At 14-22, the Kings are set to be movers and shakers at the NBA’s trade deadline. Sources have confirmed to NBC Sports California that the team has been extremely active on the phones over the last two weeks. Whether that equates to a groundbreaking transaction between now and the NBA’s March 25 trade deadline is still unknown.
Outside of De’Aaron Fox and rookie Tyrese Haliburton, there are very few Kings players that should be considered off the table. In Sam Amick and Jason Jones’ latest piece on The Athletic, Marvin Bagley and Nemanja Bjelica both came up in the discussion.
“Rival executives say Bagley III is up for discussion in trade talks, but the interest in him is widely seen as minimal because of his struggles these past two seasons,” Amick writes.
At 21-years-old, the former No. 2 overall pick from the 2018 NBA Draft is having a solid season for the Kings. He’s currently averaging 14.1 points and 7.6 rebounds in 26 minutes per game for Sacramento.
After playing in just 13 games last season due to injury, Bagley has started 34 out of 36 games for the Kings this season. He has another year on his contract with the Kings and is eligible for an extension this summer.
With Bagley healthy, the Kings have mostly moved away from Bjelica this season at power forward and according to The Athletic, that has become an issue between the team and the veteran.
“When the Kings made it a priority to start Bagley at the start of this season, sources say the veteran who lost his starting spot — 32-year-old forward Nemanja Bjelica — was incensed at the idea that he’d been supplanted simply because he wasn’t part of the long-term plan,” the Athletic Sources say Bjelica chose not to play from Jan. 9 until his return to the rotation on Feb. 12, in large part, because of his strong disagreement with the decision and the reasons behind it.”
After starting 137 games over the last two seasons, Bjelica has suited up in 19 of the Kings’ 36 contests this season. The 32-year-old is averaging 8.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 18 minutes per game off the Kings’ bench.
While Bjelica’s shooting numbers are down, he’s a career 39 percent shooter from long range. He’s in the final year of his deal in Sacramento that pays him $7.2 million this season and according to Shams Charania, the Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks, Miami Heat and Boston Celtics have all expressed interest in the Serbian forward.
The Kings could drastically revamp their roster in the coming days. In addition to Bagley and Bjelica, the Kings will likely test the waters on most of their veteran talent, including Harrison Barnes, Buddy Hield, Cory Joseph, Hassan Whiteside and Jabari Parker.
It could be an wild few weeks in Sacramento as new general manager Monte McNair looks to reshape the roster on the fly after joining the franchise in September.