De'Aaron Fox

Kings Rumors: Holmes, Haliburton, Fox, Randle

Examining the Kings‘ options at the trade deadline, James Ham of The Kings Beat confirms previous reporting from Shams Charania and Sam Amick of The Athletic, writing that Sacramento no longer has interest in taking on Tobias Harris‘ contract in any Ben Simmons deal and that De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton are off the table in trade discussions involving Domantas Sabonis.

While Fox and Haliburton are presumed to be off-limits, the Kings would be open to discussing virtually any other player on their roster, according to Ham. That includes center Richaun Holmes, who was just re-signed to a four-year contract during the 2021 offseason. Holmes, Harrison Barnes, and Buddy Hield would be among Sacramento’s prime trade candidates in any move for an impact player.

A league source tells Ham that the Kings – who are “working overtime” to seek out viable deals – won’t be eager to sacrifice future draft assets, but would be open to trading picks for quality players who are under contract for multiple years and who complement Fox and Haliburton.

Here’s more out of Sacramento:

  • Tyrese Haliburton has exited the NBA’s health and safety protocols, as reported by… well, Haliburton himself (Twitter link). Sacramento no longer has any players in the protocols.
  • De’Aaron Fox, who spoke to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports last week about his reaction to being included in trade rumors, discussed the subject again during a media session on Wednesday night, downplaying his concerns. Am I worried about anything? No,” Fox said (video link via Ham). “Do I know stuff can happen? Yeah. But I’m not worried at all, no.”
  • Asked in a video mailbag for SNY.tv about the possibility of the Knicks acquiring Fox, Ian Begley says some people in the Kings’ front office were interested in Julius Randle even before his breakout season in 2020/21. However, Begley is skeptical that there’s a major deal to be made between the two teams.

Kings Tell De’Aaron Fox They Don’t Want To Trade Him

The Kings have informed De’Aaron Fox and agent Chris Gaston that they don’t want to trade the 24-year-old guard, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Fox’s name has surfaced more frequently in trade rumors as of late, including earlier today. However, sources tell Charania that the Kings’ current mindset is that they want to keep both Fox and second-year guard Tyrese Haliburton and build the team around them. Sacramento has conveyed that stance to potential trade partners and to Fox and his reps, says Charania.

Multiple reports this week stated that the Kings have expressed interest in Pacers center Domantas Sabonis, with one report suggesting Fox had been brought up in those discussions. Charania says a deal centered around Sabonis and Fox won’t happen.

The Kings are also believed to be very much in the hunt for Ben Simmons, though Sam Amick of The Athletic – who previously reported that Sacramento was open to the idea of acquiring Tobias Harris along with Simmons – now hears from a source that the team doesn’t have interest in that scenario (Twitter link). Amick says the Kings still see a pathway to landing Simmons, but it’s hard to imagine how they’ll construct an offer that meets the Sixers‘ asking price without including either Fox or Haliburton.

Fox and Haliburton were reported last summer to be off-limits, but that changed earlier this month, as Amick reported that no Kings players were considered untouchable. While that report – and others – stated that Sacramento’s preference would be to build around Fox and Haliburton, there had been a sense that the team was becoming more open to doing something drastic and perhaps breaking up its backcourt.

Based on Charania’s report, it sounds like the Kings are once again leaning toward making Fox and Haliburton untouchable. It’s possible they arrived at their latest position as a result of being underwhelmed by how the two guards were being valued on the trade market — it’s also possible this is posturing and Sacramento will reverse its stance again within the next three weeks.

For now though, it appears that any major move made by the Kings will involve some combination of Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes, Marvin Bagley III, and others on the roster rather than Fox or Haliburton.

Latest On Kings’ Pursuit Of Ben Simmons

After Sam Amick of The Athletic reported that Ben Simmons appears to be “front and center” in the Kings‘ trade deadline plans and said the team is open to acquiring Tobias Harris along with Simmons, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer has published a report with more details on Sacramento’s pursuit of the Sixers‘ star.

According to Pompey, sources have repeatedly stated the Sixers aren’t interested in a deal headlined by De’Aaron Fox, who would be one of the Kings’ best trade chips.

One source tells Pompey the Kings have considered offering Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes, and two first-round picks in exchange for Simmons, Harris, and Matisse Thybulle. However, that source also said the Sixers aren’t interested in that package; a second source tells Pompey that Philadelphia has yet to receive a formal offer from Sacramento.

Pompey hears from that second source that the Kings and Sixers haven’t discussed Philadelphia’s younger players like Thybulle, whom the source classifies as borderline untouchable. However, sources tell Pompey that Sacramento has done background work on Thybulle, Isaiah Joe, and Paul Reed.

Even if the Kings were willing to put the aforementioned Haliburton/Hield/Barnes offer on the table, they’d need to either reroute Harris to a third team or add at least one more player – such as Tristan Thompson or Marvin Bagley III – to make the deal work financially.

The Kings and Sixers haven’t yet gained any “significant traction” on a deal, Pompey writes.

Here are a few more noteworthy tidbits from Pompey’s report:

  • The Sixers have denied that they’re shopping Harris or want to attach him to a Simmons trade, but multiple teams and sources have told Pompey that’s the case.
  • According to Pompey, before sending Cam Reddish to New York, the Hawks considered offering John Collins, Reddish, and a first-round pick for Simmons, but the Sixers brought Harris’ name into discussions, ending those talks.
  • Pompey confirmed there are league executives who believe the Sixers would be comfortable hanging onto Simmons for the rest of the season. He also confirmed that the three-time All-Star is prepared to sit out the remainder of the season in that scenario.
  • Sources tell Pompey that the 76ers are continuing to fine Simmons for the games he misses, but not for more minor infractions.

Trade Rumors: Simmons, Kings, Blazers, Rockets, THT, Jazz

David Aldridge, John Hollinger, and Sam Amick of The Athletic, participating in a roundtable discussion on Ben Simmons, all say they believe the Sixers are more likely than not to move the three-time All-Star by the February 10 trade deadline. Over the weekend, big man Joel Embiid publicly backed the idea of the team waiting as long as it needs to maximize the return for Simmons, but Amick says people in Simmons’ camp are unconvinced that Embiid is willing to be as patient as he claims.

“Joel is Daryl (Morey), and Daryl is Joel,” one source told The Athletic, suggesting both the Sixers’ star center and president of basketball operations could be posturing to increase the team’s leverage.

Amick, adding some extra details to his previous reporting on Simmons and the Kings, says the Sixers’ point guard appears to be “front and center” in Sacramento’s deadline plans, ahead of Domantas Sabonis.

Amick also reiterates that the Kings appear to be seriously considering the idea of acquiring Tobias Harris along with Simmons, though he suggests that Philadelphia would likely push for more than De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, and Harrison Barnes in exchange for that duo. For what it’s worth, sources tell Steve Bulpett of Heavy.com that the Kings have done due diligence on Simmons, Harris, and Sixers forward Matisse Thybulle.

Unlike Sacramento, the Hawks appear to have “zero interest” in taking on Harris along with Simmons in a John Collins-centric trade, says Amick.

Here are a few more trade rumors from around the league:

  • Although the Trail Blazers may be sellers in the short term, the team would still like to land an impact player to pair with Damian Lillard for when he gets healthy, according to Sam Amick of The Athletic, who hears that Jaylen Brown and Jerami Grant are among the potential targets on Portland’s radar. The Blazers were believed to be interested in Myles Turner, and if they’re focused more on 2022/23 than this season, the Pacers‘ center could still be an option worth pursuing, Amick notes.
  • There’s plenty of chatter around the league about the Rockets being even more willing to make deadline deals than previously believed, per Amick. Houston remains on the lookout for a potential franchise player and is open to “all sorts of possibilities,” one rival executive tells The Athletic.
  • Dan Woike and Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times confirm that the Lakers are shopping Talen Horton-Tucker in trade discussions. Rival teams believe L.A. still values the young guard, but his $9.5MM salary makes him one of the club’s only real trade chips.
  • The Jazz continue to scout the market in search of an upgrade on the wing, particularly on defense, writes Brian Windhorst of ESPN. “They’re seeing if they can find their own Aaron Gordon trade,” one general manager told ESPN, referring to Denver’s acquisition of Gordon last March. “I’m not sure if they’ll find it.” While the Jazz are said to be interested in Jerami Grant, their ability to make a strong offer is limited by the fact that they’ve already traded away two future first-round picks and don’t have the sort of promising young prospects who could headline a package.

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.

Kings Rumors: Fox, Haliburton, Simmons, Harris, Hield, Barnes

De’Aaron Fox‘s name has surfaced more frequently in trade rumors as of late, after Sam Amick of The Athletic reported earlier in the month that the Kings don’t consider the point guard untouchable. Like other reporters, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports has heard Sacramento’s internal plan is to continue building around Fox and Tyrese Haliburton, but Haynes also says the team has received an “abundance of interest” in its top two guards and doesn’t consider them entirely off-limits.

For his part, Fox is aware of the trade rumors and isn’t ruling out the possibility of being on the move by the February 10 trade deadline.

“You try not to think about it, but you know it’s a business and anything can happen,” Fox told Haynes. “I’m not sure what’s going to happen. Obviously, you see reports on Twitter. Am I worried about it? No. Can it happen? Yeah, it can definitely happen.”

The Kings haven’t come particularly close to ending their lengthy postseason drought since Fox joined the team in 2017. Still, the 24-year-old says he has “built a life” in Sacramento and wouldn’t be eager to join a new team, even if he recognizes it’s a possibility.

“I’m not going to sit here and say I want to get traded, but anything can happen in this business,” he said to Haynes. “You’ve seen the best players in the league get traded. You can’t think you’re safe. But I love being here because for years, the Kings were the only professional team in the city. Kings fans love the Kings. That’s what I’ve always loved about it. And me coming from Kentucky, that’s how it was. Even when we were good at football, no one cared. It was a basketball school. This is a basketball city and these fans have a genuine love for the Kings and the players, and it’s something that I love.”

Here’s more on the Kings:

  • In his discussion with Haynes, Fox also shared some thoughts on his offensive role: “I think I’m a scorer. Just with the work that I continue to put in and knowing what I do when the cameras are off. Just being one of the best scorers in the league, truthfully. I think I’ve proven that I can facilitate at times when need be. I was top five in assists before, but my game is more of being a scorer. Just being able to put all of that together and being one of the best scorers.”
  • According to Haynes, the Sixers “canvassed the prospect” of a Ben Simmons trade involving Fox in recent days, but those discussions were just exploratory. For what it’s worth, Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice.com (Twitter link) continues to report that Philadelphia likely wouldn’t be interested in Fox as the centerpiece of a Simmons deal.
  • In his latest Substack column, Marc Stein says he has heard more than one rival executive classify the Kings as the closest thing to “favorites” in the Simmons sweepstakes, in part because there’s a sense they could be convinced to take on Tobias Harris‘ oversized contract.
  • Stein notes that the Kings are engaged with multiple teams on multiple scenarios, so their deadline could go in a number of different directions. According to Stein, there’s an expectation that Sacramento will trade Buddy Hield and there’s a “rising belief” that the team could also move Harrison Barnes. Marvin Bagley III remains a prime trade candidate too.
  • Sources tell Haynes that the Kings are expected to be “aggressively active” at the trade deadline.

Atlantic Notes: Brown, Udoka, Simmons Trade, Nets

There has been speculation that the Celtics may need to break up the duo of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, but Brown believes they can be successful together, writes Tim Bontemps of ESPN. After posting his first career triple-double in Saturday’s win over the Knicks, Brown addressed the sentiment that Boston should trade one of its stars.

“I think we can play together,” he said. “We have played together well for the majority of our career and things like that. The last year or so hasn’t gone as expected, but I think a lot of the adversity that we’re kind of going through now is going to help us grow and get better in the future.”

The Celtics have been successful when their top two scorers are on the court together, Bontemps notes, outscoring opponents by 4.6 points per 100 possessions. However, the team is in the midst of a second consecutive subpar season, tied for 10th in the East at 19-21.

“I know that people are tired of hearing that, but a lot of learning and growth is still taking place,” Brown said. “I’m getting better as a basketball player. Jayson’s getting better as a basketball player and trying to put our guys in position to make them look good. It’s tougher than it looks. So we just gotta continue to get better, make the right plays, trust ourselves, trust our teammates, trust our coaching staff, and let the chips fall where they may.”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • First-year coach Ime Udoka questioned the Celtics‘ “mental toughness” after they squandered a 25-point lead in a loss to the Knicks on Thursday, Bontemps states in a separate story. It was the fourth time this season that Boston has lost after holding a lead of 19 points or more. “It’s a turnover here, a bad shot here, a missed defensive assignment here, and several missed rebounds tonight,” Udoka said. “So it’s a lot of different things. And then, like I said, a calming presence to slow it down and get us what we want is really what you need at that point. And sometimes we all get caught up in it.”
  • The Kings may be willing to give up De’Aaron Fox or Tyrese Haliburton to get Ben Simmons, but the Sixers‘ interest in either player is limited, according to Kyle Neubeck of The Philly Voice. Tyrese Maxey has solved Philadelphia’s need for a point guard, so any deal involving Fox would have to be a three-team trade, Neubeck states, and the Sixers don’t view Haliburton as a strong enough return for Simmons.
  • The Nets are searching for answers after dropping four of their last five games to fall out of first place in the East, per Brian Lewis of The New York Post“There’s a few common threads,” coach Steve Nash said. “We’re not into the ball. We’re not combative enough to start games. We’re not clean enough with our communication at the level of the ball. There’s not enough of a presence. We can do better in transition as well getting organized. It’s fundamental stuff that’s taken a dip since we all got back together. We can see it clearly. We have to work at it now. We have to take it to heart and we have to rebuild.”

Sixers Notes: Roberts, Simmons, Fox, Haliburton, Embiid, Drummond

Outgoing NBPA executive director Michele Roberts blames the Sixers‘ front office for the acrimonious standoff with Ben Simmons, as Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer relays. Roberts addressed the situation in a SiriusXM Radio interview.

“Candidly, I think a lot of this stuff could be resolved if everyone behaved like a grown-up,” she said. “I think what’s happening in Philadelphia frankly is ridiculous and I don’t know why we’re playing chicken with each other. It just strikes that this is something that could be worked out. It’s difficult.”

We have more on the Sixers:

  • Speaking of Simmons, the front office continues to ask for a massive haul in return for the disgruntled playmaker, Sam Amick of The Athletic reports. That is a source of frustration for some opposing team executives. It’s believed that president of basketball operations Daryl Morey is still hoping Damian Lillard or Bradley Beal will eventually be made available, perhaps this summer.
  • Could Sacramento wind up being Simmons’ destination? Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice.com explores that possibility with the notion that De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton are no longer considered untouchable.
  • The 76ers went with a jumbo look against the Magic this week and outscored Orlando 11-6 during that four-minute stretch, Derek Bodner of DailySix.com notes. Andre Drummond and Joel Embiid shared the court and limited the Magic to one offensive rebound during that time. However, the Twin Towers combination is not something the team should do very much, due to the issues it would create with the perimeter defense, Bodner opines.

Pacific Notes: Fox, Haliburton, Hield, Biyombo, Clippers

It hasn’t been a good season so far for Sacramento, the only team to have fired a head coach since opening night. But with so many other Western Conference teams struggling, the 16-23 Kings currently occupy a play-in spot, with a half-game lead over San Antonio for the No. 10 seed.

The Kings are extremely motivated to make the postseason this year and would be interested in making trades that both improve their playoff chances and give them “a runway for sustained success in the future,” says Sam Amick of The Athletic. According to Amick, team owner Vivek Ranadive has given general manager Monte McNair the green light to make any roster moves necessary to meet those goals.

It has frequently been reported that Sacramento’s most likely trade candidates are Buddy Hield and Marvin Bagley III. Amick confirms that the team’s preference would be to retain – and build around – guards De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton. However, Fox and Haliburton aren’t viewed as untouchable, according to Amick, who says no Kings player is considered entirely off the table in trade discussions.

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • Speaking to Mark Medina of NBA.com, Kings wing Buddy Hield acknowledged that he thought he would be traded to the Lakers during the offseason. However, it doesn’t sound like Hield is dwelling on what could have been — or worried about the possibility of being on the move before the trade deadline. “If it happened, it happened. If it didn’t, it didn’t,” Hield told Medina. “But it’s basketball, and you have to live with it. It’s the business side of it. At the end of the day, I still have a job. I can go to all 30 teams in the league. As long as I have a job, I’m happy.”
  • The Suns‘ addition of Bismack Biyombo on a 10-day contract has been a major success so far, according to Jeremy Cluff of The Arizona Republic. Biyombo has made a case for a rest-of-season deal by averaging 13.5 PPG, 6.0 RPG, and 2.0 BPG on 11-of-13 shooting off the bench in his first two games with the team.
  • The Clippers‘ depth has been tested recently both on and off the court, writes Mirjam Swanson of the Southern California News Group. Besides missing several players due to injuries and COVID-19, the coaching staff has also been depleted, with assistant Dan Craig recovering from knee surgery and several other coaches testing positive for COVID-19. Fortunately, head coach Tyronn Lue exited the protocols today and is prepared to return to the Clippers’ bench, per Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN (Twitter link).

COVID-19 Updates: Suns, Blazers, Rockets, Wolves, More

Here are the latest health and safety protocols updates from around the NBA:

Entering the protocols:

  • Jae Crowder and Elfrid Payton have become the first two Suns players to enter the COVID-19 protocols, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).
  • The Trail Blazers‘ outbreak continues to grow, with Jusuf Nurkic and Cody Zeller among the players now in the protocols, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Seven Portland players have been placed in the protocols since Friday.
  • Rockets guard Garrison Mathews became the second Houston guard to enter the protocols today, joining teammate D.J. Augustin, per Tim MacMahon of ESPN (Twitter link).
  • Timberwolves big man Naz Reid is now in the health and safety protocols, bringing Minnesota’s list of affected players up to eight, tweets Chris Hine of The Star Tribune.
  • The Thunder announced today that they’ve placed rookie guard Tre Mann in the protocols. Oklahoma City now has two players affected — Mann and Darius Bazley.

Exiting the protocols:

  • Point guard De’Aaron Fox returned to action on Sunday when the Kings hosted Memphis. Fox had been in the health and safety protocols since December 16.
  • A pair of TimberwolvesPatrick Beverley and Josh Okogie – are no longer in the health and safety protocols, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News. They’re both listed as questionable for Monday’s game vs. Boston.
  • Clippers forward Marcus Morris has cleared the health and safety protocols, though he remained inactive on Sunday as he goes through a reconditioning period, tweets Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.
  • Cavaliers wing RJ Nembhard was no longer listed on the team’s injury report on Sunday and played vs. Toronto, so he’s out of the protocols. Isaac Okoro has exited the protocols too, though he’s still working his way back, according to head coach J.B. Bickerstaff (Twitter link via Kelsey Russo of The Athletic).