Kings linked to Pacers, 76ers trade talk; no shot at Sabonis

Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers (25) dunks at the Indiana Pacers Domantas Sabonis (11) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, May 11, 2021, in Indianapolis.  (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers (25) dunks at the Indiana Pacers Domantas Sabonis (11) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, May 11, 2021, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)


The winds of change are blowing through the streets of Sacramento, but for this moment the scene remains the same with less than a month before the NBA trade deadline.

The story so far in Sacramento and throughout the league is what hasn’t happened. Ben Simmons’ encounter in Philadelphia has caused a stalemate around the league, but the business is heating up as the trade deadline approaches.

The Kings have been linked with Simmons’ talks with the Philadelphia 76ers for several months. Now they are being linked with the Indiana Pacers, who are said to provide entertainment for Domantas Sabonis, Myles Turner and Caris LeVert.

A league source told The Sacramento Bee that the Kings are not thought to be players in discussions with Sabonis, but a recent report indicated they have shown an interest in Turner. The Kings are said to be drawing a lot of interest in De’Aaron Fox, but the organization has indicated a desire to continue building around Fox’s backyard and Tyrese Haliburton.

Kings general manager Monty McNair discussed his approach to Deadline Trade Friday at “The Carmichael Dave Show with Jason Ross” on Sports 1140 KHTK, the team’s main radio station. Despite his record 17-27, McNair confirmed that the Kings are still looking for a path to the playoffs after 15 straight seasons of loss, saying he wants to strengthen the roster rather than tear it down.

“The playoffs remain the goal,” McNair said. “We don’t want to take a long way back to the playoffs, but we do want to build a consistent winner here. I also think we’re not going to make a headstrong move to try to do everything in a one-year shot, so we’re continuing to find that balance, but I don’t think at all that it’s It’s possible to do kind of a big step back and take the long road to rebuilding. I don’t think that’s what we need.”

Bleacher Report’s Jake Fisher reported Thursday that the Dallas Mavericks, Minnesota Timberwolves, New York Knicks, Charlotte Hornets, Portland Trail Blazers and Kings have expressed interest in Turner, a 25-year-old center in the third of four years, with $70 million. bypass. Fisher wrote that Turner appears to be the “most likely Indiana player to be traded before the deadline,” noting that Indiana’s asking price for the league’s best blocker includes multiple first-round picks.

The price of Sabonis – the two-time 25-year-old All-Star in the second year of a four-year, $74.9 million deal – appears to be much higher. A source told The Bee that the Pacers want an all-star caliber player in return, and they’ve received offers that go that far. Fox has All-Star potential, but he has yet to achieve that status despite averaging 25.2 points and 7.2 assists last season.

Kings weren’t prepared to entertain the idea of ​​trading Fox or Haliburton last summer, but the situation in Sacramento has changed as pressures within the organization continue to build. The organization still sees Fox and Haliburton as key players, but Athletic’s Sam Amick recently reported that McNair has the green light to do whatever is necessary to improve the roster.

The Kings prefer to make a meaningful move that includes a mix of Buddy Hield, Marvin Bagley III, Harrison Barnes and Tristan Thompson, but no player is off the table.

Fox addressed the trade rumors in an interview with Chris Hines of Yahoo Sports, who stated that Kings had received “huge interest” in the former Kentucky star.

“You are definitely thinking about the possibility of trading because we are struggling,” Fox said. “If you have a change of scenery, it changes everything. I’ve been here for five years. I’ve built a life here, a family here. … But I’ve been through some deadlines. I’ve seen people trade in at the last minute. You’re trying not to think about it, But you know it’s business and anything can happen. I’m not sure what’s going to happen. You obviously see reports on Twitter. Am I worried about that? No, could it happen? Yes, it definitely could.”

Haynes reports that the 76ers looked into the possibility of a trade involving Fox and Simmons as recently as a few days ago, but that “the dialogue is still exploratory.” There are reports that the Kings and the 76ers have also discussed a larger deal that would include Tobias Harris, but the exorbitant Philadelphia asking price for Simmons continues to stymie discussions.

Sacramento has contracts and draft capital to get a huge deal done, but the weight of the contracts for Simmons and Harris will be another big consideration for royalty. Simmons is in the second year of a five-year contract worth $177.2 million. Harris is in the third year of a five-year deal worth $180 million. The two of them are owed about $70 million this season and $73 million next season.

This story was originally published January 14, 2022 5:54 pm.

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Jason Anderson is an award-winning sports writer for The Sacramento Bee. He began his journalism career at The Bee over 20 years ago and returned to cover the Sacramento Kings in September 2018.


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