Kings Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.

January 2, 2009
Opening tip: The modest -- but interesting -- trade options

Kings (8-24) at Pistons (19-11)

Scoring: Kings 22nd (95.8), Pistons 25th (95).
Shooting: Kings tied for 18th (44.6 percent), Pistons 10th (45.7).
Scoring defense: Kings 28th (105.3), Pistons eighth (94.1).
Shooting defense: Kings tied for 27th (47.5 percent), Pistons tied for 10th (44.7).
Rebound differential: Kings 27th (minus-3.2), Pistons 20th (minus-1.5).

The links: Pistons coverage in the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press.
The almanac: On this date in 1987, Jack Ramsay of the Pacers joined Red Auerbach as the only coaches to reach 800 career NBA victories.


This is not going to be a franchise-altering, mood-changing trade possibility, in the way dealing Ron Artest or Mike Bibby or Peja Stojakovic or Chris Webber was and Brad Miller will be at some point. It's Quincy Douby and Shelden Williams, individually or packaged, and that won't even tweak the rotation.

But they are directions worth considering, because the Kings apparently have, at least in terms of Douby -- the personnel boss of one team said Sacramento management has been shopping the former first-round pick. "They're trying to" do something, the exec noted, adding, "I think they're trying to do right by the kid."

That would be part of it. Douby has barely played and almost certainly has no future here, barring some unforeseen breakout the next 50 games. He's averaged 12 minutes in a season when two guys ahead of him at shooting guard have missed long stretches to injury. You'll need GPS tracking to spot him now that Kevin Martin and Francisco Garcia both are back. Nothing wrong with finding a guy like that a home.

This is no charity, though, and any deal would be the Kings moving him foremost for their benefit. That benefit probably would be to save money. Send Douby to a team with a trade exception or far enough under the cap to take his $1.43 million contract without having to send a player in return, that sort of thing. Douby for a second-round pick. The destination club gets a few months' look at a very low risk; the Kings get away from the payments.

There are few player-for-player options because Douby won't command much and the Kings won't take back a long contract in that formula. They would do better by keeping Douby and having him leave as a free agent in the summer. It would have to be their disappointment for your disappointment. Both sides get a test drive to the end of the season, see if there's a fit to re-sign the guy, and if not, no harm done.

For example, and strictly for example since I have no idea whether the Kings like the return:

Douby for Marcus Williams. A guy not playing for the Kings who would have a better chance of flourishing in the wide-open Golden State system than anywhere for a guy not playing for the Warriors who was once regarded as a decent prospect at point guard. The Kings have plenty of bodies at the point -- Beno Udrih, Bobby Brown, Bobby Jackson -- but no solid answer, so there would be worse moves than acquiring a 2006 first-round pick at no less if he doesn't work out. Plus, it's basically a salary match.

The way things can get actually interesting for the Kings: use Douby and Shelden Williams together in a trade.

That's $4.8 million in expiring contracts, and now you've moved way out of Marcus Williams / reclamation-project range. Four-point-eight million delivers someone real from a team looking to slash payroll, and Douby and Shelden Williams in the final season of their deals and heading for the exits as free agents is the definition of cost cutting.

It would be for the Kings as well if they keep both, which is why they might. No need to make a reach here when there's a sure-thing advantageous move July 1. But $4.8 mil on a gift certificate is very nice to go shopping with heading to the Feb. 19 trade deadline. It's puts them in place to get a real addition for the long term.

Worth considering at a time when it's hard to imagine anything is off the table.

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