NBA Rumors: Latest Trade Buzz on De'Aaron Fox, Dennis Schroder, Eric Gordon

Maurice Bobb@@ReeseReportFeatured ColumnistDecember 19, 2021

Sacramento Kings guard De'Aaron Fox (5) dribbles against the Los Angeles Lakers during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Friday, Nov. 26, 2021. The Kings won 141-137 in triple overtime. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
Ringo H.W. Chiu/Associated Press

When the Sacramento Kings signed De'Aaron Fox to a five-year, $163 million contract extension last season, it appeared to be a signal that the organization believed in his potential to be a max player and were committed to building around him for the long haul.

A little more than a full year later, it appears that the Kings might be ready to admit that they went all in too soon.

According to ESPN's Brian Windhorst, Tim MacMahon and Tim Bontemps, there's "a lot of smoke" that the No. 5 pick in the 2017 NBA draft could be on the move before the Feb. 10 trade deadline.

The trio of analysts discussed the possibility of Sacramento trading Fox on a recent episode of Windhorst's Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective podcast.

"De'Aaron Fox, it was widely reported going into the season that De'Aaron Fox is off the table," MacMahon said. "I've heard a lot of smoke that that might not be the case."

But why would a player who just received a max extension be on the trading block so soon? It may just come down to a combination of desperation and the realization that they made a mistake.

Fox had steadily improved since coming into the league before his breakout 2020-21 season, averaging All-Star-caliber numbers: 25.2 points, 7.2 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game.

Because of that, the Kings decided to lock him up long term, believing that he would make the jump this season to getting an All-Star selection.

That hasn't happened.

While Fox has been steady, he has not taken a step forward. In fact, it looks as if he's taken a step back. His numbers are down to 21.3 points, 5.0 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.4 steals per contest. But more than that, he's not as efficient, shooting .455 from the field and .263 from beyond the arc, as opposed to .477 and .322 respectively, in 2020-21.

"De'Aaron Fox came into camp about 15 pounds heavier than he left in, and he hasn't had the greatest year," Windhorst said. 

In addition to Fox's reduced production, Sacramento is desperate to turn things around. The Kings haven't been to the playoffs in 15 years and are tired of being on the outside looking in during the postseason. That's why Buddy Hield, who came close to being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, has been on the trading block since last season.

"The Kings are really struggling and really want to be competitive," Windhorst said. "They've already fired Luke Walton, and they have surplus perimeter players. It's not news that Buddy Hield is available. Hell yeah Buddy Hield's available. But they might even be willing to discuss other guys on their roster."

Another reason why the Kings might be willing to part with Fox is Tyrese Haliburton. The second-year player out of Iowa State has played well, averaging 11.5 points, 5.7 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game. And while Haliburton isn't as agile as Fox, he's decidedly more efficient and can step in and run the team should they roll the dice and make a deal.

The only question is what would they get in return? Would they be looking for picks or a package of young players to develop? They have already laid the foundation for Fox's exit by drafting guards in the lottery the past two years with Haliburton and Davion Mitchell.

Also, if they move Fox, they are looking at a tear down and a rebuild, which means that Harrison Barnes would be another piece they would be keen on trading.

Fox still has some time to improve his numbers, but with the Kings sitting in 10th place in the Western Conference, he's got a lot of ground to cover.


Could Dennis Schroder Be on the Move Again?

PHOENIX, AZ - DECEMBER 10: Dennis Schroder #71 of the Boston Celtics looks on during the game against the Phoenix Suns on December 10, 2021 at Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading
Michael Gonzales/Getty Images

If time machines were real, it's safe to say that Dennis Schroder would love to hop in one and go back to last year, when he reportedly turned down a four-year contract extension worth up to $84 million with the Los Angeles Lakers during the season.

Schroder believed that he would be offered more money on the open market, so he turned down the Lakers' offer and went into free agency hoping to cash in. The money truck never came, though, and he had to "settle" for a one-year, $6 million deal with the Boston Celtics.

And while the German took all the ridicule for his decision in stride with the hopes of taking advantage of his lone season in Boston, it looks as if he might have to start packing his bags, again.

According to NBA insider Marc Stein, the veteran point guard is likely to be moved because of the process of elimination.

The Celtics front office doesn't want to part with Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, and it's unclear whether they want to deal defensive stalwart Marcus Smart, so Schroder is their best play, especially since he will want an extension before the end of the year.

By all accounts, Schroder is having a good season. He's averaging 17.1 points, 3.6 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game. He's also shooting slightly better from the field and the three-point line than last year.

In fact, Schroder's solid production is one of the main reasons Boston might be looking to move him. There are teams around the league that could use his services and might be willing to part with an attractive package of young players or draft picks in return.

"[Brad Stevens and I] are talking daily," head coach Ime Udoka told Bobby Manning of CLNS Media. He continued:

"Obviously, we know dates are coming up and I'm sure people are starting to reach out and his phone is heating up a little bit, but we discuss that as well as the day-to-day stuff. So you always have an eye on the league and hear of the rumors of what's popping up. Obviously a lot of times stuff doesn't happen, but I'm sure there'll be people reaching out.

"We have attractive players, as well as other people in the league, and we discuss it all. We haven't sat down and gotten specific about it, but the dates are coming up and so you gotta be conscious of that for sure."


The Knicks Have Eyes for Eric Gordon?

David J. Phillip/Associated Press

On the surface, the New York Knicks having interest in Eric Gordon might seem odd.

What is their connection to the veteran Houston Rockets guard?

The answer is simple: Derrick Rose.

According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, Gordon has been on Rose's radar for a while and is also on a long list of players the Knicks have talked about internally.

Rose has tried to recruit the Rockets shooting guard dating back to 2016, when he first signed with the Knicks. Now, he's lobbying for him again because New York could use his three-point shooting, and it's well known that Gordon doesn't fit into Houston's rebuilding plans given he's turning 33 on Christmas Day.

The Knicks have lost eight of their past 10 games and are looking to stop the skid and bounce back to when they went 5-1 to start the season.

Gordon can help with that despite his recent "audition" at Toyota Center, when he only scored five points and missed all four of his three-point attempts in a 116-103 loss to New York. That game was an outlier, though, as he's averaging 14.8 points per game and shooting 44.4 percent on three-pointers through 25 games.

Chemistry shouldn't be a problem, either, because Rose and Gordon have a long history, dating back to their days playing for their AAU team in Chicago, Mean Streets Express.

At the time, they were considered one of the best backcourt duos in AAU history, and while they are both far removed from those days, there's still a lot that they can build on from a bond that deep.

Julius Randle's three-point percentage is down (41.1 percent last season to 34 percent in 2021-22), so Gordon, who has made 1,681 three-pointers in his career, would be a welcome addition.

What would the Rockets want in return, and would New York be willing to make that deal?