Report: Kings Reluctant To Trade Keegan Murray For All-Star

Sacramento Kings, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

Last season was a feel-good story for the Sacramento Kings. They finished with the third seed in the Western Conference and made the NBA playoffs for the first time since 2006, and they did so with a young, exciting, and potent team.

After they exited in Game 7 of the first round of the playoffs to the Golden State Warriors, the challenge became to build on that success and take the next step.

So far this season, it hasn’t happened. It was knocked out of the quarterfinal round of the in-season tournament by the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday, dropping their record to 11-8.

Although they’re in fifth place in the West, the conference is much stronger and deeper than it was last season, and therefore, Sacramento may need to bring in outside help to take that next step.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Keegan Murray, Sacramento Kings, Zach LaVine, Pascal Siakam Updates

Two stars who could be on the trade market soon are Zach LaVine of the Chicago Bulls and Pascal Siakam of the Toronto Raptors. The Kings seem to have a nice trade chip in Keegan Murray, but according to one reporter, they don’t want to let go of him.

“If the Sacramento Kings want to trade for Pascal Siakam, Zach LaVine or another All-Star-caliber player on the trade market, Keegan Murray would be the headline piece a rival team would covet in a potential trade package,” wrote Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. “However, Sacramento is reluctant to part with Murray in trade talks and views him as part of their core going forward, but would be open to moving future first-round picks, HoopsHype has learned.”

Murray, a 6-foot-8 forward, is shooting the ball poorly to start this year. However, he had an excellent rookie season last year, averaging 12.2 points a game while shooting 41.1 percent from 3-point range. This year, he is averaging 6.1 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game, and he seems to have some potential on the defensive end as well.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Keegan Murray, Sacramento Kings, Zach LaVine, Pascal Siakam Updates

The Kings’ two main stars are guard De’Aaron Fox and center Domantas Sabonis. But while they have some capable role players, the rest of their team simply isn’t impressive enough to defeat a squad such as the defending NBA champion Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns or possibly the Los Angeles Lakers in a playoff series. In addition, Sacramento is a young and relatively inexperienced team, and a seasoned vet or two would greatly help.

Position-wise, Siakam would seem to be the type of star who could get it to the next level. But he will make nearly $38 million this season, meaning he would cost quite a bit of capital for the Kings. Of course, Siakam should have many other suitors, and if the Kings make Murray untouchable, they may have to make do with their team as presently constituted.

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