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Report: Kings monitoring Matisse Thybulle’s availability ahead of trade deadline

Finally, a rumor that isn’t about salary dumping.

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NBA: Sacramento Kings at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Marc Stein reported in his Substack newsletter late Monday that the Sacramento Kings were monitoring Matisse Thybulle’s availability ahead of the trade deadline:

Sacramento is said to be monitoring the availability of Philadelphia’s Matisse Thybulle as the Kings, unexpectedly holding the West’s No. 3 seed after a league-record 16 consecutive seasons out of the playoffs, ponder the pursuit of a more defensive-minded option on the perimeter. One source with knowledge of the Kings’ thinking, meanwhile, insists that rival teams hoping for Richaun Holmes to become a buyout candidate if Sacramento can’t trade him (as mentioned here last week) are poised to be disappointed. A buyout would be complicated for both sides with two years and nearly $25 million left on Holmes’ contract after this season.

On paper, the Kings’ interest in Thybulle makes sense. They currently have the best offense in the entire NBA, but only rank 21st in the league in defense. Most teams in the league strive to atleast be top-10 in both categories.

The Kings have the offensive firepower to support Thybulle’s shortcomings. They have an abundance of shooters with Kevin Huerter, Keegan Murray, Harrison Barnes, and Malik Monk. A potential fit doesn’t come without questions, however.

Both of the Kings’ best players, De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis, are below average shooters. Inserting another non-shooter in Thybulle alongside with them could be challenging.

From a Sixers’ perspective a one-for-one Thybulle-to-Sacramento deal wouldn’t make much sense. From a salary perspective, only two players would match Thybulle’s salary: Alex Len and Terrance Davis. The Sixers need center help, but Len is most likely a third string center on most good teams. Davis would be a much more intriguing fit, as he’s showcased a shot making ability off the bench.

However, there are legitimate off-court concerns with Davis. Back in 2020 Davis faced seven charges, two of which were third-degree assault, against his girlfriend. Five of the charges, including the assaultive conduct, were dismissed.

There’s a good chance the Sixers would ask for someone or something else outside of those two players. We can assume any of Barnes, Huerter and Murray are off the table. Outside of them, you’d be looking at Malik Monk or our old friend Richaun Holmes.

I love Malik Monk as much as anyone, but the Sixers’ backcourt is already loaded. Richaun Holmes is intriguing as a lob option, but his defensive limitations and large salary probably kill any possibility of a reunion for now.

The most realistic Thybulle-to-Sacramento framework would most likely involve draft compensation. The Sixers could get draft pick(s) in return for Thybulle and use them in later deals. Or, they could do a three-team framework where the Sixers get a player outside of Sacramento.

Regardless of a trade, Thybulle will enter restricted free agency this summer. The Sixers are already over luxury tax, so if they feel like they won’t pay him they’d be wise to deal him for something of value at the deadline.

This is the first rumor we’ve seen in awhile that doesn’t involve salary dumping, and odds are there will be more. We’ll keep you posted on any developments ahead of the NBA’s trade deadline.

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