The Sacramento Kings drew some good luck during the NBA Draft lottery, picking up the fourth overall selection in the annual event. In the process, new head coach Mike Brown and Co. jumped the Portland Trail Blazers.
For a Kings team that has not earned a playoff spot since 2005-06, this gives them an opportunity to become relevant once again.
As for the Detroit Pistons, they are selecting No. 5 overall after picking Cade Cunningham with the first selection in the 2021 NBA Draft. Detroit is said to be looking for a guard to team up with Cunningham. Said target is reportedly former Purdue standout Jaden Ivey.
Could this lead to a blockbuster trade between the two downtrodden organizations? It seems to be a real possibility.
In his most-recent mock draft, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony reports that Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé is a proponent of selecting Iowa forward Keegan Murray with the fourth selection. The aforementioned Brown seems to be in lockstep with the embattled owner. Meanwhile, Sacramento is not one of Ivey’s preferred destinations.
The idea here would be for Sacramento to move down one spot while enabling Detroit to take Ivey at four. It would be the Kings’ version of calling Ivey’s bluff and getting something in return for the fourth selection. In turn, they still take Murray with the fifth selection or pull off another trade.
Sacramento Kings are looking to trade the fourth pick
There’s a major backdrop to this. Sacramento believes it can contend for a playoff spot next season. It has three solid building blocks in De’Aaron Fox, Davion Mitchell and recently acquired All-Star big man Domantas Sabonis. Reports contend that Sacramento wants to moves said selection for a proven piece.
Why not simply move down just one spot while adding a proven player and creating more flexibility come draft night? It’s the type of forward-thinking mentality that the Sacramento Kings have been missing for some time now. Hence, its NBA-long playoff drought.
Detroit Pistons have the assets to target that one player
For Weaver and Co., the plan is relatively clear. Be proactive during the draft should the big three of Chet Holmgren, Jabari Smith and Paolo Banchero actually find themselves as the first prospects off the board. In this scenario, Ivey would be the target.
The combination of Ivey and Cunningham would make for a modern backcourt in Detroit. Add in the likes of Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart in the front court, and there’s a lot to like here. Detroit also has an expendable asset in Jerami Grant who could be of interest to Sacramento.
How would a blockbuster Detroit Pistons, Sacramento Kings trade look like?
- Kings get: 5th pick, Jerami Grant, protected future 1st-round pick
- Pistons get: 4th pick, Richaun Holmes, Maurice Harkless
In this scenario, Sacramento gets that other frontcourt figure to team up with Sabonis. It would likely play the latter at the five with Grant doing his thing at the four.
- Jerami Grant stats (2020-22): 20.9 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 2.6 APG, 1.1 BPG, 43% shooting
A move of this ilk would also enable the Kings to collect more assets for veteran wing Harrison Barnes. He’s an underrated forward under a solid team-friendly contract. Acquiring another shooter for Barnes while still boasting the fifth pick woud be a win. Moving said selection and Barnes could also net Sacramento a true star at the three.
From Detroit’s perspective, the team guarantees itself Ivey at four while moving off a conditional future first-round pick. It also picks up a solid veteran center in Holmes to team up with Stewart inside.
It might be a high price to pay. But that’s what happens when you go into a draft targeting a player that might be out of reach with your current selection. Moving off a player in Grant who is expendable to get this done just makes too much sense.