Trevor Ariza

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.

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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

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AP

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.

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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.

How disgruntled Dewayne Dedmon earned another shot in Kings' rotation

How disgruntled Dewayne Dedmon earned another shot in Kings' rotation

SACRAMENTO -- Dewayne Dedmon signed a three-year, $40 million contract with the Sacramento Kings with the hopes that he had found a home in the league after bouncing around during his first six seasons in the league.

The 30-year-old 7-footer didn’t expect to lose his starting job after four games. He also didn’t expect to be out of the rotation or chatting with media members about his wishes to leave the Kings before the midway point of the season.

Coming into Tuesday’s matchup with the Phoenix Suns, Dedmon had played a total of 6 minutes and 58 seconds over the Kings’ previous 16 games. In 14 of those games he didn’t see a second of action and in the three games leading up to Tuesday, he had been inactive in favor of Caleb Swanigan.

“It’s tough, but at the end of the day, you’re a professional athlete, so just like anybody else that’s a professional at their job, you have to show up to work every day, make sure your body is tone, you’ve got to make sure you’re mentally ready to do whatever is asked of you when it’s asked of you,” Dedmon said Thursday after practice.

With Richaun Holmes nursing a shoulder strain and Marvin Bagley still out of action with a left foot sprain, coach Luke Walton started Harry Giles at the center position, but he turned to Dedmon in the first quarter to help out.

In the third quarter, the Kings were being run off the court and Walton turned back to Dedmon, along with Cory Joseph and Trevor Ariza, in an attempt to stabilize the game. It worked and Walton rewarded the group by sticking with them the remainder of the game.

“That’s why I tell guys, ‘whether you’re in or out, you’re opportunity will come again’ and he was out of the rotation and he got his chance, he stayed ready and he played great,” Walton said of Dedmon.

In total, Dedmon played a total of 32 minutes, finishing with 12 points and 10 rebounds in the Kings' 114-103 come-from-behind victory. He played solid defense and was vocal on both ends of the court. After weeks of inactivity, the veteran center was a little beat up, but happy about getting another shot to play.

“It’s pretty sore, I came in a day early and got some treatment done on it, got a little stretch right now,” Dedmon said. “Just getting a little body work, I’ll be alright.”

Dedmon said that during the game, Nemanja Bjelica came up to him and told him to stay engaged and keep playing. The encouragement from his teammate meant a lot after a tough stretch of inactivity.

“It’s just basketball at the end of the day,” Dedmon said. “You show up to a team and whatever the coaching staff decides to do or whatever is working for the team - that’s what’s best for the team. I’m just trying to be ready, no matter what may come my way.”

After a two-day break in the schedule, the Kings face the team with the best record in the NBA when the Milwaukee Bucks roll through Sacramento on Friday evening. Walton’s squad will likely be short-handed again and Dedmon proved he is ready if his team needs him to step in a play major minutes.

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“Going into tomorrow, I have him penciled in to be playing again,” Walton said. “He earned that with his play last game and we’ll take it from there.”
 
A little over a week ago Dedmon demanded a trade and received a $50,000 fine from the league for doing so. He may still get moved between now and the Feb. 7 NBA trade deadline, but there is still time for reconciliation and redemption for the veteran big. Tuesday’s showing against the Suns was a good place to start.