Nik Stauskas, a great shooter at Michigan who couldn’t get off the bench in Sacramento, is headed to Philadelphia in a bizarre trade that is a huge victory for the 76ers. Not only do the 76ers get Stauskas, who will instantly be a rotation player, but they also landed Carl Landry and Jason Thompson as the Kings were desperate to unload salaries. It’s unclear if the 76ers will keep Landry or Thompson, but both could wind up playing next season if they stay, especially given the recent injury history to anyone tall that Philadelphia acquires.
Here’s why the 76ers fleeced the Kings – they got a future first round pick (protected, and can’t be had before 2018) but more importantly, Philadelphia somehow managed to acquire the power to swap 1st round picks with the Kings in 2016 and 2017. In return, the Sacramento Clowns got the “rights” to overseas players (not Dario Saric) and a future 2nd round pick.
All because the Kings are desperate for relevance and want to chase free agents Wesley Matthews (who is coming off a torn ACL) and Rajon Rondo (who is coming off the worst season in his career). If the Kings don’t get either player (or Monta Ellis, another guard they want to land), it’s an epic disaster. If Cousins and Rondo end up sharing a locker room – also, a disaster.
The 76ers will be bad in 2015-2016 – I think they could be the worst team in the league. So the draft pick swap may not come into play. But what about a doomsday scenario for the Kings: They whiff on free agents this week, DeMarcus Cousins get hurt, and the Kings finish at the bottom of the brutal West.
Guess the Kings are confident none of that will happen, even though we’re talking about a hurting franchise that has been a dumpster fire for about a decade now.
Poor Vlade Divac. He had a very nice career with the Lakers, then was traded for Kobe Bryant, and now he’s in way over his head in the Sacramento front office.
The move is all-around genius for the 76ers, who are still a couple years from being competitive, but at least are rounding out a passable rotation next season:
C – Okafor, Embiid (injury pending)
PF – Noel, Mbah a Moute, Thomas Robinson, Richaun Holmes
SF – Jerami Grant, JP Tokoto, Glenn Robinson
SG – Robert Covington, Nik Stauskas, Hollis Thompson
PG – Tony Wroten, Isaiah Canaan
There’s no player listed above over the age of 25, and I omitted players like PG Ish Smith (26), C Henry Sims (25) and SG Jason Richardson (34) who may not make the roster. The 76ers are in better shape than the Knicks going forward.