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Debate

Is the DeMar DeRozan trade the game-changer the Kings needed to dominate the NBA?

The ongoing NBA Off-Season brought with it another fundamental change in three respective franchises, as small forward DeMar DeRozan was traded to the Sacramento Kings. The player was secured as part of a three-team deal that sent Harrison Barnes to the San Antonio Spurs while Chris Duarte, along with two second-round picks, will be sent to DeRozan’s previous franchise: the Chicago Bulls. Despite the player commanding a huge salary, the Sacramento Kings still find themselves in a better situation financially than some of the other franchise.

According to reports, DeMar DeRozan has signed on with the Kings under a three-year, $74 million contract. With an average pay of $24.6 million per season, this would make the 6x NBA All-Star the 65 highest paid player in the league for the 2024-25 season. While DeRozan’s pay would have taken the Kings about the ‘First Apron’ limit and subjected them to penalties, the same was prevented after the franchise decided to part ways with Barnes and the $37 million that they would have had to pay over the course of two years. According to NBA reporter Bobby Marks, this has now allowed the Kings to stay $5.1 million below the tax limit. The threshold could be avoided for sure once 2 veteran players are signed on under minimum deals.

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Poll of the day

Do you think the Sacramento Kings' recent moves will make them a playoff contender?

Absolutely

Maybe

Not a chance

Only time will tell

A recent update by Chris Haynes has attributed Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox for playing a pivotal role in both trades. By joining the meeting that recently took place in regards to discussing next moves during the offseason, Fox may have given the green light to team up with the small forward for the upcoming season, allowing his acquisition and possibly sending Harrison Barnes away.

DeMar DeRozan will be a welcome addition to the team. The player is coming off one of his best regular seasons, during which he secured 24 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 5.3 assists to his name. This would be a big help to the Kings who, despite improving their stats from the last season, still ranked 13 in terms of offensive rating. Furthermore, the player would be a welcomed backup not only for Fox but also Domantas Sabonis, who averaged 19.4 points but with a 59.4% shooting stat. A team up of the star trio can help the Kings take the lead in terms of second-chance buckets.

The cost of acquiring DeRozan, while still continuing to pay Barnes’ $3.7 million trade bonus, would leave over $5.1 million for the team. The same can be used to acquire two additional players under minimum deals that could bolster the Kings’ dominance. The only question is, who?

Who can join DeMar DeRozan and co under minimum deals?

While DeMar DeRozan would fill the small forward position left vacant by Barnes’ trade, the Sacramento Kings still have three open spots going into the second week of free agency. With the need for two additional forwards and one more center gnawing at them, only a handful of players remain available under the list of free agents.

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According to an update by NBA reporter Keith Smith, the remaining free agents playing in the small forward position include Issac Okoro, Saddiq Bey, Gordon Hayward, Doug McDermott, and Cedi Osman. Having earlier served under a 4-year, $13.03 million contract with the Detroit Pistons, Saddiq Bey would be the ideal choice for the Kings if choosing to get a good backup at a minimum cost.

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In terms of Centers, the available free agents include Paul Reed, Chimezie Metu, Daniel Theis, Sandro Mamukelashvili, and Mike Muscala. Despite possessing the most experience, Paul Reed might not prove an ideal choice for the Kings, thanks to his heavy contract. Furthermore, the player has shown no interest as of now to team up with the Kings. Instead, with an average stat of 6.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1 assist during the 2023-24 season, Daniel Theis makes a suitable choice, considering he is on an almost equal standing with Paul Reed while costing 1/8th of what the 76ers star did.

Who would you choose as the next addition to the Sacramento Kings roster? Let us know in the comments down below.