NBA Rumors: Blazers, Kings 'Widely Expected' to Entertain Win-Now Trades at Draft

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJune 10, 2022

CHICAGO,IL - MAY 17: William Wesley, P.J. Washington #25 of the Charlotte Hornets, Anderson Varejao, Kelly Krauskopf, Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers, and Domantas Sabonis #10 of the Sacramento Kings looks on during the 2022 NBA Draft Lottery at McCormick Place on May 17, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The Sacramento Kings and Portland Trail Blazers are "widely expected" to consider dealing their respective draft lottery picks to make "win-now" moves, per longtime NBA reporter Marc Stein on 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."

The talk on the Blazers mirrors a report from Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, who spoke with an executive that believes Portland is in win-now mode.

"Rival NBA executives who spoke with HoopsHype believe the Trail Blazers will dangle the No. 7 overall pick in trade talks for an immediate roster upgrade to maximize the prime of Damian Lillard, who was on hand for a workout with a projected lottery pick, AJ Griffin," Scotto wrote.

The Kings, who finished 30-52 last season, are looking to make the playoffs for the first time since 2006.

The Blazers, who ended 27-55 last year, made the postseason for eight straight years before missing out in 2021-22.

Ultimately, it's not hard to see why the Kings and Blazers want to make big moves.

For starters, the NBA draft has a clear top three of Jabari Smith Jr., Chet Holmgren and Paolo Banchero. Presumably, the Kings and Blazers will be left out of getting any of those prospects, although some potentially great ones will go later in the lottery, such as guards Jaden Ivey and Shaedon Sharpe and forward AJ Griffin.

From the Kings' standpoint, they've been out of the playoffs for 16 years and appear desperate for a return trip. They made a splash move before the trade deadline by adding Domantas Sabonis from the Indiana Pacers, although they had to depart with a potential superstar in Tyrese Haliburton.

Still, Sacramento has a duo to work with in Sabonis and De'Andre Fox, and Davion Mitchell looks like a good pick as well.

From the Blazers' view, they need to maximize their window around superstar point guard Damian Lillard.

Portland made a seismic change to the roster around him by trading long-time backcourt running mate CJ McCollum to the New Orleans Pelicans, but the Blazers still have a potential star in Anfernee Simons. Josh Hart also fared well in limited time in Portland following the McCollum trade.

We'll see if the Kings and Blazers make any draft-related moves soon enough with the draft scheduled for Thursday, June 23 in Brooklyn, New York's Barclays Center.