SACRAMENTO (CBS13) - The Sacramento Kings are adding an NBA All-Star to their roster, but not without losing a fan favorite.
The Kings traded for All Star 6-foot-11 center Domantas Sabonis. In exchange, they will give the Indiana Pacers Tyrese Haliburton as well as Buddy Hield and Tristan Thompson.
The Kings were hosting the Minnesota Timberwolves hours after word of the trade became public.
Inside the arena, beneath the behemoth Sacramento Kings scoreboard, it is the seats that tell the story.
Entire sections are empty.
A solitary father and son.
A couple quietly watching alone.
This is not what the cowbell kingdom and the Sacramento Kings fan base is known for.
Art Miguel brought his cowbell to the game, acknowledging the franchise funk and fighting through it.
"As long as the Kings are in Sacramento we got the cowbell," Miguel said.
There has not been a Kings sell-out crowd in months. Now this shake up. A roster re-shuffling, for a two-time all star now on his way here.
Fan favorite Tyrese Halliburton traded away.
"I'm really sad, honestly," Sacramento Kings Fan Albert Fong said.
Twenty-four-year-old Fong owns a Halliburton jersey. The loss stings. Then again, he is used to loss. He was just nine years old the last time the kings were in the playoffs
"I think Kevin Martin was on that team, right," Fong said.
The Downtown Commons stores surrounding the Golden One Center bank on foot traffic coming to these games. A decrease in crowd size trickles down to small business sales.
Tawfiu Khan just opened the retail clothing store 'Fresh Fitted' a week ago.
"If they are doing good, more people are gonna come they are gonna come inside and shop with us, you know," Khan said. "So yeah, thats the one link you know?"
A Sacramento kings blockbuster trade.
Will it bring the crowds back to the games?
The Kings fired their head coach Luke Walton earlier this season.
Unless they turn things around fast, they are heading for a record-breaking 16th straight NBA season without a playoff appearance.
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