We told you that Kings general manager Monte McNair would be bold. We told you he'd swing for the fences if a star came up on the trade block. You were warned.
The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor reported that the chase for six-time All-Star Damian Lillard is heating up, and hidden amongst the list of teams in the hunt are the Kings.
“Few team executives expect a Dame deal to happen this offseason,” O’Connor writes. “But multiple front-office sources say the Heat, Kings, Knicks, Rockets, and Sixers have recently been the most aggressive suitors.”
The Heat, Sixers and Knicks make sense in some way or another. Even the Rockets built their eight-year playoff run on a move somewhat like this when they acquired a much younger James Harden in the summer of 2012.
But the Kings?
Lillard just turned 31 years old and has plenty of basketball left in the tank. The cost of acquiring a player like this is unknown at this time, but this is the type of Earth-shattering, franchise-altering trade that McNair has been seeking.
Lillard has four years and another $196 million remaining on his contract. He’s set to make $43.75 million this season, and his contract escalates from there.
After missing the playoffs for 15 consecutive seasons, McNair should take a stab at acquiring a star like Lillard. But at what cost, and can the Kings field a competitive team around Lillard to make him comfortable with the trade?
Are the Kings willing to part with De’Aaron Fox or Tyrese Haliburton? Would it cost both?
Or could a secondary package that included salary-matching players and a boatload of first-round picks do the job?
Clearly we're early in this process, but with the 2021 NBA Draft just nine days away, this noise only will grow louder.
At a minimum, it sounds like McNair is fulfilling his promise to be aggressive. Whether or not that equates to a franchise-altering trade has yet to be seen. So, buckle up: It could be an interesting couple of days in Sacramento.