Pencils Down: Where The Kings Roster Stands Post-Deadline
The trade deadline is over and the Sacramento Kings have a new look
The 2021-22 NBA Trade Deadline has come and gone.
As the dust settles, the Sacramento Kings look a lot different than they did just 72 hours ago.
Second-year general manager Monte McNair answered the question of “is he even doing anything?” in a big way by bringing in an All-Star talent and a role player that he has had eyes for since he took over as Sacramento’s decision-maker.
What can we make of this roster?
Of course, we must see this team in action before making concrete assessments. But on paper, it’s hard to argue against the notion that the Kings roster is largely improved compared to where things stood pre-deadline.
Let’s recap all of the moves:
Domantas Sabonis Is A King
Sacramento Kings receive: Domantas Sabonis, Justin Holiday, Jeremy Lamb and a 2023 second-round pick
Indiana Pacers receive: Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield and Tristan Thompson
Tuesday morning brought pain to most of the Sacramento Kings fanbase, but that pain was eased during Wednesday night’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Just under 36 hours following the trade that sent fan-favorite Tyrese Haliburton to Indiana, fans in attendance at Golden 1 Center departed Wednesday’s win with smiles on their faces after watching two-time All-Star Domantas Sabonis’s debut.
This was a win-now move by the Kings as they acquired an All-Star talent in Sabonis while adding depth pieces in Holiday and Lamb.
Haliburton has immense potential and will be under team control for years to come, meaning that Sacramento HAS to be right about this move. If Sabonis departs during free agency following the 2023-24 season, this deal is a colossal failure.
If the Kings win with Sabonis and the center re-ups with Sacramento in a similar fashion to that of what Chris Webber did during the early-2000’s playoff run, it’s a triumph for the franchise, fanbase and the city.
“I want to find a place where I feel at home and I feel loved and I think that I have found it here,” Sabonis said following Wednesday’s win. “I love it here.”
Sabonis said that following just one game in front of Kings fans. You can’t help but wonder what could happen if he helps lead this team to the promised land following a 16-year playoff drought.
Monte McNair gets his guy as the Bagley-era ends
Sacramento Kings receive: Donte DiVincenzo, Josh Jackson, Trey Lyles
Detroit Pistons receive: Marvin Bagley III
Marvin Bagley III’s time in Sacramento will not be remembered fondly for a variety of reasons.
Failed expectations, injuries, off-court distractions, etcetera. At just 22 years old, Bagley will get a fresh start for a Detroit Pistons team that has been interested in the forward since last season’s deadline.
The Bagley trade was one that benefited both the player and the organization, especially when the Kings received Donte DiVincenzo in the deal–a player that has been on McNair’s radar for some time.
The 25-year-old is one of the best rebounding guards in the game, and someone that can get hot from beyond the arc (38% from three-point range last season).
DiVincenzo recently returned from a serious ankle injury that sidelined him for most of the 2021 postseason and the start to the 2021-22 season, but the guard has been getting back into the swing of things since making his season-debut on Christmas day.
The former NCAA Champ and 2021 NBA champion with the Bucks is one of the better rebounding guards in the league, having posted 24 games with seven-or-more rebounds over the past two seasons.
For comparison, the only players on the active Kings roster with more are Domantas Sabonis, Richaun Holmes and Harrison Barnes, all of whom are all 6’8 or taller.
DiVincenzo’s rebounding ability paired with his solid defense gives Sacramento a solid piece to pair in the frontcourt with De’Aaron Fox and Davion Mitchell.
The guard will enter restricted free-agency at the end of the season, meaning that the Kings will be able to match any offer that DiVincenzo signs.
Josh Jackson and Trey Lyles are both expiring deals that can provide Sacramento with depth at the forward positions. Both players are on expiring contracts and will become unrestricted free agents at the end of this season.
Sacramento has its roster set for a postseason push.
“We don’t want to waste your time, we don’t want to waste our time,” recently-acquired Kings guard Justin Holiday said following Wednesday night’s win. “Getting to the playoffs is important to us. It’s going to be a challenge, but we’re up for it.”
When evaluating Monte McNair’s deadline move, it has become crystal clear that this team has set its sights on a postseason berth–not next year, not in two years, but this season.
Sacramento trails the 10th-seeded New Orleans Pelicans by 2.5 games with 25 gams remaining in the regular season.
By adding Sabonis and DiVencenzo, the Kings have added legitimate rotation pieces into the fold to compliment De’Aaron Fox, Harrison Barnes and Davion Mitchell as the primary mainstays.
Defense and rebounding are the upgrades that standout, with poor defenders in Hield and Bagley on the way out and strong defenders in Holiday and DiVincezo coming into the fold.
Sabonis is a player that can act as a playmaker out of the post, something that Kings fans haven’t seen since Vlade Divac donned the purple and black.
“Once you give up the ball, that’s contagious. That’s where all of the fun happens,” Sabonis said on Wednesday.
In order to complete the Bagley-DiVincenzo deal, the Kings informed Jahmi’us Ramsey and Robert Woodard II that they will be waived in order to meet the NBA’s 15-man roster requirement.
Here is where the current roster stands post-deadline:
- Point guards: De’Aaron Fox, Davion Mitchell
- Shooting guards: Justin Holiday, Donte DiVincenzo, Jeremy Lamb, Terence Davis*
- Small forwards: Harrison Barnes, Moe Harkless, Josh Jackson
- Power forwards: Chimezie Metu, Trey Lyles
- Centers: Domantas Sabonis, Richaun Holmes, Damian Jones, Alex Len
- Two-way deals: Louis King, Neemias Queta
*out for remainder of regular season