Grade the Trade: The Kings acquire LaVine from the Bulls in this proposed deal.
LaVine’s trade market right now is reportedly nonexistent according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. He has a huge contract that pays him about 45 million dollars annually, and there are questions about whether he impacts winning or if he can be a franchise player. This is where the Kings come in. They need another proven scoring option next to Fox and someone who can keep the offense afloat when he hits the bench.
This season, the Kings have struggled offensively when Fox hits the bench. Without him on the court, they have an offensive rating of 105.5, compared to a 119.3 rating when he is on the court. LaVine has averaged at least 20 points per game over the past five seasons. The Kings need more offense if they want to go further than last year.
Additionally, giving up Barnes and Huerter is not as big of a loss as people would think. In this scenario, the Kings would retain a lot of depth, as they have Murray, Monk, Trey Lyles, and Davion Mitchell as well. They also have Chris Duarte, who can occupy some rotation minutes when he returns from injury.
They also do not give up a lot of draft capital in this scenario, since LaVine’s value is pretty low. They need to capitalize on this in the name of receiving a borderline All-Star player. A core of Fox, Lavine, Sabonis, and Murray would be very dangerous.
The Kings also do not need LaVine to be their franchise player. They just need him to be the Robin to Fox’s Batman. He might even be the Nightwing for this Kings team, given that Sabonis can ascend to Robin status on any given night.
This trade would be a win for them and would make them more of a serious contender in the West. LaVine would also welcome the chance to compete for a championship for the first time in his career and would be engaged from day one. This trade would definitely light the beam for the Kings. Grade: A-