Kings

How Will The Kings’ World Turn?

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As the NBA trade deadline rapidly approaches, the Sacramento Kings have a big decision to make.

General Manager Monte McNair says he plans to be aggressive at the trade deadline.  He says the Kings have no interest in a complete three-to-four-year rebuild.  But that is no longer a viable stance.  A rebuild has to happen, but it doesn’t have to take 3-4 years.

Look at Memphis, Phoenix, Denver.  All rose from the ashes quickly.

The Kings’ season has imploded.  They have lost seven straight and 12 of their last 14.  They are 16 games under .500 at 18-34.  The Kings are broken.

McNair faces a sizeable challenge ahead.  Ownership wants to end the 15-year playoff drought.  The reality, though, is that the Kings are not good enough.

HAVE THE KINGS’ PLAYERS CHECKED OUT?

The Kings want to build the team around De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton.

Fox, however, has mysteriously missed the Kings’ last five games.  He was not on the pre-game injury report when the Kings began their road trip on January 22nd, but prior to the game in Milwaukee it was announced that Fox would not play because of “ankle soreness”.

He hasn’t played since.  Are the Kings keeping Fox on the sidelines because he is going to be traded?  Is the ankle injury worse than the team is letting on?  Has Fox checked out because five years of losing has broken him?

Several other Kings players seemingly have checked out.  With the way Buddy Hield has been shooting for weeks now, he couldn’t hit the ocean if he was standing at the end of the pier.

ON THE TRADE MARKET

James Ham and Sean Cunningham on the Kings Beat Podcast (approximately 20 minutes in) say Hield and Marvin Bagley III both asked to be traded during the offseason.  Hield and Bagley, along with Harrison Barnes and Richaun Holmes, have all been rumored as being available at the trade deadline.

After months of speculation that the Kings were trying to make a deal for Ben Simmons, they are are no longer pursuing the talented all-star who has yet to play this year.

Even though Sacramento has given up on getting Simmons, the Kings still have been rumored as having interest in almost every other big-name player that could be on the market (Domantas Sabonis, Myles Turner, Julius Randle, John Collins, Christian Wood, etc.).

HOW WILL THE (KINGS) WORLD TURN?

Even though Sacramento is technically still in the running for the play-in tournament, it is simply fools gold– they are actually closer to last place.  The Kings are only 3.5 games out of the 10th and final play-in spot, but they are only three games from the bottom of the Western Conference.

McNair needs to make moves to make the Kings better next year, and the year after, and the year after.  Even if Sacramento were to somehow stumble into the play-in tournament this season as the 10th team, the Kings only have two chances of making the actual playoffs– slim and none.

It’s tempting to go for a quick fix.  Sacramento has tried that for years now.  It has not worked.  The Kings need a solid foundation that they can build on, not just to become a playoff team, but to become a team good enough to compete for championships year in and year out.

That’s Monte McNair’s challenge.

About Dave Andrade

Sports Director, KRCR-TV Redding 1968-81; Shasta College football & basketball play-by-play; marketing rep; retired, but still doing a daily sports report & commentary for KKXS 96.1 FM, Redding; contributor at Kings Lead

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