Kings at No. 4, Trail Blazers at No. 7 open to trade pick for win-now help

The Sacramento Kings have missed the playoffs for an NBA-record 16 seasons and desperately want that to end that streak, telling new coach Mike Brown they expect a Minnesota-like turnaround next season.

The Portland Trail Blazers are trying to retool on the fly around Damian Lillard and build a contender.

Neither of these teams are on the “let’s draft a guy in the lottery and develop him” timeline, so it’s no surprise both are looking to trade out of their spots. Marc Stein wrote about it at Substack.

A rare NBA Draft rumble from your infamously draft-shy correspondent: Both Sacramento and Portland are widely expected to give serious consideration to trading the No. 4 and No. 7 overall picks, respectively, if they can concoct appealing win-now swaps. And now I’m told Washington is another top-10 team (drafting 10th overall) said to be weighing the same possibility.

Being open to trading out and finding a deal that works are two different things.

Sacramento lucked out in the NBA Draft Lottery, moving up to No. 4, and rumors of them being willing to trade the pick surfaced almost immediately. Assuming Jabari Smith, Chet Holmgren and Paolo Banchero are drafted 1-2-3 in some order (as expected by most), that would make the very athletic Jaden Ivey, a point guard out of Purdue, the likely No. 4 pick. There are teams very high on him (some scouts like him better than Banchero) and the Kings may find a suitor willing to give up a quality veteran starter to move up and select Ivey.

Portland slipped a couple of spots to No. 7 in the draft lottery, and there isn’t the same level of demand for their pick right now, but there is interest. The Trail Blazers can likely find a trade partner, but that pick alone isn’t going to return a star player to them.

Washington is in that same win-now boat with Bradley Beal (if they re-sign him) and Kristaps Porzingis. It’s also not a surprise the Wizards are open to a deal.

The 2022 NBA Draft really starts at No. 4, and the Kings will likely be right in the middle of it — by trading away that pick.

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