The Sacramento Kings reportedly were unwilling to trade forward Keegan Murray in a potential deal for Bradley Beal.
“The Kings made inquiries, but were unwilling to include Keegan Murray, their first-round pick from last year, whom the Wizards had tried to move up to select in the ’22 draft, in a potential trade,” The Athletic’s David Aldridge wrote.
It makes sense that the Kings didn’t want to part ways with Murray – the No. 4 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft – especially since Phoenix didn’t have to give up a player of Murray’s potential in the Beal trade.
Trading Paul is certainly a big deal, but the 12-time All-Star is past his prime and doesn’t have nearly as much long-term value as Murray does.
As a rookie, Murray averaged 12.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game while shooting 45.3 percent from the field and 41.1 percent from beyond the arc. He was a huge reason why the Kings made the playoffs as the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference in the 2022-23 campaign.
At the end of the day, it may not have mattered if the Kings were willing to deal Murray or not.
Beal has a no-trade clause in his contract, so he was able to choose his destination in a potential deal. The Kings could have come with the best offer, but if Beal didn’t want to play for Sacramento, then Washington’s hands would’ve been tied.
For the Kings, it may end up being a blessing in disguise that the team didn’t land Beal.
While he is a great scorer, he has a massive contract and the aforementioned no-trade clause. That could make it hard for the Suns to move him if things don’t work out in his first few seasons with the team.
The Kings are a team on the rise, building around Domantas Sabonis, De’Aaron Fox and Murray.
It makes sense that the team wants to see what its young forward can do alongside those two star players over the next few seasons of his rookie contract.
The Kings and Suns are both hoping to be playoff teams in the Western Conference this season after both making it there in the 2022-23 campaign.