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Rumor: Kings open to De’Aaron Fox trade

Kings guard De'Aaron Fox

TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 13: De"u2019Aaron Fox #5 of the Sacramento Kings dribbles against the Toronto Raptors during the first half of their basketball game at the Scotiabank Arena on December 13, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)

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The Kings, as of last summer, were reportedly highly unlikely to trade De’Aaron Fox. Not even for proven All-Star Ben Simmons.

But now…

Tim MacMahon of ESPN:

It was widely reported going into the season: De’Aaron Fox is off the table. Sir, I’ve heard a lot of smoke that that might not be the case at this point.

Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

De’Aaron Fox came to camp about 15 pounds heavier than he left.

It wouldn’t be totally shocking if the Kings trade Fox. The general manager who drafted and hyped Fox, Vlade Divac, is gone. Current Sacramento general manager Monte McNair drafted other guards, Tyrese Haliburton and Davion Mitchell, in the last two lotteries. Fox had a terrible start to the season.

But trading Fox now would be selling low.

The 24-year-old has already bordered stardom and has the tools to break through. Fox has gradually regained his form, perhaps as he plays his way into shape.

Yet, if Fox continues to play better, the Kings will probably be more reluctant to part with him. Fox and Haliburton can play well together, and Mitchell hasn’t proven to be a worthy long-term building block. There shouldn’t be urgency to move Fox, a talented young player who’s the first season of a five-year max contract extension and seemed to want to be in Sacramento.

A Fox trade would require another team valuing him more highly than the Kings do and having the right pieces to send back. Possible, but not likely.

Still, Sacramento even being open to trading Fox is an interesting development.