In a week that’s seen the Kings make news nationally for firing their coach and upsetting a locker room that was making progress, the front office apparently is not done making news.
Yahoo Sports reported Saturday the Kings are actively pursuing a trade for former All-Star point guard Deron Williams of the Brooklyn Nets.
According to the report, the Kings would send Darren Collison, Jason Thompson and Derrick Williams to the Nets for Deron Williams. The hangup is the Kings want to also acquire Mason Plumlee in the deal, but the Nets are reluctant to part with the emerging forward.
Multiple league sources said such a deal falls in line with the front office looking to make splashy deals designed to bring fans back to the arena by enticing them with a fun style of play.
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The Kings missed on a chance to trade for Rajon Rondo, who they coveted for some time, when Boston dealt the point guard to Dallas for a combination of players and draft picks.
The Kings have tried to trade Thompson for some time. Derrick Williams is in the last year of his contract and not part of the team’s long-term plans.
The team loves Collison but would likely have to include a point guard to make the deal work for Brooklyn. It’s much like last year when the Kings traded Greivis Vasquez, who was highly regarded by the team but had to be sent to Toronto in order to land Rudy Gay.
Deron Williams would give the Kings a player who has been an All-Star three times (2010-12). He also played for Kings interim coach Tyrone Corbin in Utah, which in theory would allow Corbin to implement changes with a player he knows well.
Management wants to see the Kings play at a faster pace as it evaluates Corbin while keeping an eye on landing a big-name coach at some point.
Plugging Deron Williams into the mix would not guarantee instant success, but it would be another recognizable name to sell fans who might be on the fence about attending games.
And it’s not as if Williams, 30, does not come with risk.
Williams has been less productive in recent seasons amid ankle injuries. He’s dealing with a calf strain that is expected to keep him out of Brooklyn’s game Sunday against Detroit.
Asking Williams to lead a fast-paced attack and solidify the defense is a risky idea at this stage of his career. He is averaging 15.6 points this season and shooting a career-worst 40.3 percent with 6.8 assists.
There also is a big financial commitment that would come with Williams. He’s owed about $43 million through the 2016-17 season.
The argument would be the Kings took a chance on Gay last season as he struggled with Toronto. But Gay’s issues had more to do with his fit in the Raptors’ system and not with health.
Spending money has not been an issue for principal owner Vivek Ranadive as he’s already made big commitments to DeMarcus Cousins and Gay.
What does make sense would be the Kings’ interest in Plumlee.
Ranadive often brags about having two players – Cousins and Gay – who were part of the U.S. team that won the gold medal in the FIBA World Cup last summer. Plumlee was also on the team and would fit the Kings’ desire to add big men who can run the floor.
Plumlee, 24, is averaging 7.6 points and 5.8 rebounds in his second year out of Duke. Ideally, he would replace Thompson starting next to Cousins if the Nets agreed to deal him.
But with several high-priced players who are nearing the end of their careers, parting with Plumlee would be difficult for the Nets.