The Kings have turned their focus to trades this week now that George Karl has agreed to take over as coach, and they’ve spoken with the Nuggets and held preliminary talks with the Thunder about Reggie Jackson and Pistons about Jonas Jerebko, reports Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. Deveney’s report suggests the Kings and Nuggets have talked about Arron Afflalo and Wilson Chandler, which, in the case of Afflalo, would affirm a report from earlier this week via Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com. Sacramento is shopping Nik Stauskas, Derrick Williams and Jason Thompson, Deveney writes, which jibes with a report from Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders on Williams but changes the narrative on Stauskas and Thompson, whom the team previously seemed only to have made available.
In any case, the Nuggets would like athletic players who fit Karl’s up-tempo style, and have been “as active as anyone” and are “pushing hard” to do a deal, one GM tells Deveney. Specifically, the Kings continue to seek an upgrade at power forward who can shoot from the outside, and they’d also like to add more shooting at other positions, Deveney writes. The Sporting News scribe speculates that the team might have interest in Ersan Ilyasova and suggests the Bucks would like to deal the stretch four, given his deal, which gives him $7.9MM this season, another $7.9MM next year, and is partially guaranteed for $400K the following season.
Denver is reportedly seeking first-round picks for Afflalo and Chandler, though Marc Stein of ESPN.com wrote Thursday that the Nuggets are apparently looking for a better return for Chandler than for Afflalo and that some believe Chandler is one of the few Nuggets the team isn’t shopping. The two have similar salaries for this season and next, but while Afflalo has a player option on his $7.5MM for 2015/16, Chandler’s nearly $7.172MM for next year is only partially guaranteed for $2MM.
Stein’s report also noted that GMs around the league believe Jackson is one of the three biggest names likely to be dealt before the deadline, and the Heat have apparently joined the Knicks among the teams with interest. The Pistons would like to deal Jerebko for a point guard, as Deveney wrote recently, but the Heat’s insistence that Detroit take Danny Granger after the Pistons offered Jerebko for Norris Cole stopped a potential deal there, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.
Stauskas, the eighth overall pick in the 2014 draft, is seeing only 13.6 minutes per game this season behind Ben McLemore, a lottery pick from 2013. Thompson is the incumbent starter at power forward for Sacramento, but he’s struggled to live up to a deal that pays him between $6MM and $7MM each season through 2016/17, when his salary is partially guaranteed for $2.65MM. He doesn’t fit the mold of the stretch four the Kings want, as Deveney points out.