Report: Kings now saying they want to build around, not trade, De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton

Sacramento Kings De'Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton
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The Kings were opposed to trading De'Aaron Fox (or, when it came to Ben Simmons, Tyrese Haliburton).

Then, Sacramento explored the trade market, including a deal involving Pacers big Domantas Sabonis and Fox.

Now?

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

The Kings remain active in trade conversations, informing teams in the marketplace that they want to build around Fox and second-year guard Tyrese Haliburton, sources said. The Kings have informed Fox and his representation, agent Chris Gaston of Family First Sports, that they do not want to trade him and want to center the team around him and Haliburton.

Team sources said any potential deal around Fox for Pacers center Domantas Sabonis will not happen.

Remember when the Kings said they wouldn’t trade DeMarcus Cousins and even indicated they’d sign him to a super-max extension then dealt him just a couple weeks later? Monte McNair has replaced Vlade Divac as Sacramento’s general manager. But Kings owner Vivek Ranadive is volatile.

This franchise lacks credibility on these assurances.

That said, it does seem likely Sacramento will hold onto Fox and Haliburton. They are solid building blocks. This would be an awful time to trade Fox, whose value has bottomed out with a slow start to the season. Teams usually keep a tight grip on players as young and productive as Haliburton.

More likely trade possibilities ahead of the trade deadline: Harrison Barnes, Buddy Hield and Marvin Bagley III.

The Kings were justified to assess Fox trade options, too. Sacramento (18-29) has no good reason to be content with its roster.

But, sometimes, teams must accept that no good trades are available for a player.

Better-run organizations could have gained that intel without so many potentially damaging leaks. If they want to prove their commitment to Fox and Haliburton, the Kings will have to reestablish it.

Informing Fox and his agent of this plan could be a key step – if Sacramento keeps its word this time.