In a season where we’ve seen an increasingly crowded field for the Western Conference’s eighth-seed, the Sacramento Kings remain on the outside looking in. Through 41 games only the injury-plagued Golden State Warriors have a worse record among all West teams, which makes a whole lot of sense considering the Kings have dropped 12 of their past 15 contests. To make matters even worse, as per usual, Sacramento wasn’t exactly cunning with how it spent money this off-season. Really, they had a spending spree. Trevor Ariza was signed to a two-year deal for $25 million, Cory Joseph was signed to a three-year deal for $37 million, Dewayne Dedmon was signed to a three-year deal for $40 million, Harrison Barnes was signed to a four-year deal for $85 million; while Buddy Hield agreed to a four-year, $106 million extension that kicks in next season.
It’s good to know some things never change.
Latest news, updates, trade rumors for Sacramento Kings
Update, Jan. 20: So the Kings struck a deal over the weekend, taking on Kent Bazemore’s $19.3 million salary from the Trail Blazers. Sacramento shipped out Trevor Ariza, Caleb Swanigan and Wenyen Gabriel in the deal and received Anthony Tollier and two second-round picks. The Blazers get some salary relief to potentially make another move and for luxury tax relief. The Kings pick up a few picks and take on an expiring contract for more cap in the offseason.
Ariza is an interesting add for the Blazers, who are trying to get into playoff position in the West. CJ McCollum just hurt his ankle, so Ariza can pick up some minutes at SG as well. He’s a veteran with plenty of experience and is only making $12.2 million and has an option for next season (basically an expiring).
The Kings next move should be moving out Dewayne Dedmon before the deadline.
— Ben Zweiman
Bogdan on the Block?
In a sneaky sort of way, Bogdan Bogdanovic might be the most attractive piece currently available at the deadline. The 27-year-old is in the midst of a very nice season with the Kings, averaging 14.5 points and 3.6 assists per game with a more than respectable 38.3% shooting rate from beyond the arc. Still, Bogdanovic doesn’t feel like he’s quite reached his potential as of yet. The Serbian has shown the ability to play efficiently with a heavy workload, as he’s carried at 26.6% usage rate when De’Aaron Fox has been off the court in 2019-20 - a span where he’s also managed a 24.3% assist rate. Though I doubt he’ll ever be the first or second scoring option on a Championship-level roster, Bogdanovic is a useful depth asset with the ability to score in bunches and create for teammates. Basically, there’s a reason that the Lakers had interest in acquiring him and there’s a reason so many laughed at the idea that Kyle Kuzma would be nearly enough in return. The only justification that Sacramento has in trading him is that he’s a pending RFA. It really seems like he’s just waiting to be stolen by a savvy GM.
The Dedmon Dilemma
While so much of the next few weeks will be spent reading the tea leaves about which players will be traded from their current teams, Dewayne Dedmon has at least made it known that he wants out of the Kings. Despite signing that aforementioned contract less than seven months ago, the veteran was quoted in the Sacramento Bee saying, “I haven’t been playing, so I would like to go somewhere where my talents are appreciated.” That comes across as pretty definitive. Still, I’m not quite sure who would be willing to take on Dedmon’s contract considering he’s had such a difficult time finding minutes on a 15-win squad. Yes, Dedmon has added a decent 3-point shot to his skill-set in recent years, but the Kings would almost certainly have to attach a pick to entice any prospective buyers into taking the 30-year-old off their hands.