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Pre-Game Trades Overshadow Kings’ Blowout Loss

(Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

by Matt George 

The Sacramento Kings have been rumored to be serious players at this year’s trade deadline. Turns out those rumors were well-founded. In the hours leading up to the Kings’ meeting with the Houston Rockets Wednesday, the Kings were involved in a three-team trade, sending Iman Shumpert to the Rockets and acquiring Alec Burks from the Cleveland Cavaliers. Then, just minutes into the start of the game, it was announced that the Kings traded Justin Jackson and Zach Randolph to the Dallas Mavericks for Harrison Barnes.

The trades appeared to have an effect on the young Kings, who played sloppy and looked distracted for much of the night. The Rockets, being a veteran team with NBA Finals aspirations, smelled blood in the water, outscoring Sacramento 44-17 in the 2nd quarter. James Harden dropped a game-high 36 points as Houston cruised to a 127-101 victory.

“We made some uncharacteristic turnovers. We didn’t shoot the basketball well. They did. Just one of those nights. I’m proud of our guys…it’s been a tough couple of hours…” said Kings head coach Dave Joerger.

Following the tough loss, which ended the Kings’ seven game home winning streak, the mood in the locker room was solemn, with many players sharing their disappointment to see friends leave.

“(It’s) always tough but we do what we gotta do – go out there and play” said De’Aaron Fox.

“I ran my ass off every day with these dudes. I just show up and they gone, that’s trash…but that’s the business” added Willie Cauley-Stein.

“It’s tough. The air is negative. This is a professional business. Gotta move on…” said Buddy Hield.

Barnes and Burks both bring playoff experience and much needed depth to Sacramento, especially at the small forward position. The Kings also gained another second round draft pick in the Shumpert trade.

The Kings have the day off tomorrow and look to bounce back with a win over the Miami Heat in Sacramento on Friday. The NBA Trade deadline is at noon pacific time Thursday.