NBA Trades: The Kings could bolster their frontcourt by adding this center

Sacramento Kings, Domantas Sabonis, Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Sacramento Kings, Domantas Sabonis, Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

The Sacramento Kings’ strong season came to a disappointing end against the Golden State Warriors. Their Game 7 loss exposed some flaws that they will need to address if they want to take the next step next season. The Warriors feasted when Domantas Sabonis was playing center. He was tasked with defending away from the basket and warding off drives while battling Kevon Looney for rebounds.

That didn’t go so well, particularly in Game 7, when Looney feasted on the offensive glass, giving the Warriors extra possession after extra possession. The fact that a third seed was beaten by a sixth seed in that way is disappointing but should be fairly easy to address this summer. That leads to a hypothetical trade that could help Sacramento bolster their frontcourt next season.

The Trade: The Kings bolster the frontcourt.

At first glance, this might not seem like a worthwhile trade for the Kings, but it would help them in several ways. After an injury-plagued four seasons in Portland, Collins signed a three-year deal with the Spurs, and over the last couple of seasons, he has played surprisingly well. In fact, this season, after Jakob Poeltl was traded, he started 19 games and averaged 16.5 points, 8 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game.

Collins proved to be a skilled offensive player by scoring in the post and shooting a high percentage at the rim. Collins can even knock down threes, as evident by the fact that he shot 37.4% from downtown this season. Factor in that he is a good passer, and he would be a good addition to any frontcourt, including the Kings’.

He’d give Sacramento an upgrade at backup center and even give Coach Mike Brown the option to play Sabonis and Collins together if needed. With Collins’ ability to space the floor and pass, he likely wouldn’t hurt their offense. Also, his ability to score on the block would prevent teams from putting a wing on him.

Defensively, Collins is a capable rebounder and a decent rim protector. Equally important, however, is that he brings toughness to the table. He has developed a reputation for being physical and playing with an edge. While that didn’t translate into wins for a young, rebuilding Spurs team, it could be helpful to have an enforcer of sorts on the Kings to push back when opponents try to bully the up-and-coming team.

For the Spurs, they have been in asset acquisition mode for the last few seasons, resulting in them owning a staggering amount of draft picks. Trading Collins fits with their recent strategy of acquiring undervalued players and then later moving them in exchange for picks. They are also in a position to land the number one pick in this year’s draft by selecting Victor Wembanyama.

Even if they don’t, Collins could probably still be had. Thus, moving a 2026 first that could be top-10 protected through 2028 for Collins makes sense for the Kings. Not to mention it would allow them to get off of Richaun Holmes’ contract, giving them added value.

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Ultimately, the Kings proved to be far better than expected this season, but they will still need to improve this summer. By trading for Collins, they would get a frontcourt upgrade for the cost of only a late first-round pick and allow them to move a bad contract in the process