The Nets have been shopping their high-priced star players, and the Kings have been probing the market for an impact point guard.
No deal is imminent, but the talks are ongoing, sources told Yahoo Sports.
The talks have centered on sending the Nets point guard Darren Collison and forwards Derrick Williams and Jason Thompson as part of a multi-player package for Williams, league sources said.
Sacramento has significant interest with Williams, but a hurdle to a possible deal is the Kings’ desire to have center Mason Plumlee included into the package, league sources said. Brooklyn has considered Plumlee a significant part of its future core.
The Kings have been thrilled with Collison, who has emerged as a strong leader and a popular teammate this season. There remains a reluctance for Sacramento to move him in a deal, sources said, but the Nets would need a point guard to replace Williams.
The combination of Williams' massive salary and declining health and production leave the Nets with little leverage to take back much more than spare parts for the one-time All-Star guard. Brooklyn is 10-15 and sitting ninth in the Eastern Conference.
Kings interim coach Tyrone Corbin and Williams have a solid relationship dating back to their several years together with the Utah Jazz. After consecutive seasons of ankle injuries limiting his effectiveness, Williams, 30, has played better this season – if not nearly back to his past All-Star level.
With the fragile nature of center Brook Lopez's chronic foot problems – as well as the organization's shopping of Lopez to teams in recent weeks – Plumlee becomes a more difficult young talent for the Nets to include into a trade. Essentially, the Kings would be looking for insurance that promises them productivity on the floor, if Williams becomes sidelined with injuries again.
The Nets' partnership with Williams has become increasingly fractured over the past two years, and the idea of a breakup has appeal for both sides, sources tell Yahoo.
Williams has two full years and $43 million-plus left on his contract through the end of the 2017 season. The Nets are motivated to shed salary and try to again reboot the franchise. Williams is averaging a career-low 15.6 points and 6.8 assists per game.
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