Kings Target More Young Players, Picks At Deadline

1:50pm: A source has told Calvin Watkins of (Twitter link) that the Kings don’t have plans to trade Collison. Of course, Sacramento also insisted for most of the season that it had no plans to trade Cousins, so it’s fair to be wary, particularly since there doesn’t seem to be much reason for the club to hang onto the veteran point guard.

7:37am: Having agreed to trade DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans, the Kings likely aren’t done dealing, reports Chris Mannix of The Vertical. According to Mannix, Sacramento will be targeting additional draft picks and players on rookie contracts before Thursday’s trade deadline, with players like Darren Collison, Ben McLemore, and Arron Afflalo available.

The Cousins trade agreement signaled that a full-fledged rebuild is underway in Sacramento, so it makes sense that players like Collison, McLemore, and Afflalo would be expendable — all three could become free agents this summer. Collison, in particular, is ticketed for unrestricted free agency and should draw some interest from teams in need of point guard help. His salary ($5.229MM) is modest, and his numbers this season (13.7 PPG, 4.2 APG, .421 3PT%) have been solid. Per Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype (via Twitter), executives around the league believe Collison will “definitely” be traded.

Afflalo and McLemore were said to be available a month ago, so little has changed on that front. Reports last fall suggested that Sacramento’s new coaching staff had connected with McLemore and were excited to see how he performed this season, but his playing time has been inconsistent and he hasn’t taken a real step forward in 2016/17. The former seventh overall pick, who is averaging a career-low 18.1 MPG, is eligible for restricted free agency in July.

As for Afflalo, he hasn’t exactly thrived in Sacramento this season, averaging just 7.8 PPG and shooting 42.9% in part-time action for the Kings. While those marks are well below his career averages, Afflalo has been as effective as ever from three-point range (39.0%), and his contract is manageable — he’s making $12.5MM annually this year and next year, but next season’s salary is only guaranteed for $1.5MM, so his deal could be viewed as an expiring contract of sorts.

If Sacramento goes into fire sale mode, other vets like Kosta Koufos, Anthony Tolliver, Matt Barnes, and Tyreke Evans could also be available, though that’s just my speculation.

View Comments (22)