5 Wild (But Possible) Kings Trade Scenarios


The 2020 NBA Draft is this week! The trade moratorium is about to end! The NBA hasn’t seen a trade in (what feels like) a thousand years! Front offices across the league are itching to make a move, and itchy people make wild decisions. And the Sacramento Kings wouldn’t be the Sacramento Kings if they weren’t running the trade rumor mill like a treadmill.

Between Bogdan Bogdanovic’s impending free agency, Buddy Hield’s reported dissatisfaction with his role, and an increasingly brutal Western Conference on the horizon, the Kings are undoubtedly exploring every possible trade option ahead of next season. And I do mean EVERY option. So, let’s get a little crazy and see what we can come up with.

I preface this by paraphrasing Brian Windhorst: I’m not “reporting” anything. These trade scenarios, while often informed by chatter widely rumored or suggested around the league, are entirely fabrications from the mind of a mildly-insane and eternally-optimistic Kings fan. Does the math technically work? Yes. Do the trades often favor the Kings a bit? Absolutely. But we’re not trading Giannis and Kawhi for Richaun Holmes and Harrison Barnes here; by and large, these are deals where each team gets something they’re after. This is my world, and I want the Kings to have nice things. So!

Here are five possible trade scenarios for your Sacramento Kings:

Bogi Bucks Up

Sacramento Kings:

  • Eric Bledsoe
  • Donte DiVincenzo
  • 2020 1st-Round pick via Indiana (#24)
  • 2021 1st-Round pick

Milwaukee Bucks:

  • Bogdan Bogdanovic

The Bucks chose Eric Bledsoe over Malcolm Brogdon, and by some accounts, they chose wrong. Now, they have a 30-year-old point guard who regularly vanishes in the playoffs under contract for the next three years at the rate of $16.8 mil per. I don’t doubt they would love to move on while also adding a player capable of similar production, preferably one who’s a little younger, a little cheaper, and maybe a little taller.

Enter Bogdan Bogdanovic.

Well-placed media members from James Ham to Zach Lowe have indicated the Bucks love Bogi, but they lack the cap space to sign him outright. If the Kings can execute a declining sign-and-trade, as they’ve done for multiple players the last few offseasons, the Bucks could find themselves in position to get the piece to take them out of their playoff slump and convince Giannis Antetokounmpo to keep his roots deep with the team that drafted him.

The Bucks don’t care about next year’s reportedly top-loaded draft when they’re competing for a championship, and if it costs them an extra 1st to get out of Bledsoe’s deal, will they complain? Maybe. It might only take one 1st to get this deal done (justifiable if the Bucks are also sending off Donte DiVincenzo), but I want to believe in Monte McNair’s ability to take a quality player and turn him into a trove of future assets. Can you blame me?

A Holmes for the Hawks

Sacramento Kings:

  • Clint Capela
  • 2020 1st-Round pick (#6)

Atlanta Hawks:

  • Bogdan Bogdanovic
  • Richaun Holmes

Trae Young wants to start winning. Now. There’s no doubt that the new All-Star will want the Hawks to bring in players capable of more production and less potential upside than the 6th pick in a weak draft, and while Clint Capela was a solid piece on a near-contender in Houston, his contract is worth almost as much as Bledsoe’s over the next three years. Are the Hawks willing to pay their center that much when Young will almost certainly demand a max contract extension just two years from now? Especially when Richaun Holmes is available for a third of the price?

Pulling off a similar sign-and-trade for Bogdanovic as in the Milwaukee scenario helps sweeten the deal and keep the Kings’ own #12 pick out of the trade. I love Holmes, but he shattered expectations this year in Sacramento. McNair will probably look to sell high, and if the Kings lock up Capela to fill that center role for the next few years (or possibly trade him on to yet another team in need), the loss on the court is shockingly marginal.

The Suns Burn Bridges?

Sacramento Kings:

  • Mikal Bridges
  • 2020 1st-Round pick (#10)

Phoenix Suns:

  • Bogdan Bogdanovic
  • Richaun Holmes

James Ham mentioned Phoenix as a possible landing spot for Bogdanovic back in October before reports of a Chris Paul trade started circulating (The Lead’s own Eshan Arya outlined what a CP3-Phoenix trade might look like here). I can see Paul’s appeal for the Suns: an elite backcourt partner and mentor for Devin Booker who can take a third-option role behind Booker and Deandre Ayton in the twilight of his career. Phoenix is exactly the kind of franchise to take that bet and that contract.

Yet, Ricky Rubio performed well for the Suns this year, and there’s something funny about the idea that Chris Paul’s resurgence this past season will last the duration of his deal. I’m not saying that trade won’t happen, but I will say the Suns might live to regret getting what they want.

If that falls through, though, Sacramento could stand to profit from Phoenix’s ambitions with a backup offer.

Bogdanovic and Holmes going back to Phoenix — who traded Bogdanovic’s draft rights, among other things, for the Kings pick that turned into Marquese Chriss back in 2016 — strikes me as absurdly fitting. After Holmes’s breakout year, his contract is a bargain to replace the production of Aron Baynes, and Bogdanovic’s versatility and playmaking could be just what the Suns need to claw their way into the playoffs for the first time in Booker’s career (Yes, Rubio should probably still start at the point, but a three-guard lineup of Bogi, Booker and Rubio could unlock another offensive gear for the mostly-young Suns).

I could see the Suns scoffing at the idea of giving up the 10th pick and a young player for two veterans. That said, if the Suns intend to keep Booker in Phoenix for the duration of his contract without trading the farm for Chris Paul, this is a nice alternative. The Kings could throw in a 2nd-rounder or two from this year’s draft if that makes it easier. We’ve got plenty.

Bogdanovic Turns up the Heat

Sacramento Kings:

  • Kelly Olynyk
  • Kendrick Nunn
  • 2020 1st-Round pick (#20)

Miami Heat:

  • Bogdan Bogdanovic

Goran Dragic had a great time in the bubble up until he got hurt, and while he might be ready in time for the start of the new season, the Heat will likely look for another option to bolster their backcourt. Dragic was more of a playoff guy for them anyway; he came off the bench for most of the regular season before starting all but one game in the Heat’s run to the Finals.

Bogdanovic can keep the Heat steady at the 1 or 2 spot to take some pressure off Dragic, and he won’t even cost them that much: Kelly Olynyk (assuming he picks up his $12.1 million player option, which seems like a safe bet), “rookie” 25-year-old shooting guard Kendrick Nunn, and the 20th pick in this year’s draft could get it done.

The ascension of Tyler Herro makes it a bit easier for the Heat to part with Nunn, who played well in the regular season but mostly disappeared in the playoffs. This would probably be one in a series of moves for the Kings; Nunn is a cheap asset who could easily move again. The 20th pick might be a useful bargaining chip for a team looking to trade down. The Kings can pay Olynyk for a year.

I won’t lie, even I’m not crazy about this one; it’s not quite flashy enough…

Make It Flashy

Sacramento Kings:

  • Nicolas Batum
  • Miles Bridges
  • 2020 1st-Round pick (#3 via Charlotte)

Houston Rockets:

  • Terry Rozier
  • 2020 1st-Round pick (#12 via Sacramento)

Charlotte Hornets:

  • Russell Westbrook
  • Buddy Hield

I warned you things would get wild. Well, here we are.

Shams Charania recently reported the Hornets have an interest in acquiring the unhappy Russell Westbrook from Houston. Buddy Hield was unhappy with his bench role this season, and it’s clear he will never be the playmaker Luke Walton wants him to be. Well, misery loves company; why not ship them both off to form what might actually be a solid backcourt in Charlotte? Can an aging speedster and an elite shooter carry Michael Jordan’s team to the playoffs in a weaker Eastern Conference?

Terry Rozier and his oversized contract become redundant under Westbrook, but it’ll save Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta a bundle compared to Russ. Houston even gets the 12th pick in the draft for their trouble. Rozier and James Harden might be complementary, or this might be the end of the Beard’s time in Texas.

And the Kings? They take Nicolas Batum’s $27.1 MILLION player option off Charlotte’s books and walk away with Miles Bridges and the 3rd pick in the draft. Everybody’s happy, right?

The Future of the Kings (Feels Familiar…)

The Kings are not likely to be a great team this year. Even so, they can make the season worthwhile if they play it smart, make some good trades, and get a little lucky. If all goes well, there might be hope for the Kingdom somewhere down the line (sooner than later, I hope).

Until then, get ready for the wildest week of off-court basketball mayhem since the end of the bubble! Enjoy it while it lasts.

Follow us on Twitter @Kings_Lead for the latest Kings news and insight.

About Bryan Rollofson

Bryan Rollofson is a Sacramento native who grew up watching the "Greatest Show on the Court" Kings of the late '90s and early 2000s. He's been trying to recapture that greatness ever since.

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