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Kings must pick up pieces if Lakers-Wizards trade goes through originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
In the blink of an eye, the Kings went from a potential trade that would rebalance their roster, add depth and provide a young asset, to a franchise left at the altar.
According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, the Washington Wizards are close to swooping in and steaing the Kings’ trade with the Lakers that would have sent Buddy Hield to the LA for Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell and the No. 22 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.
Just in: The Lakers and Wizards are engaged on a trade that would send Russell Westbrook to L.A., sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Westbrook wants a move elsewhere and the Lakers are his preferred destination, sources said.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 29, 2021
Russell Westbrook reportedly will be on his way to the Lakers and Kuzma, Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and the pick are being sent to Washington in a blockbuster trade.
Hield likely already was looking at real estate in the Los Angeles area and preparing for his Lakers debut. The Kings were thinking that they had transformed their roster hours before the 2021 NBA Draft kicked off and were making adjustments to their strategy on the fly.
The trade between the Wizards and Lakers hasn't been finalized, but it appears like it is close. According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Kings and Lakers are still in communication.
There's no agreement in place and work still to do on a Westbrook/Lakers deal, but talks with Kings on a possible Hield deal had also been ongoing between two teams, sources said. https://t.co/FV78eXb1Wh
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 29, 2021
Where do the Kings go from here? That’s anyone’s guess.
General manager Monte McNair needs to quickly pick up the pieces, get back on the phone and find a new trade partner in the coming hours and days leading up to free agency.
The Kings, in their current construction, don’t work and the No. 9 overall pick isn’t enough to make a substantial change in the standings in year one.
Hopefully, this was one of just a few irons in the fire for the Kings heading into draft night.