Kings Eyeing Domantas Sabonis, Discussing De’Aaron Fox

The Kings are interested in Domantas Sabonis and have recently ramped up their pursuit of the Pacers big man, a league source tells Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee.

According to Anderson, Kings guard De’Aaron Fox, who was considered off-limits when the team talked to the Sixers in the summer about Ben Simmons, has now been included in separate trade discussions involving Sabonis and Simmons.

Sam Amick of The Athletic, who reported earlier in the month that the Kings no longer view Fox as untouchable, stated during a radio appearance on Sports 1140 KHTK (hat tip to HoopsHype) that the team is eyeing both Sabonis and Simmons, and suggested that he wouldn’t be surprised if Sacramento makes a “big-time” trade in the coming days or weeks.

“There is a fair amount of pressure for this roster to look pretty different after the deadline,” Amick said.

Multiple reports, dating back to early December, have indicated that the Pacers are open to the idea of trading one of Sabonis or Myles Turner, but wouldn’t move both players. Turner had long been considered the most likely trade candidate of the two, but his left foot injury may diminish his value leading up to the deadline, opening the door for a Sabonis deal.

The Pacers would want an All-Star caliber player in return for Sabonis, according to Anderson, who hears that the team has received offers meeting that criteria. Fox hasn’t made an All-Star team, but Anderson suggests an offer that includes the 24-year-old and at least one draft pick could pique Indiana’s interest.

As for the Simmons scenario, Amick said this week on The Athletic NBA Show that he believes the Kings are “actually pondering” the idea of acquiring both Simmons and Tobias Harris from Philadelphia (hat tip to HoopsHype).

The 76ers have reportedly explored the idea of attaching Harris to a Simmons trade, which is viewed as complicated due to the duo’s $69MM cap hit in 2021/22, as well as the $190MM+ they’re owed beyond this season. However, Amick suggests that scenario isn’t off the table for Sacramento. Marc Stein also recently reported that there’s a sense around the league the Kings could be convinced to take on Harris’ oversized contract in a Simmons deal.

In addition to Fox, players like Buddy Hield, Marvin Bagley III, Tristan Thompson, and – to a lesser extent – Harrison Barnes have been cited as potential trade candidates for Sacramento. Presumably, if the Kings were to make a play for Sabonis, they’d also be open to discussing current starting center Richaun Holmes.

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