Sacramento Kings acquire Kessler Edwards from Brooklyn Nets as NBA trade deadline nears

Frank Franklin II/AP

Kings general manager Monte McNair made his first move 48 hours before Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.

The Kings finalized a trade Tuesday to acquire 22-year-old forward Kessler Edwards and cash considerations from the Brooklyn Nets, a league source told The Sacramento Bee. The Nets received the draft rights to David Michineau and opened up a roster spot while saving $8 million in salary and luxury tax.

Edwards is a 6-foot-8, 215-pound forward who came out of Pepperdine as the 44th overall pick in the 2021 NBA draft. He had a solid rookie season with the Nets before falling out of the rotation this season.

Sources said the Kings view the acquisition of Edwards as an opportunity to see how he fits in their system under first-year coach Mike Brown. Edwards could be assigned to the G League Stockton Kings if he isn’t able to carve out a role in Sacramento.

To create a roster spot for Edwards, the Kings waived Deonte Burton, who was on his second 10-day contract with the Kings after being called up from the G League. Sources said Burton was expected to rejoin the Stockton Kings for Wednesday’s game against Grand Rapids Gold.

Edwards was named MVP after leading Pepperdine to the College Basketball Invitational title as a sophomore. He was an All-West Coast Conference First Team selection after averaging 17.2 points and 6.8 rebounds as a junior.

The Nets selected Edwards in the second round of the 2021 draft and signed him to a two-way contract. He split time between Brooklyn and the G League Long Island Nets.

Edwards appeared in 48 games and made 23 starts for Brooklyn as a rookie last season. He averaged 5.9 points and 3.6 rebounds in 20.6 minutes per game while shooting 41.2% from the field and 35.3% from 3-point range.

This season, Edwards has appeared in only 14 games for the Nets, averaging 1.1 points and 1.0 rebounds in 5.7 minutes per contest.

Edwards is making $1.64 million this season with a $1.9 million team option for next season. His salary fits into the $1.63 million trade exception the Kings received in the Marvin Bagley III trade. That exception will expire on Friday if it goes unused.