NBA trade rumors have the Sacramento Kings ready to trade guards Rudy Gay and Ben McLemore. These NBA trade rumors about the Kings continue what has been a season packed with chatter about the team. A report from NBA analyst Chris Mannix states he has been told Rudy Gay, Ben McLemore, and Marco Belinelli are available at the trade deadline. The news isn't quite as good for suitors of DeMarcus Cousins, as the Kings are still hesitant to trade the All-Star center.
With a group of teams looking very closely at Gay and McLemore before the February 18 NBA trade deadline, this may serve as confirmation that deals could be coming soon. At the same time, the Sacramento Kings are still within four-and-a-half games in the Western Conference, giving the team a good shot at making the 2016 NBA Playoffs. Is it worth blowing up the team if the Kings have a chance to finally get back to the playoffs?
The inherent risk is that the Kings hold on to all their players and then miss the playoffs. If the team acts now, it could possibly trade Rudy Gay and Ben McLemore in separate deals to acquire first-round picks in the 2016 NBA Draft. If the Kings miss the playoffs, they will get a lottery pick with their own selection, but the possibility of adding more picks has to be enticing. Currently, the 22-31 Kings would be in line for a pick around seventh or eighth unless the lottery bumped them up.
Regarding teams that have been linked to the Sacramento Kings in these NBA trade rumors, the Cleveland Cavaliers are very interested in Ben McLemore. The Cavaliers don't have a first-round pick this year, though, as the Phoenix Suns control it. Teams that have been linked to Rudy Gay include the Miami Heat, Detroit Pistons, Portland Trail Blazers, and LA Clippers. Nothing has fully developed with Gay, as teams taking him on would have to give up a great pick or a young player.
In addition to giving up something to attain Rudy Gay, his new team would also have to pay his salary. Gay is under contract with the Sacramento Kings at a rate of $13.3 million in 2016-17 and then about $14.3 million the following year. He earns about $12.4 million this season, which could also be seen as an expensive acquisition for a contending team. He might be worth the price, though, especially for a team that needs a push on offense.
As for the other two players, Marco Belinelli makes $6 million this season, about $6.3 million next year, and then about $6.6 million in the 2017-18 NBA season. Ben McLemore is in a very team friendly deal worth about $3.2 million this season and $4 million next year. He will then become a restricted free agent, keeping him under team control for a while longer.
Two other players who have also popped up in NBA trade rumors about the Sacramento Kings are center Kosta Koufos and point guard Rajon Rondo. Rondo could help a team needing depth at point guard, and he is in a one-year, $9.5 million contract. Koufos is a bit more expensive, earning between $7.7 million and $8.7 million over the next three years. Koufos is another player the Cavs have been watching intently.
A confirmation that the Sacramento Kings are keen on trading players doesn't guarantee a deal is close, but the team has some added incentive to break the roster down before the NBA trade deadline. The Chicago Bulls own the first-round pick of the Kings this season, but it is protected if it is a top 10 pick. Should the Kings win too many games down the stretch, the team could lose that first-round pick. This is certainly something the Kings will think about. Fans of the team should expect to see the Kings in many more NBA trade rumors before February 18.
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