Kings trade rumor roundup: Sacramento linked to multiple players as trade deadline nears

Rusty Jones/AP

Thursday’s NBA trade deadline is fast approaching and the Kings have been linked to a number of players as they try to end the franchise’s 16-year playoff drought.

The Kings (29-23) are third in the Western Conference as they prepare to wrap up a seven-game road trip against the Houston Rockets (13-41) on Wednesday at Toyota Center.

Kings coach Mike Brown has publicly stated he is happy with the roster as currently constructed, but sources inside the organization tell The Sacramento Bee the front office is “never satisfied.” General manager Monte McNair, assistant general manager Wes Wilcox and their staff will explore opportunities to improve the team leading up to the trade deadline at 3 p.m. ET Thursday.

On Tuesday, the Kings finalized an agreement to acquire Kessler Edwards, 22, a second-year small forward from Pepperdine, from the Brooklyn Nets. Edwards, who has appeared in only 14 games for the Nets this season, will likely get an opportunity to develop his game with the G League Stockton Kings.

Do the Kings have a bigger deal in the works? Time will tell, but here are some of the more intriguing names that have come up in Kings trade rumors:

Matisse Thybulle, Philadelphia 76ers

Sources tell longtime NBA reporter Marc Stein the Kings and Atlanta Hawks have explored potential deals for Thybulle, a 25-year-old guard who is regarded as one of the league’s best defenders.

Thybulle doesn’t provide much offensively, averaging just 2.6 points on 43.4% shooting, but he is a two-time NBA All-Defensive Second Team selection.

Stein wrote: “Sources say that Atlanta has joined Sacramento as a confirmed suitor for Philadelphia’s Matisse Thybulle. I don’t know that the Hawks will be the ultimate landing spot, but I’ve been advised that the prospect of Thybulle getting traded before Thursday’s buzzer is very real.”

Jarred Vanderbilt, Utah Jazz

Tony Jones of The Athletic reports the Jazz are looking to move Vanderbilt in exchange for multiple second-round draft picks.

Sacramento has six second-round picks over the next three years. The Kings haven’t been directly linked to Vanderbilt, but Jones reported that at least one Western Conference team has offered Utah multiple second-round picks.

Vanderbilt, 23, is a 6-foot-8, 214-pound forward with upside as a 3-and-D wing. He is averaging 8.3 points and 7.9 rebounds in 24.1 minutes per game while shooting 33.3% from 3-point range.

Mason Plumlee, Charlotte Hornets

Sources tell Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports the Kings are eyeing a potential trade for Plumlee, a 32-year-old center in his 10th NBA season.

Plumlee has started 55 games for the Hornets this season, averaging 12.3 points, 9.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists. He wouldn’t start in Sacramento, but he would give the Kings added depth and a better option in the backup center role behind All-Star Domantas Sabonis.

“Plumlee projects as the Hornets’ most likely trade candidate,” Fischer wrote. “Sacramento continues to be the team most often connected to Plumlee by league personnel.”

Nerlens Noel, Detroit Pistons

The Kings are also looking at Noel to fill the backup center spot, according to The Athletic’s James L. Edwards III.

Sources told Edwards the Kings are one of six teams showing interest in Noel along with the Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks and Denver Nuggets.

Noel, 28, is in his ninth NBA season out of Kentucky. He has appeared in only 13 games this season, averaging 2.5 points, 2.8 rebounds and 0.7 blocks in 11.4 minutes per game.