Stiles & Watkins’ Big Fish List: Is Zach LaVine a fit for the Kings?

Apr 30, 2024, 3:01 PM

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 06: Zach LaVine #8 of the Chicago Bulls looks on against the Utah Jazz...

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

As the NBA offseason approaches, the Sacramento Kings are at somewhat of a crossroads heading into free agency and trade season.

What can Kings general manager Monte McNair do to push this team to the next level?

This week on Stiles & Watkins with hosts Allen Stiles and Chris Watkins, the guys broke down players that could be on Sacramento’s offseason wishlist.

Today, let’s dive into number ten on Chris’ ‘Big Fish’ list: Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine.

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Zach LaVine | Chicago Bulls | SG/SF | Age: 29 | 2024-25 salary: $43 million

Chris’ list starts with Chicago Bulls star Zach LaVine, who logged just 25 games (one more than tying his career-low) due to a right foot injury that sidelined him for the final two months of the regular season.

LaVine, a two-time All-Star, averaged 19.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game on 45 percent shooting from the field and 35 percent from three-point range, numbers that all fall below his career averages.

Throughout his ten-year career, the UCLA product has been a volume scorer–particularly with the Bulls, where he has averaged 24.7 points per game over seven seasons.

The inclusion of LaVine on this list might make some Kings fans roll their eyes due to LaVine’s massive contract, but the guard has shown interest in Sacramento multiple times in the past.

In 2018, LaVine signed an offer sheet with the Kings as a restricted free agent before Chicago matched the offer. Just this season, multiple reports indicated that the Klutch Sports client “would welcome” a trade to Sacramento, where he would join fellow agency teammate De’Aaron Fox.

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Adding a scorer like LaVine next to Fox would be an enticing possibility, but as stated earlier in this piece, the money could prove to be an issue.

Sacramento is not flush with cash, as they enter the offseason sitting $17.7 million below the luxury tax, which they haven’t crossed since the 2003-04 season.

Making salaries work in a potential LaVine trade would require the likes of Harrison Barnes and Kevin Huerter, while adding anothr player like Trey Lyles an Sasha Vezenkov would also be needed to make the money work.

Chicago will likely seek draft compensation as well, meaning the Kings would have to part with their lottery pick in June’s NBA Draft and potentially future picks as well.

Adding LaVine’s remaining $137.8 million over the next three years (player option for the final year in 2026-27) would tie up most of Sacramento’s cap space in three players: Fox, LaVine, and Domantas Sabonis, who inked a four-year, $186 million extension last summer.

LaVine’s addition to the Kings could also impact Sacramento’s ability to retain Keegan Murray, who will become a restricted free agent following the 2025-26 season.

Injury history, a large contract, and rising age could steer the Kings clear of trading for LaVine this summer, but mutual interest has been there before, so you never know.

When is the next Sacramento Kings offseason date of interest?

For the first time in two years, the Sacramento Kings will be crossing its fingers for luck during the upcoming NBA Draft Lottery.

The 2024 NBA Draft Lottery will be held on Sunday, May 12, 2024, in Chicago, where Sacramento will have the 13th-best odds of securing the top pick.

How the Lottery works: The 14 teams that missed out on the NBA playoffs are eligible for the Draft Lottery. The final odds were determined after the regular season, and tie breaks were settled between teams with identical regular season records.

NBA Offseason Schedule

  • Sunday, May 12 – NBA Draft Lottery
  • Wednesday, June 26-Thursday, June 27th – 2024 NBA Draft
  • Sunday, June 30th – Free Agent negotiating window opens (3 PM PST)
  • Saturday, July 6th – Free Agents can officially sign contracts
  • July 12-22nd – Las Vegas Summer League
  • July 27-August 11th – 2024 Olympic Games
  • Friday, September 27th – NBA training camps begin

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