The Sacramento Kings had a standout season, not only making the playoffs for the first time in nearly two decades, but finishing with the No. 3 seed and nearly knocking off the defending champions, pushing Stephen Curry and company to seven games.
Their offseason, however, has been less incredible. Dreams of a major swing disappeared, and the team largely ran things back, with the exception of a massive contract extension for All-NBA big man Domantas Sabonis that landed the Kings on multiple “offseason losers” lists, such as the one The Athletic’s John Hollinger put together (subscription required).
And that shaky offseason? It may have been the Portland Trail Blazers’ fault.
Did the Trail Blazers ruin the Kings’ offseason?
The Trail Blazers didn’t directly force the Kings into any specific move. They didn’t fleece the Kings in a trade (at least not this summer), they didn’t steal away a key free agent and they didn’t stick Sacramento with an onerous restricted free agent offer sheet.
No, all they did was make a draft pick.