November 23, 2020

Sacramento Kings rumors: De’Aaron Fox signs $163 million max contract


Sacramento Kings rumors: The Sacramento Kings are beginning a new era under general manager Monte McNair, entering an offseason with the team at a crossroads.

After a series of disastrous blunders that set the team back years, including passing on Luka Doncic, Sacramento parted ways with general manager Vlade Divac in August. Under new direction, the Kings could be making significant shakeups to their roster this offseason.

Never short on drama and speculation, rumors are running rampant heading into the 2020 NBA Draft. From star shooting guard Buddy Hield wanting out to restricted free agent Bogdano Bogdanovic’s desire to play for a contender, the Kings could be very active in the weeks to come.

Let’s examine the latest news and rumors surrounding the Sacramento Kings.

UPDATE: Nov. 20, 7:30 PM EST

Sacramento Kings rumors: Team signs De’Aaron Fox to five-year, $163 million max contract extension

The Sacramento Kings are signing their star point guard to a max contract extension, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

Fox, the No. 5 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, has become a fan favorite in Sacramento and is the centerpiece of the team’s long-term plans. While the 22-year-old missed time during the 2019-’20 season, he has been an outstanding player when healthy.

He averaged a career-high 21.1 points this season, shooting 48% from the field. While he saw a slight dip in his assists (7.3 to 6.8), he was an outstanding playmaker. Recognized as the fastest player in the NBA, Fox is integral to Sacramento’s fast-paced attack.

Fox has largely been brought down by a poor supporting cast during his NBA career, including head coach Luke Walton. However, under new general manager Monte McNair, the Kings are seeking to build around him.

Snagging Tyrese Haliburton with the No. 12 overall pick, the Kings were one of the biggest winners from the 2020 NBA Draft. Haliburton’s game complements Fox perfectly. Haliburton, a consensus top-10 prospect, reportedly told other teams not to draft him so he could play for the Kings.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Kings, check out #SacramentoProud rumors, rankings, and news here.

Sacramento Kings rumors: Milwaukee Bucks want sign-and-trade for Bogdan Bogdanovic?

UPDATE: Sign-and-trade falls apart, deal dead

After giving out massive contracts to Harrison Barnes, Cory Joseph and Buddy Hield, the Kings have little cap room to operate with heading into next season. However, the team would love to keep Bogdanovic.

The 28-year-old guard averaged a career-high 15.1 points per game this past season, shooting 37.% from beyond the arc. When the Kings benched Hield, Bogdanovic thrived as a starter by averaging 17 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game. Now, he’s looking to get paid this offseason.

As a restricted free agent, the Kings can match any offer Bogdanovic receives. But, they also have the option to sign him to a contract and trade him. As one of the top free agents available, that’s generating interest from around the NBA.

According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, the Milwaukee Bucks love Bogdanovic and want to pull off a sign-and-trade with Sacramento. In fact, they are even willing to take on one of the Kings’ worst contracts.

As part of a potential trade offer, the Bucks would land Harrison Barnes and Bogdanovic. Barnes, a 28-year-old forward, averaged 14.5 points and 4.9 rebounds last season with Sacramento.

The Kings signed him to a four-year, $85 million contract last offseason. It’s a move the organization certainly regrets and a contract McNair would like to move on from for the right return.

In exchange for Barnes and Bogdanovic, Sacramento could receive a trade package centered around the No. 24 overall pick and Donte DiVincenzo. It would give the Kings two cheap, young talents to add to their roster. While they would likely need take on Eric Bledsoe’s contract ($25 million over the next two seasons), he is owed just $3.9 million in 2022 compared to Barnes’ $18.35 million guaranteed.

NBA rankings: Top-50 players entering 2020-’21 season

Sacramento Kings rumors: Kings won’t trade disgruntled Buddy Hield?

Acquired as the centerpiece in the blockbuster DeMarcus Cousins trade, Hield has been a revelation in Sacramento. However, the moody shooting guard is now disgruntled with the organization over his role and has hinted at wanting a trade on social media.

Hield reportedly hasn’t spoken to head coach Luke Walton, turning down his calls after the season ended. The 27-year-old’s unhappiness in Sacramento is evident, but it appears the Kings aren’t interested in caving.

According to Forbes’ Sean Deveney, McNair isn’t interested in moving Hield right now. He identifies a talent who is one of the NBA’s best three-point shooters, sinking 41.1% of his attempts in his career.

Hield is also just a year removed from averaging 20.7 points per game during the 2018-’19 season. While he took a step back last year and looked uninterested in playing defense, he is lethal from beyond the arc. McNair, who worked with the Houston Rockets, values that trait.

For the time being, Hield will likely be stuck in Sacramento. When players report for training camp, he’ll have to settle into the role he is given. Based off McNair’s vision for the team, that may involve shooting more from deep.

Sacramento Kings rumors: Devin Vassell won’t slip past No. 12 overall pick?

According to Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman, Vassell’s camp expects him to be selected in the 8-12 range in the NBA Draft. At the very least, his agent is extremely confident that the Florida State star won’t make it past the Kings at the No. 12 selection.

It’s understandable why Sacramento would be the lowest spot for Vassell. The Kings desperately needed a defensive-minded wing, it’s something they haven’t had since Ron Artest played for them from 2006-’08.

Vassell is a guard, but at 6-foot-6 with length, he could play the forward spot in Sacramento. He also has the ability to shoot from deep, boasting a 41.7% mark from beyond the arc at Florida State. With a tremendous work ethic and intangibles, he is everything the Kings need.

Sacramento Kings rumors: No. 12 overall pick ‘prevalent’ in trade discussions

According to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, the No. 12 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft is one of the most prevalent in trade discussions in recent days. While there is plenty of focus on top-10 picks, the Kings are just as involved in trade talks.

McNair wants to be aggressive, putting the team in position for greater long-term flexibility. While there is an absence of general talent in the 2020 draft class, front offices love the depth and potential impact it offers from the 4-20 range. Conveniently, that works out nicely for Sacramento.

The Kings also have additional flexibility thanks to the number of 2020 draft picks they are working with. Whether McNair wants to move up for a player he loves, prefers a trade down or is happy to stay put, there is a lot of room to maneuver. It will make the Kings one of the most interesting teams to monitor leading into the NBA Draft.

Sacramento Kings draft picks:

While the Kings didn’t move up during the draft lottery, they will enter the 2020 NBA Draft with a wealth of selections. After acquiring multiple second-round picks in recent years, Sacramento could take advantage in this draft class.

  • First round, 12th overall
  • Second round, 35th overall
  • Second round, 43rd overall
  • Second round, 52nd overall

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Author: Matt Johnson