The Toronto Raptors are starting to slide a bit in the Eastern Conference standings, and Masai Ujiri might need to swing a few trades in order to officially make them contenders. If they want to raid a potential tanking team, they should consider going after some Sacramento Kings players.
The Kings, who haven’t made the postseason since 2006 in a league that sends more than half of their teams to the postseason, assumed that coach Luke Walton and point guard De’Aaron Fox could break that streak.
Unfortunately, a promising start has completely been sapped away. Marvin Bagley is looking more like a solid player than a superstar, the defense is awful, and Walton has no idea what he’s doing.
With the Kings looking to reboot and try to get some picks to support Fox and Tyrese Haliburton in the backcourt, the Raptors might be able to scavenge some promising talents from Sacramento’s carcass.
Who could the Raptors get from the Sacramento Kings?
SF Harrison Barnes
Barnes might make the most sense for the Raptors, as the 6-8 forward is rebounding and passing at a rate that he hasn’t reached before in his career. Barnes, who got his start as a role player with the Golden State Warriors, isn’t scoring like he did in Dallas, but he is putting up a tidy 16.7 points on 49 percent shooting.
Barnes could be an ideal power forward for Toronto’s smaller lineup, all the while handling the ball and shooting well enough to potentially hang around the perimeter for the majority of the game. Given his age and contract situation, Toronto might not have to mortgage a chink of their future in order to get him.
PF Marvin Bagley Jr.
Bagley’s raw numbers don’t look bad at all, as the 21-year-old is averaging 14.1 points and 7.5 rebounds on 50% shooting this season. Unfortunately, those numbers are almost identical to his rookie year, indicating he has made no improvements in that time. Luckily, Nick Nurse is a master at player development, and he should be able to turn Bagley around in 10 minutes.
Bagley is currently one of the worst defensive players in the league. While Nurse doesn’t have to turn him into Dikembe Mutumbo, he should be able to improve his effort on that end marginally. If Nurse can work his magic on Bagley, he could end up playing like the star everyone thought he could’ve been in Sacramento.
SG Buddy Hield
Hield has been upset in Sacramento for some time, as he was considered a lock to be traded this offseason. While a trade never materialized, Hield is not playing at his best level, and that could attract teams looking to buy low.
Even though Hield is shooting an insane 10.2 3-pointers per game, his poor shooting splits don’t bode well for any prospective teams. Still, there is reason to believe this year is more outlier than concerning trend, and the Raptors might be able to get an elite shooting guard if they pick up Hield.
C Hassan Whiteside
Whiteside is one of the best shot-blockers in the game, but there are reasons that the double-double machine was only able to pick up a one-year deal as a reserve in Sacramento this offseason despite his success in Portland. Still, he can provide exactly what Toronto is lacking on the interior, and he could end up as a Raptor in the coming weeks.
PF Nemanja Bjelica
Bjelica is your classic stretch big man, and he has started to pick up his shooting of late after working his way back into the rotation. Bjelica’s ability to knock down shots from three could get the Raptors interested.
The Kings might be eyeing a rebuild again, and their loss could end up being Toronto’s gain this deadline,.