Back today with a Kings-centric trade to strengthen their playoff push. In the last 10 days they’ve gone 4-6 and while they’re 7th in offensive rating in that time they’re 29th in defensive rating. So to rebalance the roster I’ve got them trading a future 1st, Harrison Barnes and Terrence Davis to bring in a Jazz triumvirate that fixed a few problems currently plaguing Sactown. Here’s how the trade breaks down:
Kings: The Kings have 5 talented guards on the roster but lack depth in the Wing and Center position. So they acquire a new starting 4 in Jarred Vanderbilt. As I’ve written about a few times now Vando is a super versatile forward equally strong at guarding perimeter players and providing rim protection. He’s a brilliant rebounder, something the Kings lack aside from Sabonis, and he’s highly destructive, putting up high per 36 stock numbers. He’s got potential to become an all defence forward. On top of that offensively he’s a smart cutter and his finishing round the basket has improved year on year during his time in the league. He’s essentially coming in as the Aaron Gordon style 4 to play next to Sabonis who operates similarly as an offensive hub to Jokic. There might be short term concerns about his spacing, he’s not the shooter Harrison Barnes is but again, shooting has improved this year, he’s 34% on low volume from 3 this year and his FT% has cracked 70% for the first time in his career. All in all he’s a brilliant complimentary piece to add to a talented young roster. On top of Vanderbilt the Kings bring in Kelly Olynyk. Kelly comes in as a savvy vet who can play back up 5 while Sabonis sits, spacing the floor from deep opening up driving lanes for the likes of Fox, Monk and Huerter and allowing space for Vanderbilt and Murray to cut. If the Kings aren’t facing elite wing talent they can always play Kelly at the 4, again providing some addition rebounding to that Kings front court. Lastly they bring in Rudy Gay, he’s playing end of rotation minutes in this scenario but can be relied upon to provide some leadership in the dressing room and space the floor if called upon.
Lakers: The Lakers pull off a separate Wizards trade in this scenario bringing in Kyle Kuzma and Delon Wright while moving Nunn, Beverley and their 27 1st. This trade makes sense for the Lakers, it can be pulled off immediately, and addresses a number of needs LA has to fix to make the playoffs.
Kuzma is the 3rd creator on the roster coming in, he’s developed as a player since leaving the Lakers having become a more reliable shooter and more confident in his game since he’s had the reps. In I deal scenario’s where everyone’s healthy Kuz is no longer asked to play the 3 next to Davis and Dwight, forced to chase around some of the tougher defensive assignments in the league, he’ll be playing the 4 next to Davis, crashing the boards, grabbing and going, pushing the pace in transition while guarding up instead of down, leveraging his mobility on both ends of the floor. I think the Lakers sign Kuzma to a long term extension in the off-season and while it’s embarrassing to sacrifice another 1st to bring back a player they sent out in the Russ trade they’d be all the better for it. Delon Wright also dons the Purple and Gold in this scenario. He’s a defence 1st guard who I think could start at the point for the Lakers, guarding stars on the perimeter while seeding the ball to the likes of Bron, Davis, Kuzma and Lonnie Walker on the offensive end. This is essentially a do-over at the Pat Bev trade, trying to fill the same archetype with a younger, cheaper, less annoying PG.
Wizards: Tough for the Wizards at this stage, this move gets them a 1st but allows them to stay competitive if they wish to do so despite losing their starting PF. Barnes and Beverley are two vets who can come in and play straight away. Perhaps Beverley could galvanise the roster with his dogged mentality and Barnes is more suited to a traditional 3/4 role than what he’s being asked to do in Sacramento. If Kuzma hadn’t indicated that he’d be moving on in FA during the season I’d attempt to resign him but they can’t afford to lose their 3rd best player for nothing.
Jazz: I think the bubble may have burst for the Jazz, they’ve gone 5-10 in their last 15 games and over that period have a -1.8 net rating. I think Hardy can be proud of what the group has achieved thus far this season and for Danny Ainge a number of players have put themselves in the shop window and are more attractive trade assets now than they were at the start of the season. Perhaps the Jazz would insist on keeping Vando but they get a good return for moving just him and Kelly. A lightly protected 1st from a traditionally unsuccessful franchise. 2nd’s in this year’s draft, Terrence Davis who I think would thrive with a bigger role and expiring salary. This sets them up to push for a top 4 draft pick this year and further bolsters their asset pool for the future.
Let me know what you think of this trade! Like and flame if you enjoyed the read.