The Sacramento Kings have surprisingly been the first team to make a move on NBA trade deadline day.
The Kings are acquiring point guard Delon Wright from the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Cory Joseph and a pair of second round draft picks, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski late on Wednesday night.
Detroit will be receiving a second round choice in 2021 via the Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento’s own second-rounder in 2024, sources told ESPN.
The trade of Joseph and Wright represents the rare swap of former teammates, with the pair of guards having spent two years together with the Toronto Raptors from 2015-2017. The trade also reunites Joseph with his head coach in Toronto, current Pistons bench boss Dwayne Casey.
There’s no rest for the Kings, however, who will play on Thursday night against the short-handed Golden State Warriors. Sacramento comes into that matchup as a rare favorite of -2.5 points at -111 NBA odds. One would think that Wright will not be available for that game, but a wager on the Kings could still be a solid NBA pick to win a little scratch on Thursday night.
The Kings clearly think they can make a run at the playoffs this season considering they gave up two draft picks, granted they are only second rounders. Sacramento has an exciting young core with guards Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield, and De’Aaron Fox alongside big men Richaun Holmes and Marvin Bagley.
They currently sit three games out of a spot in the Western Conference’s playoff play-in tournament, and with the Warriors likely to drop while Steph Curry is out (tailbone), they could have a shot at sneaking into that tourney.
They’ve picked themselves up a very versatile player in Wright, who’s a guy that can play any position from one to three. The 28-year-old is a disruptive defender that creates a lot of turnovers with his large wingspan, and he’s a decent playmaker. The Kings will likely look to make him the leader of their second unit, where he can hopefully get his scoring legs under him.
The L.A. native, who is owed $8.5 million guaranteed next season, was drafted 20th overall by the Raptors back in 2015 and had four decent seasons coming off the bench before he was moved in a package for Marc Gasol in the midst of Toronto’s championship season.
He played well as he finished out the season as a starter with the Grizzlies, then had another ho-hum season on the bench with the Dallas Mavericks last year before he was traded to the Pistons this past November.
Wright has started 31 of 36 games for Detroit this season while averaging 10.5 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 5.1 assists, which are all career-highs by a wide margin.
Joseph was drafted with the second-last pick of the first round by the San Antonio Spurs back in 2011 and won a championship with the team in 2014 before moving to the Raptors for a couple of years and then the Indiana Pacers for another two.
The 29-year-old then signed with the Kings in the summer of 2019, and has been contributing 6.7 points per game this season mostly coming off the bench.