The Sacramento Kings currently sit with a 12-17 record but are only one game out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Typically, the Kings would have a difficult time of making the playoffs in the Western Conference with that sort of record, but 2016 has been full of parity across the NBA.
With a legitimate shot to make the playoffs, the Kings have been looking at options to improve the club. Aside from DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay, there really isn’t a whole lot to like about this team.
Starting point guard Darren Collison is a serviceable player, but he’s probably best suited as a backup in the NBA. The Kings were kind of forced into moving Collison into the starting lineup this year when they couldn’t acquire any better options in the offseason. Darren is currently averaging 12.5 points, 4.3 assists, and 2.0 rebounds in 29.9 minutes per game.
Shooting guard has been a bit of joke for the Kings as Ben McLemore has failed to lived up to his potential as a high first-round pick. The Kings went out and signed veteran Arron Afflalo in the offseason, but he’s currently averaging 7.4 points and 2.2 rebounds in 23.9 minutes per game through 25 games.
Kosta Koufos has started at power forward for 25 of the Kings’ 29 games, but he’s only averaging 5.7 points and 5.8 rebounds in 19.7 minutes per game. Sacramento was hoping to see Willie Cauley-Stein take a step forward this season, but the second-year player from Kentucky is only averaging 5.0 points and 2.2 rebounds in just over 12 minutes per game.
With struggles across the board, the Sacramento Kings have been one of the most talked about teams on the trade market so far this season and the position they’ve been connected to most is point guard.
Most recently, Yahoo Sports‘ Chris Mannix reported that the Kings and Miami Heat discussed a deal earlier in the season that would’ve sent Rudy Gay to the Heat in exchange for Goran Dragic. The deal fell apart though, after the the Heat asked the Kings to add Collison to the deal.
Kings Interested in Goran Dragic and Brandon Knight – https://t.co/weznNAgFdw
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) December 23, 2016
It doesn’t really make a ton of sense why the Kings wouldn’t have pulled the trigger even with Collison included in the deal. Darren’s going to be a free agent after this season while Dragic is under contract until 2018-19 and has a player option for 2019-20. He’s a much more explosive player than Collison and could’ve really made the Kings playoff threats alongside Cousins.
On Thursday, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst went on The Low Post podcast with Zach Lowe and dropped another little nugget about the Kings’ search for improvements. Windhorst claims that Sacramento has been discussing Brandon Knight with the Phoenix Suns since the summer. Knight has been moved to a bench role this season with the Suns while Eric Bledsoe and Devin Booker have assumed the starting roles in the backcourt.
The Kings have been linked to Goran Dragic and Brandon Knight https://t.co/slGaVUq5hq
— Sactown Royalty (@sactownroyalty) December 23, 2016
“It’s hard to read Sacramento. Sacramento talks a lot, but then never does anything, so Sacramento’s very frustrating to people,” Windhorst said. “I know that Sacramento has been talking to Phoenix about Brandon Knight since the summer. Will that ultimately get done? I don’t know, but it’s out there.”
With just under two months remaining until the NBA trade deadline, it’ll be interesting to see what the Sacramento Kings ultimately decide to do. Collison and backup Ty Lawson are both free agents following this season, so it would behoove the team to add someone like Brandon Knight or Goran Dragic to build for the future.
[Featured Image by Andy Lyons/Getty Images]