Why this trade makes sense for the Sacramento Kings
Sacramento has not been to the playoffs since 2006 and that drought is likely not going to end this season. They are currently 1.5 games back from being the 10-seed in the Western Conference and as a result, their playoff hopes are starting to slip away.
Even if this team does make the playoffs somehow, it is hard to see them beating one of the top teams in the Western Conference in a 7-game series. So where does this team go from here, especially since they have virtually no cap space?
Richaun Holmes is set to become a free agent this offseason and with Marvin Bagley III entering the final year of his contract, the Kings will have a huge decision to make about who they will keep and who they will let go. By trading away Harrison Barnes, this decision will be made rather quickly since they would have the cap space to then re-sign both Holmes and Bagley to long-term deals.
While Barnes has been a steady contributor for them over the years, he is now 28-years-old and likely not in the Kings long-term plans. They would definitely entertain the idea of keeping him long-term, but Sacramento does not want to pay Barnes as much as they are now, which is why trading him for value now makes sense.
Tristan Thompson could be an excellent complimentary player in the frontcourt for a season next to Holmes and Bagley and Romeo Langford has a lot of potential given his size and athleticism, but he needs to be able to stay on the court healthy. Sacramento could be getting a really solid young player in him, which is why he could be an appealing name in this trade scenario.
Getting Tristan Thompson on a one-year deal frees up cap space moving forward and getting two immediate second-round picks allows the Kings to continue to try and find some young players to add to their already young team for long-term success.