How many Kings want to be traded?

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Kings guard Arron Afflalo reportedly refused to enter a game, which isn’t ideal (though he denied it).

But put it into context – and it’s even worse.

Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders:

Speaking of the Kings, there is a growing rift brewing between Arron Afflalo and the coaching staff. He is also growing unhappy with his role in Sacramento, and there is a belief he has joined a few other Kings players in asking for a trade. Afflalo became trade eligible on December 15, so it’s a situation to watch.

Joined a few other Kings players in asking for a trade? That’d mean at least four players, including Afflalo, requesting a trade. Yikes. Also, plausible.

Rudy Gay has openly stated his desire to move on.

Though he denied making a trade request, Omri Casspi certainly sounds unhappy. The line between requesting and desiring a trade can be razor fin.

Ben McLemore‘s career has barely gotten off the ground in four seasons with the Kings. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’d welcome a change of scenery before entering free agency.

Willie Cauley-Stein was perturbed with George Karl’s rationale for limiting the rookie’s minutes last season. Now in his second year, Cauley-Stein is playing even less under Dave Joerger.

With so many players plausibly wanting out – especially if they all actually want out – this is a tough environment to win in. Sacramento is 13-17, and continued losing could make even more players unhappy. These things can snowball. On the other hand, the Kings have won three straight to move into playoff position. Continued winning can also snowball and improve morale.

At least franchise player DeMarcus Cousins keeps saying he’s happy in Sacramento (not that this would be a good time to trade him, anyway). Plus, the new veteran-designated player rule could get Cousins a huge new contract – only if the Kings don’t trade him. There’s incentive to stick it out.

Sacramento just has to find some teammates who want to play and can win with Cousins.