The Sacramento Kings are speculatively interested in trading the No. 5 and No. 10 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft for the No. 3 pick.
This means the Kings would trade up with the 76ers. They are rumored to be interested in De’Aaron Fox, who would be a good fit because their 2016 point guards Darren Collison and Ty Lawson are not long-term solutions. Both 29-year-old players are unrestricted free agents and could leave the team.
ESPN’s Chad Ford suggested Sacramento is infatuated with Fox. They may fear either Philadelphia or Phoenix (who currently own the No. 3 and No. 4 picks, respectively) could target Fox. Keith Pompey echoed the sentiments (via Philly.com):
One league source said Tuesday that former Kentucky point guard De’Aaron Fox and former Kansas small forward Josh Jackson were mentioned as targets for the Kings. There’s a chance that both of them could be selected in the top four picks. That’s why the source said the team is still considering packaging the picks.
Perhaps the Kings have another motivation to select Fox, no matter the cost. While it may seem far-fetched, the idea of assembling as many Kentucky players as possible could help recruit their former collegiate coach John Calipari.
Current players on the Sacramento roster are Willie Cauley-Stein and Skal Labissiere. Tyreke Evans, who was traded to the Kings in a package for DeMarcus Cousins, played for Calipari when the current Wildcats coach was with Memphis.
The Kentucky coach has been often rumored to Sacramento. In June 2015, Adrian Wojnarowski reported Calipari would want $12 million per season to coach the Kings.
He vehemently denied this report, even though the Kings then had other former Wildcats players including De’Marcus Cousins and Rajon Rondo. But both have since left the team.
Calipari went to a Kings game in April 2017 and had high praise for both his former players. While it doesn’t seem likely they’re enough to convince him to come to Sacramento, it’s still interesting to watch the team stockpile on the talent he has helped recruit and develop.
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