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NBA trade machine: Will Kings part with star De’Aaron Fox?

We use the NBA trade machine to generate some hypothetical trades for the Kings guard.

Sacramento Kings v Portland Trail Blazers
De’Aaron Fox of the Sacramento Kings looks on during the game against the Portland Trail Blazers on January 9, 2022 at the Moda Center Arena in Portland, Oregon.
Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images

The Sacramento Kings are stuck in misery and will probably extend their 15-season playoff drought to a 16th year. Sacramento already fired head coach Luke Walton earlier this season but this roster continues to be an amalgamation of players who can’t quite seem to fit together. The Kings already appear to have future plans with Davion Mitchell and Tyrese Haliburton, which makes starter De’Aaron Fox a prime trade candidate.

It’s hard to see which teams in the league have a clear need a point guard and even harder to then identify which assets they can part with. There will be a market for Fox, as he’s averaging 20.7 points, 5.1 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game.

Trade 1: Kings-Raptors

Raptors get: De’Aaron Fox
Kings get: Goran Dragic, Scottie Barnes, 2023 protected first-round pick, 2024 first-round swap

The Raptors shouldn’t do this to Dragic, who has stated he wants to play for a contender. However, his contract is the best way for this to work. Barnes is a natural fit for the team loaded with backcourt players, and the draft compensation is fair. Fox would allow Fred VanVleet to slide into a more natural scoring role. He’d elevate the Raptors to contenders in the East.

Trade 2: Kings-Clippers

Clippers get: De’Aaron Fox
Kings get: Luke Kennard, Ivica Zubac, Keon Johnson, 2027 first-round swap, 2028 first-round pick

Johnson represents a high-upside player, while Kennard and Zubac are solid rotation pieces for the Kings. Sacramento could also ask for Reggie Jackson or Eric Bledsoe, which would require some adjustments. The draft compensation is far out, so the Clippers won’t care about that. Fox, Paul George and Kawhi Leonard form one of the better trios in the league when healthy.

Trade 3: Kings-Celtics

Celtics get: De’Aaron Fox
Kings get: Josh Richardson, Dennis Schroder, Grant Williams, Romeo Langford, 2022 first-round pick, 2025 first-round swap

The Celtics probably wouldn’t put Marcus Smart in this trade but a core of Fox, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown would be great for Boston. Those three are all around the same age and have already shown they can be stars on any given night. The Kings don’t get a great return with rotation players and draft picks, but Williams and Langford aren’t developing in Boston off the bench. Maybe they’ll reach their potential in Sacramento.