Basketball

Kings plan to keep De’Aaron Fox, build around point guard, per report

The Sacramento Kings are operating under the mindset that they will not trade point guard De’Aaron Fox at the deadline, The Athletic’s Shams Charania is reporting. Fox has been linked to both the Philadelphia 76ers in a possible deal for Ben Simmons and the Indiana Pacers in a trade for Domantas Sabonis, but The Athletic reports that at the very least, a Sabonis trade involving Fox will not happen.

Instead, the Kings are reportedly planning to build around Fox and second-year guard Tyrese Haliburton. The Kings spoke to Fox and his representation and informed them that they do not plan to trade him, according to Charania. Fox is in the first year of a five-year max contract.

The Kings, midway through year-16 of their playoff drought, are currently seeded No. 11 in the Western Conference, and the Fox-Haliburton duo has struggled together this season. In 853 minutes with both on the floor this season, the Kings have been outscored by 5.3 points per 100 possessions. Fox, shooting a career-low 25.3 percent from behind the arc, is an odd fit next to another guard who needs the ball in his hands, and Haliburton hasn’t taken major statistical strides following his impressive rookie season.

Recent NBA history has taught us never to say never when it comes to blockbuster trades. Should the right deal come along, the Kings would not hesitate. But for now, Sacramento seems to have decided against actively shopping their young point guard. Barring a surprising offer between now and the deadline, he will likely finish the season as a King.

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