Reports: Kings pursuing Hawks' Paul Millsap

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AP

Reports: Kings pursuing Hawks' Paul Millsap

SACRAMENTO -- With the reported trade of 35-year-old sharpshooter Kyle Korver, the Atlanta Hawks appear primed as sellers nearly seven weeks before the NBA’s Feb. 23 trade deadline. What does that mean for veteran big man Paul Millsap?

According to multiple reports, the Kings have interest in the Hawks’ All-Star forward and are pushing hard to make something work.

The Atlantic Journal-Constitution’s Chris Vivlamare started the conversation with a tweet Thursday afternoon.

“The Sacramento Kings are a team very interested in Paul Millsap,” Vivlamare tweeted.

Minutes later, RealGM writer Keith Smith jumped into the conversation.

“Also, the Kings are getting deep on Millsap. Other teams involved, but SAC very motivated to get in the playoffs this year,” Smith posted on twitter.

Smith went on to say that DeMarcus Cousins would not be included in any deal for Millsap and that the Kings would love to pair the veteran with their All-Star center.

Millsap, 31, is in the middle of a three-year, $60 million deal that carries him through the 2017-18 season, but he has a $22 million player option for next year and could leave as an unrestricted free agent.

The three-time All-Star is posting solid numbers for the Hawks, averaging 17.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.6 steals in 33.9 minutes per game.

Known as a positive presence in the locker room and a quality defender on the floor, Millsap would fit nicely at the power forward position alongside Cousins.

Whether the Kings have the assets to land an All-Star caliber player is another question.

Sacramento has already committed their 2017 first round selection (top 10 protected) to the Chicago Bulls as part of the Omri Casspi/J.J. Hickson deal from 2011 and their 2019 pick is property of the Philadelphia 76ers from the Nik Stauskas, Jason Thompson, Carl Landry deal from 2015. The earliest selection the Kings could include is a 2021 pick per NBA rules.

If Atlanta is looking for prospects, the Kings have plenty of young options sitting on the bench from both the 2015 and 2016 NBA Draft. They also have plenty of moveable veteran pieces on short-term deals to make the money work.

Millsap’s value will be hampered slightly by his contract status. Dealing him in the first week of January would guarantee a team less than four months of service before he could exercise the option to enter free agency this summer.

It looks like trade season is starting early this season and the Sacramento Kings might be ready to jump in the action.

Kings finish 2017 NBA Draft with night that can turn franchise around

Kings finish 2017 NBA Draft with night that can turn franchise around

SACRAMENTO -- The Kings had a big draft night. The kind of night that might turn a franchise around. They entered the evening with three picks, including two in the top 10. With their first selection, they filled the franchise’s biggest need when they drafted De’Aaron Fox and then they went to work.
 
Vlade Divac and his team of front office execs jumped on an early trade, dealing the No. 10 overall selection to the Portland Trail Blazers for No. 15 and No. 20. North Carolina’s Justin Jackson was too appealing to pass on, and like Fox, he fit a major position of need. 
 
Sacramento came back with the 20th selection, taking one of the biggest risk/reward picks in the draft. Duke’s Harry Giles is playing on rebuilt knees, but before that, he was one of the top prospects in all of basketball. If he can stay healthy, the Kings may have drafted the biggest steal of the night. 
 
They topped off the evening with the selection of Wooden and Naismith Award winner Frank Mason III with the 34th overall pick. The Kings entered the night without a single point guard and they ended it with two very exciting options. 
 
“I’m very excited about the talent that we brought here tonight,” Divac said. “They’re going to just be an addition to what we’re trying to build here in the second half of the season.”
 
The Kings turned down overtures to move up to draft Fox. The 19-year-old speedster will step in and immediately compete for the starting point guard spot and he’s very excited to be a King.
 
“It’s just the vibe that I got when I was out there,” Fox told local Sacramento media via phone. “I felt like they really wanted me.” 
 
John Calipari is known for his bevy of All-Star bigs throughout the league, but he’s also produced a long line of big-time guards. Sacramento is hoping that Fox can live up to the billing of other former Calipari guards like Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans and John Wall. According to Divac, the Kings were so high on Fox, they would have taken him higher. 
 
“Screaming,” Divac said about the reaction in the room to Fox falling in their lap. “It was a guy that we all loved and in some way, if we had the number 1 pick, he would’ve been our guy.”
 
“De’Aaron is our future,” Divac added.
 
Without a perfect fit at 10, Divac made an adjustment on the fly to add more assets. The decision to trade 10 for 15 and 20 was very similar to the last season when the Kings dealt the eighth overall pick for No. 13, 28 and the draft rights to Bogdan Bogdanovic. By splitting the pick in two, the Kings were able to land two talented pieces that mesh with the current roster build.
 
Jackson and Fox know each other well. The duo played AAU ball together and Fox says he considers Jackson an older brother.  He is friends with Willie Cauley-Stein and Skal Labissiere from their Kentucky connection.
 
“I feel like we can grow together,” Fox said of the Kings’ young core. “Of course, it’s going to take some time, but every franchise takes time.”
 
Fox is the jewel of the night and Jackson will compete for time at the wing, but Giles is the wildcard. The 19-year-old big can play the four and the five and has elite potential. 
 
“I’m so excited he was there for us at the 20,” Divac said. “That kind of talent you can’t pass.”
 
The Kings have done their homework on Giles. The type of knee injury that he sustained is similar to former NBA players Danny Manning, Amaré Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin. Manning and Martin each played 15 years in the league and Stoudemire lasted 14 seasons before retiring in 2016. After meeting him in person in Sacramento and working him out, they are very confident that he will be able to overcome his injuries and have a successful career in the NBA. 
 
Mason III will remind Kings fans of Isaiah Thomas, another undersized point guard that fell to the second round. The Kansas star posted 20.9 points, 5.2 assists and 4.2 rebounds for the Jayhawks last season. He’s a hard-nosed leader that can jump out of the gym and will instantly become a fan favorite in Sacramento. 
 
It’s a huge haul. Sacramento added two points guards, a wing and a big from some of the best basketball schools in the country. More than that, they added high character winners to a changing culture. 
 
For the first time in a while, the Sacramento Kings have accumulated assets. They have hit the ground running in their attempted rebuild and for one night, they are the talk of the NBA.

Kings select PG Frank Mason III No. 34 overall in the 2017 NBA Draft

Kings select PG Frank Mason III No. 34 overall in the 2017 NBA Draft

With the No. 34 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, the Kings selected the 2016-17 Player of the Year in point gaurd Frank Mason III.

Mason averaged 20.9 points and 5.2 assists per game as a senior at Kansas. 

The Kings wrapped up the 2017 NBA Draft with point guard De'Aaron Fox at No. 5, small forward Justin Jackson at No. 15, power forward Harry Giles at No. 20 and Mason at No. 34.