After a successful 2022-23 season, the Sacramento Kings may consider using their No. 24 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft to add more win-now pieces to their promising core led by De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis.
The Kings took the 2022 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors to seven games and came close to knocking them out in the first round of the playoffs. Despite a disappointing finish in Game 7, Sacramento should remain proud of what they accomplished this past season. They finished as the third seed in the West during the regular season. Mike Brown won Coach of the Year. Fox and Sabonis both had magnificent campaigns that saw the star duo make both the All-Star team and earn an All-NBA nod. Fox even won Clutch Player of the Year and had a stellar first postseason run.
With that said, Sacramento could look to bolster their depth or address their needs by packaging the No. 24 pick to acquire a proven veteran. Here are two trades the Kings can make using the No. 24 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.
The Kings had a lot of trouble dealing with Stephen Curry. They especially had no answer for the two-time MVP in Game 7, where Curry went bonkers and dropped 50 points. Alex Caruso might just be the answer to that.
Sacramento could trade Richaun Holmes, who essentially wasn’t a part of the Kings rotation and maybe a few more draft assets to acquire the Bald Mamba. Caruso is still under a team-friendly deal, with $19.35 million remaining left on his contract over the next two years.
It’s absolutely impossible to contain an elite offensive maestro like Curry. But Caruso has shown in the past that he can disrupt and frustrate the Warriors superstar.
As he broke out into an All-NBA talent this year, Fox proved he can become a two-way star if he wants to. He has the tools to become a top-level perimeter defender in this league. The Kings also have a defensive stalwart in Davion Mitchell coming off their bench
But still, Caruso’s addition will help them in that department. More importantly, it will help preserve Fox’s energy on offense, where he is needed most in Coach Brown’s system. Caruso is someone who is willing to do the dirty work, dive for loose balls, and make the plays that don’t appear on the stat sheet.
2. Trade for Royce O’Neale
Royce O’Neale is another ideal target for the Kings. Like Caruso, his calling card is on the defensive side of the floor. With Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving gone from the Brooklyn Nets, they may look to build for the future, and getting more draft assets may be in their best interests.
Again, Richaun Holmes should be the salary fill for this trade, as O’Neale only has a $9.5 million price tag next season.
While Caruso may be the more sound defender overall, O’Neale offers a little bit more offensively. The Nets forward is a better shooter overall. He is a career 38.4 percent three-point shooter and shot 38.9 percent from long distance on 5.5 attempts per game last season. Caruso, meanwhile, is a career 36.5 percent shooter from deep, but doesn’t take many to warrant as a real threat.
O’Neale’s addition addresses their need for more perimeter defense, while also adding another legitimate sniper from beyond the arc. Sacramento had the best offensive rating in the league during the regular season and finished as the 9th best three-point shooting team in the NBA.