Without a legitimate NBA superstar on their roster, the Sacramento Kings weren’t expected to make a huge impact in the 2018-19 NBA season. However, the Kings are surprisingly exceeding expectations and look determined to compete for a playoff spot in the deep Western Conference. As of now, the Kings are sitting in the No. 9 spot in the Western Conference with a 19-19 record.
The Kings won’t gain anything from losing games since they no longer own their first-round pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. So far, the Kings must be aware that their current roster doesn’t stand a chance against Western Conference powerhouse teams like the Golden State Warriors. If they want to at least give them a tough fight in the postseason, the Kings should consider upgrading their roster before the February NBA trade deadline.
According to Dan Favale of Bleacher Report, one of the potential trade targets for the Kings is Harrison Barnes of the Dallas Mavericks. In the proposed trade deal, the Kings would send Zach Randolph and Kosta Koufos to the Mavericks for Barnes, a 2020 second-round pick, and a 2021 second-round pick. The deal works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine.
Harrison Barnes will undeniably improve the Kings’ performance on both ends of the floor. Aside from being an efficient three-point shooter, the 26-year-old small forward is also an incredible wing defender. This season, Barnes is averaging 18.6 points and 4.2 rebounds on 43.2 percent shooting from the field, and 42.6 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
With his ability to efficiently play off the ball, Barnes won’t have a hard time sharing the court with Bogdan Bogdanovic, De’Aaron Fox, and Buddy Hield. Despite absorbing Barnes’ contract, the Kings will still be able to create more than $30 million in salary cap space to chase big names in the 2019 NBA free agency.
“Punting on $25.1 million of cap space is a bitter pill for any team. The Kings can swallow it. They’d maintain easy access to more than $20 million after accounting for Barnes’ player option — and that’s a conservative forecast. Depending on what happens with Willie Cauley-Stein’s restricted free agency and Yogi Ferrell’s non-guarantee, the Kings can sleepwalk their way to $30-plus million in breathing room while footing the bill for Barnes’ 2019-20 salary.”
Celtics caught a glimpse of Mavericks rookie Luka Doncic when he was 16 https://t.co/GFaaoHvnQC
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) January 5, 2019
The deal will not only be beneficial for the Kings, but also for the Mavericks, especially if they are thinking about their long-term future rather than competing for a playoff spot this season. By trading Harrison Barnes for the expiring contracts of Zach Randolph and Kosta Koufos, the Mavericks could open up approximately $74 million in salary cap space next summer, when several NBA superstars like Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, Kemba Walker, and DeMarcus Cousins will become unrestricted free agents.