SACRAMENTO - Trades are coming fast and furious the day before the NBA Draft. Jeff Teague is on his way to Indy. George Hill is packing his bags for Utah. Derrick Rose is now a New York Knick. Three point guards on the move and none of them are heading to the Sacramento Kings, who are desperate for guard help.
The three-way deal that sent Teague to the Pacers, Hill to the Jazz and the 12th overall selection in the draft to the Atlanta Hawks is intriguing. Both Teague and Hill are entering the final year of their contracts, each owed exactly $8 million.
There is no word as to whether the Kings were involved in discussions with the Hawks for Teague, but the former All-Star would have represented a major improvement to the backcourt. The No. 8 overall selection would have been a lot to offer for potentially a one year rental, but maybe not if you could talk him into a long-term extension.
Rose is in a similar situation, only he’s due $21.3 million this season and he’s had multiple major knee injuries that cost him the better part of two seasons. At 27-years-old, the former MVP and three-time All-Star averaged 16.4 points and 4.7 assists in 66 games for the Bulls last season. Those numbers are a far cry from what Rose posted as a young players and the Kings were wise to avoid the sweepstakes for the scoring point.
While neither of these deals made perfect sense for the Kings, they did helped establish a few things going into Thursday’s draft and the free agency period beginning July 1.
First up, we now have a better idea of what the No. 8 pick is worth. If the 12th overall selection can land you a 28-year-old former All-Star point guard entering the final year of his deal, then the eight spot has very solid value. Depending on who falls to the Kings, the value of the pick could increase.
Secondly, the Knicks were a known player in the chase for Kings free agent point guard Rajon Rondo. The addition of Rose all but ends that interest. While Sacramento has cooled on bringing back the league’s top assist man, they haven’t completely closed the door.
Depending on how the free agent market shakes out, Rondo, at a reduced rate, may become an appealing option once more, especially with the issues surrounding point guard Darren Collison.
Members of the Kings front office have said repeatedly that all options are on the table. And rumors of the Kings shopping the pick, as well as shooting guard Ben McLemore, continue to surface. For teams that are looking to improve quickly, young players aren’t always the best option.
Draft day will be a whirlwind of action and it’s very possible the Kings will jump in with both feet. 33 wins wasn’t enough to make the playoffs last season and it won’t cut it this seasons either. Sacramento has plenty of holes to fill and it all begins with Thursday’s draft. Hold onto your hats Kings fans, this might get a little crazy.