Sacramento Kings discussing trade for young All-Star scorer

Sacramento Kings
Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Minutes into NBA free agency, the Sacramento Kings are already active, but not by signing players. Not yet, anyway. Instead, Kings GM Monte McNair is reportedly busy negotiating a trade.

According to local KTXL Kings reporter Sean Cunningham, the Kings are “pursuing a trade” for New Orleans Pelicans All-Star Brandon Ingram. He also notes that having Alvin Gentry working in Sacramento’s front office may be helping fuel negotiations, as Ingram’s lone All-Star season came under Gentry’s tutelage with the Pelicans in 2020.

A potential Ingram trade has been rumored for several weeks, but after the Pelicans acquired Dejounte Murray, it signaled an all-in move. Trading Ingram would send a different message, but by adding Murray, maybe New Orleans feels content with their new-look lineup and feels like their former All-Star is now expendable.

Or maybe they realize they won’t be committing to Ingram with a long-term extension. Ingram is entering the final season of a five-year, $158 million contract but is expected to negotiate a multi-year extension if traded elsewhere.

With Ingram’s contract, two possibilities that could be headed back to New Orleans could be Harrison Barnes ($18M) and Kevin Huerter ($16.8M). That alone would match salaries, but it likely doesn’t move the needle for the Pelicans. Yet, Sacramento does have four tradeable first-round picks from 2027-2030.

Either way, the Kings are getting aggressive early during the offseason by targeting a 26-year-old scoring forward who can also facilitate and get some stops defensively, averaging 2.1 combined blocks and steals per game.

If Sacramento can reach a trade agreement, their new-look starting five would boast De’Aaron Fox, Malik Monk or Keon Ellis, Brandon Ingram, Keegan Murray, and Domantas Sabonis. On paper, that looks like a team that could do some real damage in the Western Conference as the Kings look to get past the first round of the NBA Playoffs next season.

Related: 10 NBA free agency predictions for 2024 offseason

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