings trade possibilities

It’s an odd dynamic. The Kings are 12 games below .500 but are under “a lot” of pressure to win now. The franchise could make a push to go all-in for the 10th seed.


It’s time for a major shakeup in Sacramento

Something has to change with the Kings, and the sooner, the better. What that looks like is anyone’s guess. It would be anyone’s guess with any NBA franchise, but with this one?

Simmons could end up in purple and black in February. Harrison Barnes could be swapped for future assets. Richaun Holmes could remain in Sacramento.

Any, all, or none of those things could happen.

But it sure sounds like what can be expected, though, is big news coming out of Sacramento before Feb. 10.

All statistics courtesy of

RELATED: NBA Trade Rumors: The New York Knicks Are Buyers and a Deal for Sacramento’s De’Aaron Fox Should Be the Next Move