With Thursday's 12pm PT trade deadline creeping up, the Sacramento Kings are once again one of the most active teams on the market. Will they stand pat or will they dive into the action in an attempt to salvage the season? Here is the latest on the rumors surrounding some of the more sought after players on the Kings' roster...
Ben McLemore... The 23-year-old high flyer has struggled to find consistency in George Karl’s system. The former seventh overall selection can shoot, finish at the rim and play defense in spurts. But he needs to improve as a playmaker and rebounder. McLemore is under team control this year and next on his rookie scale deal.
Teams have been calling on McLemore, according to sources, and he might be the most likely to get moved if the Kings decide to jump into the action. The former Kansas star has been linked to the Cleveland Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves in published reports, but there are plenty of other teams with interest. The Kings are selling low if they deal him, but low might be his new value going forward.
Marco Belinelli... Everyone loves a shooter and for most of his career, Belinelli has been a good one. The Kings need a 3-and-player, not just a shooter, so Belinelli might be available. He has made it known that he prefers to play with Rajon Rondo, but over the last six games as a starter, he’s hit just 40 percent from the field and 22.8 percent from long range with the league’s leading assist man setting him up. He’s in the first year of a 3-year, $19 million deal, making him a quality long-term add for a contender.
Word around Sacramento is that Belinelli wouldn’t mind a ticket out of town. Teams have been calling on him for the last few weeks, according to sources, but the offers have been soft. The Kings are looking for an answer at the two. Neither McLemore or Belinelli have run away with the spot. If the right deal comes along, expect Vlade Divac to jump on it.
Rudy Gay... The Kings came into the season hoping to build around Cousins, Rondo and Gay. But Gay has struggled to find his niche in Karl’s system. The Kings have listened to offers on the talented 29-year-old, but many in the organization would prefer to keep him and try to add one more piece this summer. Gay has plenty left in the tank and he’s under contract next season with a player option for 2017-18.
Sacramento has resisted dealing Gay, although they continue to get calls, sources have confirmed. There is legitimate concern within the organization about making wholesale changes when most believe there will be a new coach and system in place next season. If they do look to move him, they want equal value in return.
Kosta Koufos... Teams in need of a defensive big are calling the Kings to see if they can pry Koufos away. Between DeMarcus Cousins’ monster play and the development of rookie Willie Cauley-Stein, "K2" has found minutes scarce. The Kings have a 50-game sample size to work with when it comes to the pairing of Koufos and Cousins. The returns are less than stellar. Koufos, 26, is locked into a 4-year, $33 million deal, which becomes even more attractive next season when the salary cap jumps considerably.
The team had an attractive offer on the table for Tobias Harris before he was dealt to Detroit on Tuesday, according to sources. Adding a stretch-four makes sense for Sacramento, but it also makes Koufos extremely expendable. He’s a great locker room guy, but he may not be a great fit for this club in its current construction.