The Kings Assets are at Peak Value: The 76ers Should Sell


The Philadelphia 76ers can swap their first-round pick with Sacramento’s in 2017. Philly also owns their 2019 1st. They should sell while the stock is high.

Adrian Wojnarowski dropped a Sunday-night bomb on the NBA and broke the news that DeMarcus Cousins is now a member of the New Orleans Pelicans. Astonishingly, it only took Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, a slightly protected first-round draft pick, along with a second rounder. You couldn’t help but think that the Pelicans were clear winners here; and so were the Philadelphia 76ers.

On Sunday morning, Cousins was still a member of the Sacramento Kings and he spent his day in New Orleans for All Star Weekend. The status of Sacramento’s team moving forward was completely up in the air, due to the uncertainty of the team’s direction. They were (and still are) sitting with the eleventh-best NBA Draft Lottery odds, while only being 1.5 games out of the eighth-and-final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

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Thanks to Sam Hinkie, the Sixers currently possess the right to swap their own first-round draft pick in 2017 with the Kings, along with the fact that they own Sacramento’s unprotected 2019 first (from a trade with Sac Town in 2015, which also netted the Sixers with Nik Stauskas, Carl Landry, and Jason Thompson). All it took from the 76ers was two foreign stashes. That’s how badly the Kings wanted cap space.

As of Sunday morning, the previously mentioned 2017 pick swap value was totally up in the air. Also, it was (and still is) impossible to know what would or could end up happening with the 2019 Sacramento first-round selection, owed to Philly. Now, more than 24 hours after the Pelicans-Kings blockbuster, the stock of those aforementioned assets has blasted through the ceiling.

Sam Hinkie liked to take chances. Even though the Sixers-Kings deal was an easy decision for him to make, it shows how valuable the unknown can be. So, this begs me to ask the question — because of the potential interest around the league of those draft rights owned by Philadelphia (via Sacramento), could other teams be prisoners of the moment and overvalue them?

If the Kings continue their full rebuild, their pick in 2017 NBA Draft could end up being better than that of the 76ers, leading to pick swap activation. Down the road, that unprotected 2019 pick could be just as valuable as this year’s pick, now that the team is no longer building around Boogie Cousins. With this said, should the Sixers take advantage of the moment and sell while the stock is highest? They’d be selling, but they’d really be buying.

Note: The 76ers cannot trade the swap rights alone, but if they decide to deal their own 2017 first, the swap rights do remain attached to the pick.

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  • The trade deadline is Thursday, February 23, at 3:00 p.m. and names have been floating around the internet, such as Jimmy Butler, Paul George, and Danilo Gallinari. It’s up for debate how willing or capable Philadelphia 76ers general manager, Bryan Colangelo, is at pulling the trigger on a trade. Regardless, right now may be the best time to do so.

    Even though the Kangz are in no-man’s land right now, it doesn’t mean they won’t be competitive in 2019. Yes, you may laugh, but a lot can change in two years, such as a management overhaul or an update in ideology. The Kings could very well pick up a few game changers maybe via free agency or the draft before 2019. Knowing very well that they don’t have their own pick in 2019, there’s no incentives for losing, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see them field a 30 or 40-win team. Furthermore, that sparkling asset could end up becoming a mid-to-late lottery pick and you’ve missed the most lucrative opportunity to cash out.

    Going into the 2017-18 season, the 76ers will undoubtedly be bulilding around Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Names like Dario Saric, Robert Covington, and Nerlens Noel could still be factors moving forward, unless they’re packaged in a trade. So, would using the 2019 first rounder, which would result in another young, inexperienced athlete, fit into the 76ers’ potentially competitive timeline? Most likely, the team will attempt to make a deep playoff run in two years, so having a guy like Paul George or Jimmy Butler next to Embiid and Simmons wouldn’t be a horrific idea.

    Next: How Serious Were the Blazers and Sixers About a Trade?

    Sam Hinkie took advantage of the moment in that 2015 trade with the Kings, recognizing that they were desperate for cap space, and now we’re here. Colangelo may need to take advantage of this moment and cash out while the Kings are still a laughing stock.