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.
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.
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.