According to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes, Sacramento Kings point
guard De’Aaron Fox is one of the biggest names that could
be available before next month’s trade deadline. Haynes
mentioned that the Kings are receiving heavy interest in Fox and
Tyrese Haliburton, but the plan internally is to build long-term
around this backcourt combination.
Haynes spoke with Fox recently about his future in Sacramento
among other topics.
“You definitely think about potentially being traded because we
are struggling,” Fox told Haynes. “If you do have a
change of scenery, it changes everything. I’ve been here for five
years. I’ve built a life here, a family here. But once I’m on the
court, all that is out the window. You’re not thinking about
anything else than can happen outside of your control.”
Although Fox just signed a five-year rookie-scale max extension
during the 2020 offseason, his fit alongside Haliburton has brought
up serious questions about who Sacramento should actually build
around in their backcourt.
As I wrote last month, Haliburton has a big enough sample size
now to show he blossoms when he’s not next to a high-usage
backcourt partner in Fox. When Fox was in NBA health and safety
protocols, Haliburton showed a dazzling display of what his ceiling
could potentially become as Sacramento’s No. 1 option.
In 42 games this season, Fox has averaged 20.9 points, 5.1
assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.2 steals on a pedestrian 53.1% True
Shooting percentage. Simply put, Fox hasn’t taken the developmental
jumps the Kings’ front office hoped for when he inked a big-money
extension. Fox is still a blur in transition, being a massive
weapon in that area, but he still struggles to keep teammates
involved consistently and put in complete effort on the defensive
Still only 24 years old, Fox has immense upside as a top scoring
option in Sacramento or elsewhere. Could he be Devin Booker-like
when it comes to defensive effort, once the Kings get a true
contender around him? That’s the big question for both player and
team, because Sacramento is once again going nowhere for another
At this point, it might be best for the Kings to trade Fox at
his peak value while resetting a little bit around Haliburton in
If Fox actually isn't untouchable — something that has been
mentioned by The Athletic’s Sam
Amick — which teams make sense for him? Let’s dive into some
potential landing spots for the score-first point guard.
This destination has been mentioned before as a potential
blockbuster revolving around Fox and Ben Simmons, who continues to
sit out games for the Sixers. So, why don’t we explore that
possibility a little bit further?
Honestly, I love the idea of Fox in Philadelphia creating a
lethal one-two combination with Joel Embiid. Also, I believe Fox
and Tyrese Maxey can coexist in the same backcourt for
Instantly, Fox would come aboard and bring a scoring jolt that’s
desperately needed to take pressure off Embiid. On the other side,
I’ve long been a fan of the idea where Simmons lands in a situation
where he becomes the No. 1 scoring option.
How fun would a pick-and-roll combination of Haliburton and
Simmons be in Sacramento? All around, this feels like a major
win-win. We’ll see if Philadelphia and Sacramento are actually open
to the idea, but this swap feels right for both parties.
Kings receive: Ben Simmons
Sixers receive: De’Aaron Fox
When looking through the NBA standings, Indiana continues to
stand out like a sore thumb when it comes to a team in desperate
need of a reset. Rumors are picking up steam revolving around
Myles Turner and Caris LeVert. Domantas Sabonis has also been
mentioned around the league in potential trade talks.
Sacramento and Indiana could find common ground on a potential
Fox deal, which could make a lot of sense for two teams who need a
Kings receive: Domantas Sabonis, T.J. Warren, draft
Pacers receive: De’Aaron Fox
Yes, the Kings have Richaun Holmes, who is an average starting
center in the Association. However, could you imagine the on-court
synergy Haliburton and Sabonis could develop as a lethal inside-out
combination? As we’ve seen in Indiana as well, there’s some spot
minutes where Holmes and Sabonis could share the floor as well
(though I honestly wouldn’t be a fan of that).
Fox would arrive in Indiana and be their star for years to come.
He would be in a perfect situation to have a team built competently
around him. Malcolm Brogdon would be an intriguing backcourt
partner in this scenario too.
I’m very intrigued by this potential landing spot for Fox, so
keep an eye out on the Pacers here.
Fox in the Big Apple? I love the sound of that. The question is:
What would it cost for the Knicks to acquire him?
Honestly, unless the Knicks are willing to give up former No. 3
overall pick RJ Barrett, it likely won’t happen. I’m not a fan of
Julius Randle in Sacramento, at least from the Kings’
Kings receive: R.J. Barrett, Miles McBride, Kemba
Walker, Taj Gibson
Knicks receive: De’Aaron Fox
Fox and Randle would bring a potent pick-and-roll duo to New
York. Meanwhile, Sacramento would acquire a young building block in
Barrett who fits perfectly next to Haliburton. McBride has also
shown unique upside, bringing aboard another backcourt piece who
could play spot minutes with Haliburton down the road.
New York is in a tough spot after betting on running it back
following a surprise playoff run last season. After stagnating,
this could be the perfect move for the Knicks to make to expedite
their win-now mindset with head coach Tom Thibodeau.
If the Knicks are open to trading Barrett for Fox, a big
question mark currently, this could leapfrog right to the top of
potential trade packages.
Boston is another team who seems poised for a major shake up
within the next calendar year. Not taking a serious step forward
this season, many questions are bubbling around whether the Celtics’ dynamic wing
duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown can coexist long-term.
If Celtics president Brad Stevens decides to pull the plug down
the line and find peak value, Brown seems to be the more obvious
choice. Tatum is locked in as the Celtics’ face of the franchise,
so who could they find to be an ideal compliment with him?
Enter Fox, who brings backcourt competency for a team in
desperate need of it like Boston.
Kings receive: Jaylen Brown
Celtics receive: De’Aaron Fox, draft
Some might be asking why Sacramento is giving up draft
compensation to Boston here, but, quite frankly, Brown has more
value right now compared to Fox. And honestly, it would be a major
win-win in the end for both teams.
Tatum and Fox would be a fun duo to build around in Boston,
allowing more well-balanced roster construction. In Sacramento,
Brown would enter as the go-to scorer with a great point guard to
set him up in Haliburton.
This scenario might be more of a 2022 offseason scenario
compared to the trade deadline, but crazier things have happened
since both teams are stuck in neutral.
The pressure is on in the Bayou. Zion Williamson’s injury
concerns continue to put a cloud over the Pelicans’ future. New
Orleans EVP David Griffin is on the hot seat, so what can he do to
save his job?
Why not push the chips all-in on a franchise building block in
Fox? In head coach Willie Green’s system, acquiring Fox would be a
brilliant move to make in the short and long-term. With Williamson
out, Fox and Brandon Ingram would make a lethal scoring
combination. And hopefully once Williamson eventually returns, the
Pelicans would have their new Big Three set for years to come.
The Pelicans are loaded with future draft capital thanks to the
Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday trades. They own so many picks from
the Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks, plus their own, which
makes them a potential suitor in any star-level trade.
What would it take for Fox to land in New Orleans, though?
Kings receive: Devonte’ Graham, Josh Hart, Kira Lewis,
Pelicans receive: De’Aaron Fox
This trade doesn’t look too enticing on the surface for
Sacramento, but if they receive a boatload of future draft capital
from the Pelicans, it makes this scenario very appealing.
Resetting around Haliburton with ample draft picks for the
future would be an ideal solution to hitting the reset button in
Luka Doncic needs help in Dallas, so where can the Mavericks
find a player who can take pressure off of him? Enter Fox, who
could really push the Mavericks’ ceiling to a completely new
Fox and Doncic would create instant fireworks in Dallas, playing
on and off-ball with no issue. The offensive ceiling of this duo
would be one of the best in the Western Conference.
The question is, do the Mavericks have enough to make a Fox
Kings receive: Jalen Brunson, Tim Hardaway Jr., draft
Mavericks receive: De’Aaron Fox
This trade is very interesting for a multitude of reasons. I
considered a trade of Porzingis to the Kings, but would they
actually want his contract? I doubt it.
That led me back to giving up a prized asset in Brunson, who is
going to cash out as a restricted free agent this offseason. Why
not get something now for Brunson instead of potentially letting
him walk with a big offer sheet elsewhere?
Fox not only would be an upgrade over Brunson, but also form a
Big Three that Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has been lusting after
for years in Dallas. It’s a big bet to make locking in a core of
Doncic, Fox and Porzingis together, but, if it works out, the
ceiling is astronomical.
Sacramento would land future draft compensation to go along with
an intriguing backcourt piece in Brunson. Also, Hardaway could be
flipped elsewhere or kept around if the Kings decided to move Buddy
Hield as well in a different deal.
This one was suggested to me by our own Nekias Duncan, which had me thinking
about some potential scenarios. Fox and LaMelo Ball would be
box-office levels of entertainment in Charlotte, so I totally get
However, what would the Hornets need to give up for Fox? Here’s
where I eventually landed on that idea, which led to our biggest
Kings receive: Gordon Hayward, Terry Rozier, James
Bouknight, P.J. Washington, draft compensation
Hornets receive: De’Aaron Fox, Marvin Bagley III,
Tristan Thompson, Jahmi’us Ramsey
Yeah, that’s a lot to take in. This could have been a lot easier
if I believed the Hornets would trade away Miles Bridges in this
scenario, but I don’t think that’s realistic. So, let’s chew on
this eight-player deal for a moment.
Charlotte swaps out Rozier for Fox, an instant upgrade who
elevates Charlotte’s playoff hopes for this season and beyond. It
takes a midseason flier on Bagley, who is a restricted free agent
at the end of this season. And Bagley could be a big-time
beneficiary of being spoon-fed easy looks from Ball.
Sacramento lands two win-now veterans in Hayward and Rozier.
Whether the Kings decide to keep him long-term or not is to be
determined. The prize of this deal is the young players/prospects.
Bouknight and Washington are former lottery picks who just haven’t
found a consistent role in Charlotte. With the Kings, that would
If the Kings indeed decide to shop Fox openly before the trade
deadline, a league-wide bidding war will ensue. Yet to hit his
prime, Fox has a lot of great basketball left in him. Wherever he
would potentially land, Fox could change the immediate calculus for