Caleb Swanigan

What Kent Bazemore, Anthony Tolliver trade means for Sacramento Kings

What Kent Bazemore, Anthony Tolliver trade means for Sacramento Kings

The Kings swung a deal with the Portland Trail Blazers Saturday afternoon, sending Trevor Ariza, Caleb Swanigan and Wenyen Gabriel to the Pacific Northwest in exchange for Kent Bazemore, Anthony Toliver and a pair of second-round draft picks.

It’s an interesting deal that requires an advanced degree in capology to truly understand. Here are the nuts and bolts and why the deal made sense from the perspective of each team:

Why did the Kings make the trade?

At 15-26, not a lot has gone well for Sacramento this season. The team needs something to shake things up and change the composition of the roster. The Kings know Tolliver well from his time in Sacramento during the 2016-17 season. They also know he is unlikely to see time on the court with bigs like Marvin Bagley and Nemanja Bjelica playing minutes at the four.

In taking on Bazemore, the Kings add a younger player than Ariza who brings energy on both ends of the court. Bazemore is in the final year of a massive four-year, $70 million deal he signed in 2016. He’ll be motivated to play well in hopes of landing another contract next season. With Bogdan Bogdanovic returning Saturday night, minutes at the two and the three will be slim, but as a change of pace, Bazemore might be a nice veteran addition for the second half of the season.

The real value the Kings received in this deal is the pair of second-round picks. Sacramento has been hoarding seconds for the last few seasons and it wasn’t a surprise to see more added on the back end. The team now has four second-rounders next season and another three in 2021. The Kings have their own picks in 2022, 2023, 2024 and 2025 and now they have Portland’s picks in 2024 and 2025 as well. That makes 13 second-rounders over a span of six seasons.

They’ll need to be creative in moving these assets around, but second-round selections have value, especially if and when the NBA changes its age requirement back to 18. That move is expected by the 2022 NBA Draft, which will expand the draft pool and potentially increase the value of second-rounders.

In the grand scheme of everything, the Kings lost a young prospect in Gabriel, but they gained future assets and opened up a roster spot.

[RELATED: Fox's development is silver lining in tough Kings' season]

Why did the Blazers make the trade?

This one is easy. Bazemore and Tolliver were owed a combined $21.9 million. Ariza, Swanigan and Gabriel make a combined $15.6 million. Portland saves a prorated amount of that salary exchange, but the real value for the Blazers is it drops their luxury tax bill from an estimated $19.2 million to just $7 million. Between salary and the luxury tax, the Blazers will clear more than $18 million in savings during a season that is quickly spinning out of control.

The future value of two second picks is worth it for Portland when you consider the upfront savings. The Blazers could even stretch Swanigan’s salary over three years and save more upfront cash in salary and luxury tax owed. They’re on the hook for Ariza's $1.8 million buyout for next season, but that’s a small price to pay.

Overall analysis

It’s a good deal for both the Kings and the Blazers, which is rare. In reality, both teams gave up fringe player assets. Sacramento added more bullets for the future, while Portland feels immediate financial relief.

The Kings are actively shopping center Dewayne Dedmon and the extra roster spot could come in handy in that endeavor. Roster spots can also have value in larger deals, which the Kings will explore as they have in past seasons.

This trade cannot be officially completed until Jan. 21 due to contractual issues for Gabriel, but according to league sources, it is a done deal.

Source: Kings land Kent Bazemore, Anthony Tolliver in trade with Trail Blazers


Source: Kings land Kent Bazemore, Anthony Tolliver in trade with Trail Blazers

Two Western Conference teams in desperate need of a shakeup got together for a five-player trade Saturday afternoon.

NBC Sports California confirmed through a league source that the Kings acquired Kent Bazemore, Anthony Tolliver and two second-round draft picks from the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Trevor Ariza, Caleb Swanigan and Wenyen Gabriel.

Ariza signed a two-year, $25 million contract with the Kings during the summer, but just $1.8 million of his $12.8 million salary is guaranteed for next season. 

Swanigan is going back to the team that drafted him. Sacramento acquired the big man last season in exchange for Skal Labissiere. The 22-year-old out of Purdue played a total of 56 minutes over 10 games between the last two seasons with the Kings.

After signing as a two-way player with the Kings last season, Gabriel earned a roster spot in training camp with his work ethic and strong play. He appeared in 11 games this season with the Kings, averaging 1.7 points and 0.9 rebounds in 5.5 minutes.

Bazemore struggled with his shot in Portland, but he’s averaging 7.9 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 25.8 minutes per game. The 30-year-old veteran can play the two and the three, and likely will step into Ariza’s spot in the rotation. 

This is Tolliver's second tour of duty in Sacramento. Known as a solid locker-room presence, the veteran stretch four is averaging just 3.9 points and 3.3 rebounds in 16.8 minutes per game this season.

According to a source, the Kings also acquired the Blazers' 2024 and 2025 second-round draft picks in the deal. The Kings now have a combined 12 second-round picks from now until 2025.

Portland saved a huge amount of money in the transaction. Bazemore is owed $19.3 million this season and Tolliver is due $2.6 million. Both players have expiring contracts at the end of the season.

Sacramento is sending out Ariza’s $12.2 million, $2 million for Swanigan and another $1.4 million owed Gabriel. 

The Blazers will save roughly $6.3 million in salary and an estimated $12.6 million in luxury tax, which is why they gave up the two second-round picks in the trade.

[RELATED: Fox's development is silver lining in tough Kings season]

The trade can't be consummated until Tuesday because of Gabriel’s signing restriction, according to ESPN's Bobby Marks.

This is the first of what could be multiple moves for the Kings. They have until the Feb. 6 trade deadline to find center Dewayne Dedmon a new home. Dedmon publicly demanded a trade late last month.

Kings exercise options on Marvin Bagley, De'Aaron Fox, pass on Harry Giles


Kings exercise options on Marvin Bagley, De'Aaron Fox, pass on Harry Giles

SACRAMENTO -- October 31 is the deadline for teams to make difficult decisions on team options for rookie-scale contracts. Most options are a mere formality, others require plenty of conversation.

The Sacramento Kings announced that the team has exercised fourth-year contract options on De’Aaron Fox and the third-year option on Marvin Bagley, as expected. The Kings passed on Caleb Swanigan’s fourth-year option and in a surprise move, they also declined to pick up Harry Giles’ fourth season.

According to an NBA source, the Kings love Giles and will continue to support his development. This decision also doesn’t preclude Giles from being an important part of their future.

Giles has missed the first five games of the 2019-20 season due to a sore left knee. The 21-year-old big man has undergone three surgeries on his knees, including ACL tears in both knees as a prep athlete.

After redshirting his rookie season, Giles averaged 7.0 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists over 58 games last season. His year ended with a quad contusion and he missed both summer league and all of training camp due to a sore knee.

[RELATED: Kings understand why they're being booed by home fans]

With the Kings passing on Giles’ $4 million option, he becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer and has the ability to sign with any team in the NBA. Swanigan, who has played sparingly since coming over in a deadline deal with the Portland Trail Blazers, also fall under the same set of circumstances.