Owners of the second worst losing streak in the league at five straight, and second to last in the loaded Western Conference, it’s very likely the Sacramento Kings won’t be making the postseason this season.
With an aggressive new ownership eager to rekindle Sacramento’s love affair with their only major sports franchise, the Kings could accelerate their rebuilding process by moving one of their more valuable assets in guard Jimmer Fredette well before the February trade deadline.
The Kings have reportedly been very active on the trade market with links to several teams, and many of them could use a deep threat like Fredette. Sacramento targeted veterans in the hopes of planting the seeds of leadership and a win-first culture, according to sources.
Though he hasn’t appeared in the Kings last three games, and only six games all season, the 24-year-old Fredette has made the most of his limited court time by shooting 50 percent from three-point range and four total steals in 12.2 minutes per game.
In nearly three years in Northern California, Fredette has never averaged more than 18 minutes per game. More playing time as a role or situational player could revive the future unrestricted free agent’s career. His shooting and his relatively low $2.5 million expiring contract make Fredette one of the most reasonable bargains on the market.
The three teams below are both in need of a shooter, and have been tied to trade rumors.
With only three teams in the dreadful Eastern Conference sporting a .500 or better record, the Raptors have as good a chance as any team to make the postseason for the first time since 2008. That might not have been the plan with nearly every player on the roster other than young center Jonas Valanciunas reportedly available for trade when the season began. Speculation also surrounded Toronto as a candidate for tanking for optimum position in next year’s draft, which is considered one of the deepest and most talented in a decade.
Sacramento won’t want to take on the contracts of Rudy Gay or DeMar Derozan, but could fortify their frontline with veteran center Aaron Gray, relieving some of the pressure on DeMarcus Cousins. The Kings and Raptors would essentially be swapping expiring contracts with the latter likely improving their 18th ranked three-point shooting, and the former addressing their rebounding needs.
The Wizards and their talented roster have shown significant growth through the first 18 games of the season and the front office displayed its mettle before the season began by acquiring leading rebounder and shot blocker Marcin Gortat. The No. 3 seed Wizards haven’t even played injured first round pick Otto Porter yet, and already pose a threat in the East.
Washington won’t part with their core of John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Porter, but do have several veterans like Trevor Ariza or athletic swingman Chris Singleton that can mentor Sacramento’s young stars like Cousins and rookie Ben McLemore.
The Wizards already shoot a deadly 40 percent from three, the sixth best mark in the league, and adding Fredette only makes them more dangerous to top defensive teams like Indiana and Miami. Fredette could be a catalyst off the bench in the nation's capital.
The Dion Waiters-Kyrie Irving experiment has reportedly ended, with rumors coming out that Cleveland already spoke to New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago in a deal for Waiters.
While the Kings are seeking more size and already possess a plethora of guards, Waiters has proven he can score in bunches and is shooting 41 percent from three this season. He could easily supplant high-volume shooter Marcus Thornton, who’s shooting 30.8 percent from beyond the arc.
Despite never really giving Fredette a chance to shine, the Kings can get something in return for their 2011 first round pick, rather than letting him walk away next summer.