For the first time in 16 years, the Sacramento Kings are not participating in the NBA lottery. In the 2023 NBA Draft, the Kings hold the 24th overall pick. This 2023 draft class is brimming with talent, and Sacramento could get a steal of prospect with its late first-round selection. But, instead of taking a chance on a rookie, the Kings should try to trade their 24th overall pick.
The Sacramento Kings, after a first-round playoff exit, will be looking for immediate-impact players who can come in to help push into the playoffs next year. The Kings will also try to find impact players through free agency, and some rookies will be able to come in and make a positive impact, as we’ve seen with Keegan Murray this year.
ClutchPoints recommends two players the Sacramento Kings should try to get in exchange for the 24th pick in the draft.
1. Alex Caruso – G, Chicago Bulls
Alex Caruso, 29, has established himself as one of the best defensemen in the league. The Chicago Bulls’ locked-down shooting guard received NBA All-Defensive First Team honors this season. Caruso is 6’5″ so he specializes in guarding the opposing team’s best guard. ClutchPoints thinks the Kings could use Caruso after their defensive meltdown against Stephen Curry in Game 7 of the first-round playoff series.
A trade to acquire Alex Caruso, according to ClutchPoints, could look like this:
The bulls get
2023 1st Round Pick (#24)
2023 2nd round pick
2024 2nd round pick
The Bulls could be looking to get big man depth while giving away a piece of their loaded backcourt. Richaun Holmes would be a good backup center for Chicago, as they also receive the Kings’ first-round and two second-round picks. Alex Caruso has two years left on his contract, worth $19.35 million, a deal the Kings would be happy to complete.
Alex Caruso would join a backcourt of De’Aaron Fox, Kevin Huerter, Davion Mitchell and Malik Monk, so he doesn’t fit in very well, but he can fill in for a backup small forward instead or lead a formation of three guards off the bench.
I think Alex Caruso is a great player and a fantastic defenseman, but I don’t see the Kings trading for him.
2. Royce O’Neale – F, Brooklyn Nets
Sticking with the defensive theme, we take a look at Royce O’Neale. With rumors that the Sacramento Kings are targeting Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson, they might as well take the entire wing group from the Brooklyn Nets. Royce O’Neale is a 3-and-D threat, which could be what the Kings are looking for this offseason. O’Neale has shot 38.9% from deep this season while constantly impacting the defensive end.
ClutchPoints suggests that a trade for Royce O’Neale would be similar to that of Caruso:
2023 1st Round Pick (#24)
The Nets have impressive depth, but 29-year-old Royce O’Neale might not match their vision for the future. Centered around their 26-year-old star Mikal Bridges, the Nets could look to get rid of O’Neale in exchange for a late first-round pick and deep manpower in Richaun Holmes.
This trade is fantastic for the Sacramento Kings because Royce O’Neale is a player who can come in and contribute, especially if the Kings lose Harrison Barnes or Trey Lyles in free agency. The only problem with this trade is that I don’t think the Nets would accept it, but if I was the front office for the Kings, I make this trade 9 times out of 10.