by Eric Paolini
My original plan was to talk after the NBA's trade deadline passed about the trades that were made or not made and how they would affect the rest of the season. But when your favorite team makes a trade you dislike you tend to focus upon that trade, and that trade only. Once again the Kings gave up the best player (or at least the player with the most trade value) in a trade.
The trade the Kings made is as follows:
The Sacramento Kings receive, Patrick Patterson, Cole Aldrich, Toney Douglas, and cash considerations. The Houston rockets receive Thomas Robinson, Francisco Garcia, Tyler Honeycutt, and a future second round pick. Plus a a second round pick from the Phoenix Suns in exchange for Marcus Morris.
While Robinson hasn't played as well as you would expect for the number five overall pick, it is entirely too early to give up on him. The Kings are giving up on him after only 51 games. In return they receive a bench post player (Aldrich), a fourth point guard (Douglas), and somebody in Patterson who can help you off the bench a bit. While his production may be more this year than Robinson, the plan for Robinson isn't as a backup power forward. He needs to be developed. He has the potential to be a future starter.
The Kings giving up an unproductive rookie would be alright if they were one player away from being title contenders. Instead they're the sixth worst team in the league. It doesn't improve them this year or in any of the next five.
I could even handle the trade if they were getting rid of John Salmons or Travis Outlaw's horrible contracts. But instead they swapped two potentially expiring contracts (team options) for two expiring contracts. What this trade ultimately comes down to is money. The players the Kings are sending away make approximately 3.5 million dollars this year than the players they are receiving. Plus add the cash the Rockets are sending to Sacramento. (That $3.5 million needs to be prorated for the remaining 27 games).
This marks another time the Kings give up the best player in a trade for a younger player making less money. Kevin Martin for Carl Landry. And then Landry for Marcus Thornton. You could even go back when they dumped the contracts of Mike Bibby and Chris Webber once upon a time. While money isn't the only factor in these trades, roster fit and injury issues are there as well, it's another example of the Kings sacrificing players for cheaper and less talented players.
This is how I think this plays out. Toney Douglas either gets bought out or sits at the end of the bench. There aren't enough minutes for Isaiah Thomas, Jimmer Fredette, and Aaron Brooks as it is. If anything the Kings should have traded Brooks to free up minutes for the other two. At the end of the season he moves on to another city. Patterson fulfills the backup power forward role whose ceiling is third big guy off the bench. As far as Aldrich is concerned, who cares? He's a replaceable NBA player. Whether he goes or stays, plays a few minutes or not at all, it really doesn't matter.
Ultimately, this trade saves the Kings a little bit of money this year and can be added to the Maloof's resume of atrocious basketball decisions. It's a win all the way around if you're the cash strapped Maloof's who won't be owning the team next year. As far as people who care about the Kings, it's another loss.
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