NBA Trade Deadline

Kings swing for fences at NBA trade deadline, add depth to rotation


Kings swing for fences at NBA trade deadline, add depth to rotation

SACRAMENTO -- No fear.

Kings general manager Vlade Divac and his front office walked into the 2019 NBA trade season armed with plenty of cash and an abundance of expiring contracts. On the eve of the deadline, they swung for the fences and didn’t stop there.

It was a whirlwind of action that transformed one-third of the Kings' roster without doing major damage to the team’s rotation. Here is a look at the series of deals and how they impact Sacramento’s chances moving forward.

In: Alec Burks (from Cavs), 2020 second-round pick (from Rockets)
Out: Iman Shumpert (to Rockets)

Shumpert started 40 games for the Kings this season at the small forward position, and he was a positive influence in the locker room. After a strong start to the season, Shumpert had slumped offensively since the start of the new calendar year.

After spending the first seven seasons of his career with the Utah Jazz, Burks joined the Cavs earlier this season in a swap for Kyle Korver. He averaged 11.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 28.8 minutes per game for the Cleveland, while shooting 37.8 percent from behind the arc.

At 6-foot-6, 215 pounds, Burks is a big, versatile combo guard that can act as a second playmaker on the court. He gives the Kings depth at multiple positions, although he’s struggled to stay healthy throughout his eight years in the league. He isn't the defender that Shumpert is, but he is a solid locker room player that is playing extremely well.

He’s in the final year of his contract that pays him $11.5 million this season.

In: Harrison Barnes (from Mavericks)
Out: Justin Jackson, Zach Randolph (to Mavericks)

Before the season began, Randolph was politely told that he was not going to play this season for Sacramento. He is likely to be bought out by the Mavs, which might open the door for him to join a contender or return to Memphis to finish out his career.

Jackson started 41 games last season as a rookie, but only three times this year for Sacramento. Taken with the 15th overall selection in the 2017 NBA Draft, the 23-year-old wing averaged 6.7 points and 2.8 rebounds in 20.8 minutes per game this season for Sacramento.

Barnes is already in Sacramento and should be ready to play on Friday evening. The 26-year-old forward can play either the small forward or stretch four positions. Once acclimated to the system, there’s a very good chance Barnes moves into the starting small forward spot for the Kings.

[RELATED: Kings acquire ex-Warrior Barnes from Mavs for Jackson, Z-Bo]

At 6-foot-8, 225 pounds, Barnes has the size and strength to match up against the bigger wings in the league. He’s averaging 17.7 points and 4.2 rebounds in 32.3 minutes per game this season while shooting 39 percent from behind the arc.

Barnes has a player option for $25.1 million next season. According to Divac, the Kings hope to retain the seven-year veteran long term, but will wait until the offseason to discuss a potential extension.

In: Caleb Swanigan (from Trail Blazers)
Out: Skal Labissiere (to Trail Blazers)

Labissiere showed tons of potential in his first two seasons with the Kings, but with the additions of rookies Marvin Bagley and Harry Giles, as well as veteran Nemanja Bjelica, the Haitian-born big got lost in the numbers game.

He’s an incredibly hard worker and has a smooth stroke from the perimeter, but he needs time on the court to develop. Maybe a fresh start in Portland is what he needs to reset his career.

Like Labissiere, Swanigan has struggled to find minutes with the Blazers. The 6-foot-9, 250 pound big impressed in his pre-draft visit to Sacramento before the 2017 NBA Draft, but he’s played a total of 334 minutes in his two seasons in the league.

Sacramento has done a nice job of developing young players and they view Swanigan as a project big with tremendous size. He’s on a budget rookie scale deal and under team control for the next few seasons. As of now, he is organizational depth and may even see time in Stockton with the Kings’ G League affiliate.

Out: Ben McLemore

Following the deadline, the Kings pulled the plug on Ben McLemore’s second tour of duty in Sacramento, waiving the 25-year-old guard and eating the remainder of his $5.5 million contract.

McLemore joined the Kings as part of the Garrett Temple deal over the summer, but played in just 19 games this season. Once he clears waivers, he becomes an unrestricted free agent and can sign with another NBA team.

In: Corey Brewer (free agent)

Following the series of moves, Sacramento added veteran Corey Brewer to a 10-day contract to fill one of their open roster spots. The 32-year-old wing is fresh off a pair of 10-day contracts with the Philadelphia 76ers.

In his 12th NBA season, Brewer is averaging 7.6 points and 2.4 rebounds in seven games this season. He’ll get a short-term audition with the club to see if he is a fit with the new-look rotation.

The Rotation Moving Forward

Divac and his staff attacked two of the team’s biggest weaknesses at the deadline. They added size on the wing and versatility in the backcourt. More importantly, they did so without damaging the team’s long term cap flexibility or dipping into the young core.

[RELATED: Barnes, Shumpert react to Kings' trades before deadline]

Barnes is viewed as a long term starter. Burks gives the team another option in the backcourt. Brewer and Swanigan provide depth for coach Dave Joerger.

If Barnes sticks around, Sacramento has roughly $38 million to make offseason additions. If he opts out, the Kings walk into the summer with nearly $63 million in cap space and a clear idea of their positions of need.

Eastern powers go all in at NBA trade deadline in pursuit of Warriors


Eastern powers go all in at NBA trade deadline in pursuit of Warriors

OAKLAND -- While much of the league spent the past few days trying to upgrade now or later, the Warriors sat tight at the trade deadline, as they’d indicated. Why make another deal after the steal of three weeks earlier?

They got their man in DeMarcus Cousins, acquired Jan. 18. It’s not possible for an NBA team to do better, or as well, without sending back present or future assets.

So the movement was left to their pursuers. Those in the Western Conference, perhaps capitulating to the widely perceived inevitable, didn’t do much. The only legitimate threat to the Warriors the last two postseasons were the Rockets last year, and they haven’t even approached that level this season,

Most of the contenders in the Eastern Conference, however, were hustling up a sweat to get at each other and, eventually, the Warriors. No fewer than four teams seem to consider the defection of LeBron James to the West as an invitation to the vacated seat atop the conference.

Have any of them improved their chances of taking the East and perhaps toppling the defending champs? Yes. Here is a look at the top four teams in the East, their recent moves and, in order, the probability percentages of becoming the next NBA champion, should the Warriors be the opponent in The Finals:


Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Boston, with good reason, was the least active of these teams, trading only guard Jabari Bird, who had not played a minute this season, to the Hawks for a second-round pick.

The Celtics are 14-4 in 2019 and currently in a third-place tie with Indiana, have won 10 of their last 11, with the only loss coming to the Warriors. Boston has beaten the Raptors and the Thunder in that stretch. The offense that struggled early has been the sixth-best in the league since Jan 1. The defense, always there, is No. 2 in the league since then. They are coming together.

More to the point, the Celtics are playoff tested. That matters. Kyrie Irving is a postseason animal and the youngsters learned so much last season.

Chance of winning it all: 35 percent.


The Raptors, currently in second place, shuffled hard. They acquired Marc Gasol from Memphis, and were lukewarm on the move. While still very skilled, Gasol no longer is a top-5 center. He came at great cost: Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright and C.J. Miles. That’s 2.5 rotation players gone. They also rid themselves of benchwarmers Greg Monroe and Malachi Richardson for future second-round picks. OK. They shopped Kyle Lowry but he remains.

The Raptors were lightning out of the gate, champions of November, going to 20-4 on Dec. 1. Since then, they are 19-12. The offense that was so terrific for two months has since fallen behind those of the Celtics, Bucks, and 76ers. The defense had slipped just a bit.

These are the reasons Raptors GM Masai Ujiri felt the need for a significant deal. Will they work? We will see. They’re still a deep squad.

Chance of winning it all: 25 percent.


They added George Hill last month, sending away John Henson and Matthew Dellavedova. This week they made a couple moves that essentially amount to dealing Thon Maker for Nikola Mirotic.

That’s a lot of action for a team that has MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo, the best record in the league -- and has won 18 of its last 21 games. Mirotic will hurt their defense, but is an elite 3-point shooter and will help on that end.

Milwaukee may well post the best record in the conference, maybe the league. That’s nice to have, but the core of this team has never advanced beyond the first round of the playoffs. The water gets deep. Experience matters.

Chance of winning it all: 20 percent.


They’ve been very busy. After dealing for Tobias Harris, Mike Scott, and Boban Marjanovic on Wednesday, they added wings Jonathon Simmons and James Ennis on Thursday. They gave up two shooters (Landry Shamet, Mike Muscala), a solid defender in Wilson Chandler and the mega-mystery that is Markelle Fultz.

Harris is having a fine season and gives Philadelphia a new look. He’s much more of an offensive threat than Chandler, but also more of a defensive liability.

The 76ers have the most explosive starting five in the conference, five players capable of putting up 25 on any given night. But the chemistry is fragile and the defense has been a problem Harris won’t solve.

Chance of winning it all: 20 percent.

After a suspense-free first round of the playoffs, the next two rounds could be as good as any in the history of the NBA.

[RELATED: NBA championship odds shift after trade deadline concludes]

So credit Boston for holding tight while the other three franchises -- that have spent the past 18 years, or longer, watching The Finals -- were crossing their fingers and navigating the mad maze of phone calls, roster manipulations, salary-cap machinations, future draft picks and hypotheticals, all with the clock ticking.

As for the Warriors, there was no need to join the parade when they’re leading it.

Post-NBA trade deadline odds: Lakers' chances drop without Anthony Davis


Post-NBA trade deadline odds: Lakers' chances drop without Anthony Davis

The NBA trade deadline is over.

The Kings made some moves in hopes of bolstering the roster, the Warriors haven't done anything crazy ... yet, and the Los Angeles Lakers will not be the new home of Anthony Davis

And since The Brow will not be sporting a Lakers uniform any time soon, the odds the team will win the NBA title changed quite drastically:

That's a lot of pressure to put on one guy, but goes to show just how valuable AD is. 

Still, it appears the Warriors are still the favorites to win it all -- which is great news. The Kings have about the same odds as the Orlando Magic and the Dallas Mavericks, but they do have better chances than the Memphis Grizzlies, who just traded franchise star Marc Gasol

So that's ... something. Even after making those few moves. One of which had the Kings acquiring Harrison Barnes

[RELATED: Kings trade Skal to Blazers for Caleb Swanigan]

And as far as the Cavs, Knicks, Bulls, and the Suns are concerned. Well: Not Applicable.