It hasn’t happened yet, but Sacramento is also reportedly partnering with another one of its players to find a deal – Ben McLemore.
McLemore, sources say, is working with the Kings to try to find a new home via trade.
Word is that the Kings, who are desperate to end a playoff drought spanning nine seasons and counting before moving into a new building next season, prefer immediate help in trade talks more than future picks.
There should be much more interest in the 23-year-old McLemore than the 35-year-old Butler. McLemore has often struggled since entering the NBA, but his outside shot is developing, and he has shown glimpses of the potential that made him the No. 7 pick just three years ago.
That’s a regime change or two back in Sacramento, though. Vlade Divac and George Karl might not be as committed to McLemore.
McLemore had been starting before a wrist injury sidelined him for a few games. Still, he was a starter in name only. Backup Marco Belinelli plays more.
The Cavaliers were reportedly interested, but win-now Cleveland is a strange fit with one important caveat: McLemore shares an agent, Rich Paul, with LeBron James. Paul might want McLemore out of Sacramento, but I’d be shocked if the Kings would just dump him. They probably will require Paul to find a team willing to surrender value in return.
This seems like a poor time to sell low on a young, talented – admittedly underachieving – player. That’s especially true if the Kings, who are 4.5 games from playoff position, are seeking someone who can help immediately.
But these are the Kings, and there’s no telling what they’ll do.