Sacramento Kings trade recent lottery pick to Toronto Raptors, potentially signaling a bigger move soon

Sacramento Kings, Toronto Raptors
Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

Just minutes before the second round of the 2024 NBA Draft tipped off, the Sacramento Kings and Toronto Raptors reached a trade agreement that will surely impact the rest of their offseason.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Kings agreed to trade Davion Mitchell, Sasha Vezenkov, plus the 45th pick to the Raptors in exchange for Jalen McDaniels.

It’s an unusual move, trading Mitchell, the ninth overall pick in 2021, plus Vezenkov, who the team signed to a three-year, $20 million contract last July, for a rotational wing player who averaged just 10.8 minutes per game last season.

Yet, a deeper dive into the situation reveals that this move gets the Kings under the luxury tax while opening up another roster spot ahead of free agency. Known as “Off-Night”, Mitchell’s fate may have been sealed the moment the Kings landed young defensive standout Devin Carter with the 13th loverall pick on Wednesday night.

In doing so, the Kings get the older brother of Timberwolves’ All-NBA defender Jaden McDaniels. While Jalen hasn’t become a reliable scorer (32.2% 3PT), he is just like his brother, in that he offers much-needed defensive switchability in Sacramento.

However, we get the sense there’s an even bigger move coming for the Kings, either as a trade that brings back multiple players or becoming more aggressive in free agency with their newfound open roster slot.

Related: Sacramento Kings reportedly interested in trade for star forward, came ‘close’ to 2 major trades

As for the Raptors, they’re buying low on a recent lottery pick who’s still just 25 years old. While Mitchell found himself stuck behind the likes of De’Aaron Fox, Malik Monk, Kevin Huerter, and even undrafted player Keon Ellis, now he’ll get another chance with a young Raptors team still searching for their identity.

Mitchell hasn’t developed like Sacramento hoped as a scorer, he shoots just 32.7% from distance, but he still brings a tough defender to Toronto’s backcourt. Vezenkov adds a potential sharpshooter who drained 37.5% of his perimeter shots last season. We’ll see if either player has more luck in Toronto, but we’re quite curious to see what Kings GM Monte McNair has up his sleeves next.

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