Sacramento Gets to Keep Their Kings
The City of Sacramento fought long and hard to keep its team in town, and provide them with the new arena that the team has sought, to boot. Under new ownership, the Kings are sure to move in a different direction from a philosophical standpoint. The team has already let go longtime personnel man Geoff Petrie, and are likely to do the same with head coach Keith Smart (although nothing has been made imminently clear at this time). The Kings have also made it quite evident that they are building around players such as C DeMarcus Cousins, PG Isaiah Thomas and G Marcus Thornton, rather than continue the experiment with G Tyreke Evans. Both parties appear to have thrown in the towel, and it is probably best for both to move on.
Evans will have value around the NBA, and the New York Knicks have been rumored as a destination for him in recent weeks. With the Knicks’ need for additional scoring and more size in their backcourt, the discussion of PG Raymond Felton, C Marcus Camby, F Steve Novak and a trade exception (which came as a result of the Knicks sending F Ronnie Brewer to the Oklahoma City Thunder) could possibly do the job for both teams. However, neither team has addressed this rumor, so it is speculation for now.
The Kings will squeeze the last bit of NBA life out of John Salmons’ body, as they have his rights for the next two years (and $14.5 million in total money over that time, as well). Marcus Thornton’s productivity nosedived in 2012-2013, especially comparable to his salary, which is in excess of $8 million. The Kings were feisty and competitive at times, but 28-54 is about what the Kings have been ever since they moved to Sacramento from Kansas City, save for the Rick Adelman/Chris Webber/Vlade Divac years. Maybe an infusion of new money, new hope, new direction and the right selection with the 7th pick will help the Kings rebuild towards contention in the Western Conference. On paper, the talent seems decent, but the problem has arisen when Smart has tried to get different lineups (one of the highest number of lineup shuffles in the NBA) to work together. It appears that only Thomas and possibly Cousins know their roles. Cousins is such a volatile player that just as much attention must be given to his attitude on and off the court, as there needs to be towards his game. When such a player is the “leader” of a team, the team’s fortunes are not going to be grand. The Kings have to make the 7th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft count. Whether it is a backcourt mate for Thomas, or another big man to go along with Cousins, there will options at #7 for Sacramento.
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