The 2005-06 season started off poorly, as the Kings had a hard time finding chemistry in the team. Newcomers Bonzi Wells and Shareef Abdur-Rahim made major contributions early in the season, but both fell victim to the injury bug and missed a significant number of games. As the Kings' dismal season continued, the Maloofs decided to make a major move.
Popular sharpshooting small forward Peja Stojakovic was traded for Ron Artest, long known for his volatile temper. Artest guaranteed the Kings would make the playoffs. With Artest in the lineup, the Kings had a 20-9 record after the 2006 NBA All-Star Weekend, which was the second best post-All-Star break record that season. The Kings finished the regular season with a 44-38 record, which placed them 4th in the Pacific Division.
The Kings obtained the 8th seed of the Western Conference playoffs, and were matched up in the first round against the San Antonio Spurs in a seven-game series. The Spurs beat the Kings in the first round 4-2.