For the first time in 16 years, the Sacramento Kings are not involved in the NBA lottery. In the 2023 NBA Draft, the Kings hold the 24th overall pick. This 2023 draft class is loaded with talent, and Sacramento could get a steal of a prospect with their late first-round selection. But, instead of taking a chance on a rookie, the Kings are reportedly expected to try and trade their 24th overall pick.
The Sacramento Kings, after a first-round playoff exit, will be looking for immediate-impact players that can come and help make a playoff push next year. The Kings will also try to find impact players through free agency, and some rookies will be able to come in and have a positive impact, as we saw from Keegan Murray this year.
ClutchPoints recommend two players the Sacramento Kings should try to receive in exchange for the 24th pick in the draft.
1. Alex Caruso – G, Chicago Bulls
29-Year-old Alex Caruso has cemented his place as one of the best defenders in the league. The Chicago Bulls lockdown 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 believes the Kings could use Caruso after their defensive collapse against Stephen Curry in Game 7 of the first-round playoff series.
A trade to acquire Alex Caruso, according to ClutchPoints, might look something like this:
2023 1st Round Pick (#24)
2023 2nd Round Pick
2024 2nd Round Pick
The Bulls could be looking to get some big man depth while giving away a piece from their loaded backcourt. Richaun Holmes would be a good backup center for Chicago, as they also receive the Kings’ first-rounder 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 bring on.
Alex Caruso would join a backcourt of De’Aaron Fox, Kevin Huerter, Davion Mitchell, and Malik Monk, so he does not fit in great, but he can fill in as a backup small forward instead or run a three-guard lineup off the bench.
I think Alex Caruso is a great player and a fantastic defender, but I do not 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 of the Sacramento Kings targeting Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson, they might as well take the Brooklyn Nets’ whole wing group. Royce O’Neale is a 3-and-D threat, which might be what the Kings are looking for this offseason. O’Neale shot 38.9% from deep this season while constantly impacting the defensive side.
ClutchPoints suggests a trade for Royce O’Neale would be similar to one for Caruso:
2023 1st Round Pick (#24)
The Nets have some impressive forward depth, but 29-year-old Royce O’Neale might not fit into their vision for the future. Centered around their 26-year-old star, Mikal Bridges, the Nets might look to dump O’Neale in exchange for a late first-round pick and some big man depth with Richaun Holmes.
This trade is fantastic for the Sacramento Kings, as Royce O’Neale is a player that can come in and contribute, especially if the Kings lose Harrison Barnes or Trey Lyles in free agency. The only problem with that trade is that I do not think the Nets accept it, but if I were the Kings’ front office, I make this trade 9 out of 10 times.