The Kings currently have the ninth overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, but the team is being "extremely aggressive" in trade talks leading up to Thursday's event, ESPN's Jonathan Givony reported Sunday.
"The Kings are being extremely aggressive in trade talks and there is a good chance they won't be making this pick, as well as their second-round pick at No. 39," Givony wrote in his 2021 NBA Mock Draft writeup.
At No. 9, the Kings will have missed out on what is presumed by many experts to be a talent-heavy top five, followed by a number of prospects with question marks. In 2020, Sacramento hit a home run at No. 12 with the selection of Tyrese Haliburton, who many believed was worthy of a top-five pick.
General manager Monte McNair could be looking to package the ninth pick and a future selection in order to move up into that top five, or try to engineer a trade for one of the stars rumored to be available across the league.
The Los Angeles Lakers and Kings have discussed a trade for shooting guard Buddy Hield, The Athletic's Shams Charania reported Sunday. A trade involving Hield likely wouldn't include the No. 9 pick unless the Kings were getting a pretty good piece back.
The Damian Lillard sweepstakes also reportedly have included the Kings, although the Oakland native likely will be traded to a destination he desires, if he indeed ends up being moved by the Portland Trail Blazers.
There have been reports about teams in the top five looking to trade down, but it isn't clear what it would cost a team like the Kings to jump four or more spots into that coveted top five.
There also could be a trade back in the works where the Kings pick up a future first-rounder or some other asset, as it never hurts to add additional draft picks.
McNair knows the Kings are far from being able to compete with the best teams in the Western Conference, and also knows how important getting a quality player from this draft class is for the team going forward.
Don't be surprised if the Kings find a way to make some kind of move before that ninth pick goes on the clock Thursday night.