The Sacramento Kings want to make a splash come the Feb. 8 NBA trade deadline. And why not?
According to ESPN's Brian Windhorst, they're thinking big.
"Sacramento, famously, owes their first-rounder to Boston (via Philly)," he writes. "They have no incentive to tank, and with the upside-down Western Conference -- miraculously, there are five teams who made the playoffs last season who are currently out of playoff position -- the Kings apparently are thinking big. Though, let's be honest, it's always hard to understand exactly what this team is thinking."
Windhorst also mentioned the large, expiring contracts of Zach Randolph and Iman Shumpert. Combined, the two have a total of 24.99% of cap space on the team. In addition, the Kings are currently under the league salary cap which means on that alone, they have room to work with.
As for the conference they're playing in -- it's strange. Sure, the Warriors will do Warrior-like things and win, but the Kings are managing to make a name for themselves in the Western conference that leaves your head scratching. But it's the time to strike before things in the win-loss column go back to the way it once was.
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What are other possible scenarios?
The young De'Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield and Willie Cauley-Stein will be asking for more money once it's their turn to be front and center to teams that are sniffing around. But that's a ways away down the line -- unless these guys create a tantalizing trade scenario. Or they can concentrate on letting go of Randolph and Shumpert's $11 million-plus base salaries.
It's silly to think they would let these players go, but at the same time, the Kings look like they're about to do something crazy.
Maybe we will be asking the team what they were thinking. Or perhaps they're just excited with the way they're playing. NBC Sports California's James Ham offered his insight on the possibilities.
"The mindset behind the scenes was asset acquisition coming into the season," Ham said. "The Kings hoped to use their cap space to land a future first-round pick while relieving a team of a cumbersome contract. That seems to be shifting over the last month. There is an excitement about where the team is and they are contemplating becoming buyers, although they'll want long term solutions that match the player arc of the team and breaking up the young core is off the table."
We will find out in the upcoming months.