(SACRAMENTO) — A whirlwind of trades went down on Wednesday night and the Sacramento Kings were smack dab in the middle of them.
And yes, the acquisitions are beneficial for a team that hasn’t made the NBA playoffs since 2006.
The Kings finally landed a much-needed small forward in the process. Sacramento traded second-year player Justin Jackson and veteran Zac Randolph to the Dallas Mavericks for Harrison Barnes.
Complete with a championship ring from his playing days with the Golden State Warriors, Barnes was averaging almost 18 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game for the Mavericks this season. He is adjustable to play both forward positions.
“He’s a big forward, a big three who can really create his own shot and defend when he knows when to defend,” Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox said of Harrison. “I think he’ll fit in. At 6-foot-8, 6-9, he’s a big guy who can put the ball in the basket.”
Iman Shumpert is also essentially done playing for the Sacramento Kings and is part of a three-team trade that includes the Houston Rockets and Cleveland Cavaliers.
Alec Burks is head to Sacramento from Clevland and the Cavs will receive Brandon Knights and Sacramento native Marquese Chriss from Houston and a protected first-round pick. Shumpert is headed to Houston.
The Kings (28-26) and the Rockets had a tango at Golden 1 Center while the trade process was underway. Houston ran away with the victory, beating the Kings 127-101. James Harden had 36 points and six rebounds, including eight 3-point baskets.
The Rockets snapped the Kings seven-game win streak at G1C. Houston (32-22) will get a proven, much needed, defensive player in 27-year-old Shumpert.
“I’m excited about it. I have known Shump for a while,” said Rockets point guard Chris Paul, who had 15 points and 11 assists against the Kings. “We watch a lot of games in this league and stuff like that, and Shump got dog. When I say that, hoopers know what that means. That means he is scrappy, he gets after it. Somebody like that I can play with any day of the week.”
Shumpert was the glue in the locker room and one of the reasons why the Kings turned things around this season in a positive way for the organization. The young players are going to miss his presence for sure.
“It’s a different world. It’s a business. That’s really where I stand with that. We’ll definitely miss him but we just have to get the team better and lock in,” Kings rookie Marvin Bagley said. “He showed us a lot. Shump is a vet, he’s been in championships and he’s been at that level. The things he was able to show me along the way, not only me but the rest of the guys, he was a big part of the team. It’s sad that he’s gone.”
Shumpert, the leader of the Kings’ “Scores,” was averaging
Randolph, who had not played in a one-single game this season for the Kings was on the backend of a two-year, $24 million contract while Shumpert was in the last year of a contract that pays $11 million this season.
Burks, packing his bags for the second time this season, was traded from the Utah Jazz to Cleveland for Kyle Kover in November.
“It’s part of the business and everybody knows it. It’s doesn’t make it any easier on the guys, get uprooted, and have to go to a new place,” Houston head coach Mike D’Antoni said of trades in the NBA. “Especially, if you have a family. It’s really tough. It’s a great living and we know the deal. This is what we sign up for and we kind of go with the punches. Hopefully, it’s a better situation for a lot of guys.”
By Antonio R. Harvey | OBSERVER Staff Writer
OBSERVER video footage by Russell Stiger Jr.