The Sacramento Kings have traded Trevor Ariza to the Portland Trail Blazers for Kent Bazemore and Anthony Tolliver. How successful was this trade for each team?
“If you don’t like that, you don’t like Kings basketball!” The Sacramento Kings got an early start to the 2020 NBA trade deadline.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski has reported that the Kings have agreed to send veteran Trevor Ariza, as well as forwards Wenyen Gabriel and Caleb Swanigan to the Portland Trail Blazers. in exchange for wing-man Kent Bazemore, sharpshooter Anthony Tolliver, and two second-round picks.
At first glance, this seems like a rather unexciting trade. Each player involved is either past their prime, or too young to evaluate properly. The transaction’s leading scorer, Bazemore, has a meager average of 7.9 points per game so far this season.
However, upon deeper review, the following grades show that the Kings are the clear initial winners.
The Kings: B
The two second-round picks will likely be the most valuable components of this trade. While second-round selections are traditionally considered to be unexciting, there have been countless examples of teams uncovering diamonds in the rough.
Sacramento also acquires two expiring contracts in Bazemore ($19.3 million) and Tolliver ($1.6 million. These deals will create valuable space for the Kings to sign additional players during the next free agency period.
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While Bazemore and Tolliver will add two proven options to the rotation, neither should be considered major difference makers at this point in their careers.
Bazemore (30-years-old) should provide valuable depth behind starting small forward Harrison Barnes, who is currently averaging 35.1 minutes per game.
Tolliver (34-years-old) on the other hand, who is entering his second stint with the Kings (2016-2017), has the ability to use his career .374 three-point percentage to space the floor for players like De’Aaron Fox.
At the end of the day, this trade gives the Kings a chance to improve in both the short and long term. Ariza’s pedestrian averages of 6.0 points and 4.6 rebounds should easily be surpassed by the team’s new tandem of forwards.
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The additional cap space and future picks also give Sacramento a chance to add talent as they attempt to build a winning roster in the 2020s.
While the added talent certainly won’t blow anyone away, it is abundantly clear that the Sacramento Kings won this trade.
The Trail Blazers: C
This begs the question: Why would Portland give up expiring contracts and draft picks for a player like Trevor Ariza?
Ariza’s value in Sacramento came more in the form of his off-court presence than his on-court play. The 15-year NBA veteran is a former NBA Champion (he was a member of the 2009 Los Angeles Lakers) and is still a capable defender and three-point shooter.
He could be a helpful piece if the Trail Blazers are able to overcome their slow start and claim one of the late seeds in the Western Conference playoffs.
Both Gabriel and Swanigan are currently averaging less than two points per game. They are each dart throws that Portland will try to develop into solid role players. Swanigan, who was a first-round pick in 2017, likely has the higher upside.
While the Ariza addition is noteworthy, the trade will save the Blazers $12.5 million in salary and $7 million in luxury tax. This financial component is likely the chief reason for the deal being successfully completed.
How do you feel about seeing Bazemore and Tolliver in Kings’ jersey this season? What other moves would you like to see Sacramento pursue before the February 6th trade deadline?