2022 NBA Draft trade rumors: The five likeliest deals for Kings’ highly-coveted No. 4 overall pick

There is a strong consensus in the league that the 2022 NBA draft will start with a fourth pick. While the exact order has yet to be determined, the entire drafting process has implied a split between Jabari Smith, Chet Holmgren, Paolo Banchero and the rest of the draft field. The Magic, Thunder and Rockets are expected to take one each. And then? We really don’t know what’s going to happen next.

The general assumption is that Purdue point guard Jaden Ivey will be #4 overall. He was widely regarded as the fourth best contender in the class, but the team picking fourth place may be the worst fit for him on the board. The Sacramento Kings have a point guard in De’Aaron Fox. They picked Davion Mitchell in the lottery last off-season. For his part, Ivey doesn’t seem too keen on becoming a king. “I had no contact with them, it didn’t work out for them. I just let that process happen on its own,” Ivey said told reporters Start of the week. “If I was moved there, it wouldn’t be the worst option. I can’t choose.”

Kings could still go for Ivey, but we know they’re quite sensitive to prospects’ wishes. Rumor has it that Marvin Bagley III’s interest in playing in Sacramento contributed to his selection against Luka Doncic in 2018. Luckily, if the Kings aren’t convinced of him, there seem to be a number of teams that are. Multiple reports suggest the Kings are ready to deal with the pick, so let’s cover five possible deals for the most coveted pick in the 2022 NBA draft.

The trade:

  • Kings get: Isaiah Stewart, #5 overall, #46 overall, 2024 second-round election (via Washington or Memphis)
  • Pistons obtained: No. 4 overall pick

Remember Ivey’s tepid words about Sacramento? He seemed a little more enthusiastic about Detroit. “I’d love to go anywhere but Detroit, my mom [Notre Dame head women’s basketball coach Niele Ivey] played for the Detroit Shock in the WNBA,” Ivey said. “I’ve lived in the area and I know what it’s like.” Without knowing Sacramento’s goals in a trade down, we can also say that sitting the Pistons in 5th place gives them a distinct advantage in these discussions, since Keegan Murray, the versatile forward from Iowa, is the best fit on the Sacramento board. Any lower rank than No. 5 risks Murray becoming a piston.

The problem Detroit faces here is that Sacramento doesn’t have much else to offer. The Pistons can’t technically trade a first-round pick until 2029, as a pick is currently owed to Oklahoma City. Their roster lacks the kind of win-now veterans that the Kings, desperate to make the playoffs, would probably like to have. The Kings would certainly love to beat Saddiq Bey in a deal, but he’s probably too valuable to justify the sacrifice of just jumping a single spot. So that leaves us with Detroit’s leftovers. Stewart is a young, high-profile center on a team that seems poised to go after DeAndre Ayton. Extra picks are always nice. But overall, this isn’t a particularly exciting option for Sacramento.

The trade:

This is where it gets more interesting. The Pacers are buying Brogdon to hand their backcourt to Tyrese Haliburton and he would be an absolutely perfect fit alongside De’Aaron Fox. Where Fox is bold and lightning fast, Brogdon is a more measured alternative, relying on his consistent shooting and ball-handling craft to generate attacks. The two would be a good match, and Brogdon obviously has experience with Domantas Sabonis from their time together in Indiana.

This is an easy win-now trade for kings. They would still be able to either land Murray at No. 6 or take on a longer term project like Shaedon Sharpe as an eventual replacement for Brogdon. Indiana, in turn, can win Ivey as a partner for Haliburton. Add in the fact that Ivey played at Purdue in Indiana State and the move allowed the Pacers to gain additional fan support. Maybe the Kings need a little more value here, but the shell construction makes sense for both sides.

The trade:

  • Kings get: Kyle Kuzma, number 10 overall
  • Wizards get: Justin Holiday, No. 4 overall

There is no need to speculate about Sacramento’s interest in Kuzma. They almost acquired him before the 2021 NBA draft. The Lakers were supposed to send Kuzma to the Kings in a package for Buddy Hield before Russell Westbrook got in the way. The same qualities that intrigued royalty a year ago should appeal to them now. Kuzma is coming off his best pro season. He averaged a fairly efficient 17.1 points per game in Washington, along with his steadily improving defense and 8.5 rebounds. This is a valuable start forward.

Washington, meanwhile, gets the long-term backcourt partner for Bradley Beal that it has longed for since John Wall started getting injured. The Wizards missed Westbrook and Spencer Dinwiddie, but they would have a point guard in Ivey whose playing advantage and athleticism should bring a breath of fresh air alongside Beal. This is another deal that would likely require some more draft compensation on Washington’s side, but it puts a relatively young player in a position of need for the Kings. This is the best of both worlds for Sacramento.

The trade:

  • Kings get: Julius Randle, #11 overall, 2023 Dallas Mavericks first-round pick (top-10 protected)
  • receive curtsy: Richaun Holmes, Justin Holiday, No. 4 overall

It may surprise you to hear this, but getting established All-NBA players to willingly play in Sacramento is quite difficult. If the kings want one, they have to be willing to take some risk. Julius Randle takes several risks. His shooting dropped to average last season as fans returned to the arenas, putting him in a dubious place alongside Sabonis and Fox. His defense has been up and down throughout his career. His attitude last season was also an issue in New York. But Randle was an All-NBA player a season ago in a position where the Kings needed him. If you think the player is still there, this might be a trade that interests you. It’s also entirely possible that they view Randle, who he owes $117 million over the next few years, as a negative asset.

We’re also not exactly sure how the Knicks view Randle at the moment, but it should be noted that they have a ready replacement in Obi Toppin. As of the reporting date, there were some reports of a potential Randle-Fox swap, but it’s unclear how far those talks ever got. What we do know is that the Knicks are desperate to land a point guard. They have been linked to every available launcher under the sun. Ivey is their best long-term game and you can bet they’ll explore all reasonable avenues to win it.

5. Thunder from Oklahoma City

The trade:

  • Kings get: #12 overall, #34 overall, 2023 Denver Nuggets first-round pick (top-14 protected), 2024 Los Angeles Clippers first-round pick (unprotected), 2027 Denver Nuggets first-round pick (top-14, five protected)
  • Get Thunder: No. 4 overall pick

The Thunder are in a completely unique position here. They have 18 first-round picks to trade over the next seven years. You are able to trade with virtually any player or pick in basketball, with the exception of a few MVP candidates. If they want Ivey bad enough, they’ll get him. But that is exactly what makes creating a trade offer so difficult. If they wanted him so badly that he gave up, say, six or seven first-round picks, they’d probably just pick him in 2nd place.

So here’s a middle ground. The kings move down eight places. In return, they pick up a high second-rounder that could likely grab a playable rookie next season. You get a very coveted unprotected pick, and with it come two more modest protected ones. That’s four first rounds and one second round for Ivey. Even if the Kings are determined to land veteran aid, it wouldn’t be hard to pass those chips on to other sellers. If the Kings aren’t selling on Ivey, Oklahoma City undoubtedly has the greatest value to offer. It’s just a question of how far it’s willing to go to add another ball-handler to its overstuffed young core.

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