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The Sixers got 3 players including Stauskas and a first round pick from the Kings for nothing in one of the most lopsided NBA trades ever.


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It's hard to overstate what an incredibly bad trade this was for the Sacramento Kings.

This trade took place in early July 2015:

While the Philadelphia 76ers and GM Sam Hinkie continue to struggle in their search for a superstar in the draft, the team's radical rebuilding plan paid off in a big way in a trade with the Sacramento Kings.

The Kings wanted to clear cap space to make a run at free-agency targets Rajon Rondo, Monta Ellis, and Wes Matthews. The Sixers, who have more cap room than anyone in the NBA because they refuse to sign free agents, were more than happy to take on salary from the Kings.

But to facilitate this salary dump, the Sixers made the Kings throw in a boatload of assets. Here's the full trade (via Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo):

Sixers get:

  • Nik Stauskas (the eighth-overall pick in the 2014 draft)
  • Carl Landry
  • Jason Thompson
  • A future top-10-protected first-round pick (per Grantland's Zach Lowe)
  • The right to swap two future first-round picks

Kings get:

  • The rights to overseas-based Lithuanian prospect Arturas Gudaitis and Serbian prospect Luka Mitrovic (per ESPN's Pablo Torre)
  • A future second-round pick

The Kings cleared $13 million off their salary cap by getting rid of Landry and Thompson, but it cost them their 2014 first-round pick and a bunch of future assets. The Kings now have around $27 million in cap room, but even if they can sign two of Rondo, Matthews, and Ellis, are they really a serious contender in the West?

Less than 12 hours later, the NBA world is calling this a catastrophe for the Kings.

ESPN's Kevin Pelton graded the trade for both teams, giving the Kings a firm "F."

It's hard to overstate how little the Sixers gave up here. Gudaitis and Mitrovic were second-round picks in 2015, but they're both playing in Europe, and it's not a guarantee that they will ever play a game in the NBA, much less contribute in the next few years. The future second-round pick is equally expendable since the Sixers have 11 extra second-round picks in the bank from various trades over the past two years. The $13 million in Landry/Thompson salary doesn't matter at all because the Sixers were never going to spend that money anyway. In fact, over the past few years the Sixers have flirted with the salary floor (the minimum amount of money an NBA team has to spend on player salaries).

The Sixers gave up nothing! And they got Stauskas, who played poorly in an awful situation last season but was still a top-10 pick 13 months ago, and draft picks out of it. Hinkie lives.

The Sacramento Kings — the team that just gave away a ton of assets while their best player, coach, and owner feud — are a disaster:

The Sacramento Kings are having the worst offseason in the NBA, and it's not close.

The Kings have most recently been criticized for making a lopsided, salary-dump trade in which they gave up two players, their 2014 No. 8 pick in Nik Stauskas, a top-1o protected pick, and the right to swap two future first-round picks for two European prospects and a second-round pick.

However, that trade follows a slow trainwreck that's been building since December.

After getting off to an 11-13 start, the Kings fired head coach Mike Malone. Not only was Malone star center DeMarcus Cousins' favorite coach, Cousins learned of the firing on Twitter.

The Kings then flopped through the rest of the season with interim coach Tyrone Corbin, who was given a new contract, suggesting he'd finish out the year as coach. Instead, two months later, the Kings then let go of Corbin and hired George Karl as head coach. At the time, there were reports that Cousins and his camp opposed the hiring.

The Kings missed the playoffs for the ninth year in a row, and the team has since seemingly fallen apart. Reports surfaced just before the NBA Draft that the Kings were considering trading Cousins, with Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski saying it was unlikely Cousins and Karl could "peacefully co-exist."

Furthermore, Wojnarowski reported that Karl was the one pushing the trade and trying to gain support from the Kings' front office, despite vice president of basketball operations Vlade Divac saying they wouldn't trade Cousins.

Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee reported that Cousins and Karl haven't spoken since April.

This created another rift between Karl – who is known for wanting to have a say in personnel control – and Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, who was frustrated with Karl's meddling.

Now, the Kings face an unpleasant dilemma: fire Karl, who's their sixth coach in four years, or trade Cousins, one of the best talents in the NBA.

Firing Karl seems to be the better option, but that doesn't make it easy. It adds further instability to the organization, and strangely empowers Cousins. Cousins hasn't gotten along with a majority of the Kings' coaches during his five-year career, and firing another coach doesn't make Sacramento an easy sell for any future coaches, knowing they'll lose their jobs if they get off to a slow start or don't get along with Cousins.

And this is only off-the-court. The Kings are also having their issues with fielding an actually competitive roster.

Though they cleared lots of cap space with the aforementioned Sixers trade, their plans to use it are not all that appealing. They were reportedly targeting a combination of Rajon Rondo, Wesley Matthews, and Monta Ellis with the space, a plan that makes little sense.

Ellis signed with the Pacers and actually reportedly left money on the table from the Kings, who offered him $4.3 million more than the Pacers. Rondo had a horrible 2014-15 season and is a poor fit for a roster that lacks reliable shooters. Matthews, though one of the best wing players in the NBA, is coming off a torn Achilles, a historically devastating injury in the NBA, and is seeking $15 million per year, which the Kings might meet. Matthews could end up being a good signing, but the risk is there.

At the beginning of last season, the Kings seemed to be on the right track, getting off to a 9-5 start with a decent squad, a stable relationship between Cousins and Malone, and the promise of cap space. They've since hired a coach that doesn't get along with their star and is trying to undermine the front office, and are looking chase undesirable free agents or overpay the best ones.

Now, the Kings have so many issues to handle that it seems their gradual rebuilding process has taken several steps backwards.

Here is a quick rundown on where the Sacramento Kings are as a team. Apparently George Karl is still their head coach!

http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2015/8/5/9099595/sacramento-kings-offseason-free-agents-vivek-ranadive-demarcus-cousins

Wow, thanks for this link. I'm having difficulty imagining the Kings being good anytime soon. 

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