No Bill Simmons, The Kings Should Not Trade De’Aaron Fox For Russell Westbrook
The Sacramento Kings have strung together two wins in a row after dropping the first four of the season.
In the span of these six games, De’Aaron Fox is averaging 24.5 points. Currently, that ranks within the top 20 of the league leaders.
However, that’s not stopping some experts from throwing out trade ideas that clearly don’t help Sacramento. Like, say, for example, Fox for Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook.
Answer: Sac says no unless the 2027/2029 firsts are on the table unprotected.
My take: I’d actually trade Fox for Russ + those 2 Lakers firsts. I’m getting 2023 cap space + two massive assets from a poorly run team, plus more Mitchell mins… I’m just in a better spot long-term.
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) November 1, 2022
Through six games off the Lakers bench, Westbrook is averaging 13.4 points. On the wrong half of 30, the Lakers guard is not the player he once was. The last time Westbrook averaged over 20 points was during the shortened 2020-21 season when he played for the Washington Wizards. His MVP days are four teams and six years ago.
But let’s compare the two from when Fox joined the NBA to this season. Since 2018, statistically, Westbrook has played better, but not by much. Fox is only averaging three points less than Westbrook, but his free throw, field goal, and 3-point field goal percentage are better.
What about the draft picks Simmons includes? The Lakers would have to include picks for 2027 and 2029 because the NBA does not allow teams to trade first-round picks in consecutive years. Because of the Anthony Davis trade in 2019, the Lakers and Pelicans are intertwined when it comes to first-round picks through 2025. The Lakers are also known to spend money on free agents. Who’s to say the picks in 2027 and 2029 won’t be for a team that’s back competing for a title?
One more note, the salaries don’t match up. Westbrook is in the final year of a deal that sees him get $47 million from the Lakers. A straight-up trade for De’Aaron Fox wouldn’t work financially. The Kings would have to throw in someone like Richaun Holmes to make the numbers match.
Respectfully, Bill Simmons, stick to the Celtics. The Sacramento Kings don’t need a 34-year-old Russell Westbrook.