Did anyone see Tyrekes career arc playing out like this? The kid has gone from Franchise savior to having his game questioned because of injuries to being a "positionless" player to just flat out looking lost in the course of his four NBA seasons. Watching reke play this year made me wonder how the hell has sac not traded this guy to recoup some value before he leaves in restricted free agency after this season. After his rookie year in 09 reke had to be considered untradable in the eyes of the kings personnel dept, standing 6'5" with a 7' wingspan and one of the quickest first steps in pro ball he lit the league up to the tune of 20-5-5 playing as a ball dominating pg who attacked the hoop nonstop, played very strong man defense, and somewhat minimalized his weaknesses in his game(horrible shooting stroke, offense iniation, off ball defense) to win a very competitive rookie of year race against steph curry. Rekes next two years in the league went quite differently, he suffered from Plantar Fasciitis which dramatically affected his game going from abusing smaller pgs with his size and quickness on dribble drives to becoming primarily a jump shooting player who lacked a nba caliber j. Then came the multiple run ins with then Sac headcoach Paul Westphal over offensive scheme and disciplinary actions, the rumors of motivational issues because of a lack of team success and sac not being a big/fun enough city. Year three offered very little definition of the player reke is or might become, he often looked completely disinterested, his most dangerous assets-his size and quickness off the dribble have been neutralized to a certain extent because defending players refuse to honor his j and play off him anticipating the drive, his once strong on the ball defense has become nonexistent and he is now one of the biggest ball watchers in the league
Rekes inability to improve his jumper(both midrange and 3pt), his in effectiveness running half court sets, and his penchant for dominating the ball while playing flashy turnover prone ball lead Sac headcoach to move reke to the sf position because there were better pg options on the team. Reke spent the rest of the season playing uninspired ball and often looked like he'd rather be trying to pull all the dimes in the stands then dropping a dime on the court. Fast forward to this season and reke is still playing off the ball on the perimeter, still can't shoot, still refuses to play team ball, still looks like he'd rather play anywhere but sac- so the question is why hasn't sac traded him and where would be an ideal spot where he could thrive at and regroup to get back to his once promising form?
To find that answer you have to evaluate reke as a player and first determine what position he plays, then determine his strengths and weaknesses, then you could compile a list of teams looking/needing a player to fit that role.
I see reke as a 2 guard who has to be coupled with sweet stroking pg or sf, preferably both, in a fast paced transition heavy offense that focuses on ball movement in half court sets. The team has to be somewhat successful or a promising young team on the rise or a large market team with a great party scene in order for what I believe Reke need to have in order to get out of his funk and become something more than a role player who takes more off the table then he puts on it. The kid is only 23 years old and being coupled with a change of scenery and hopefully a strong coach will allow reke to unstagnate his learning curve and incorporate new elements into his game. Teams I see being a good fit for reke are: Atlanta- big market team, great nightlife, Teague and Korver as backcourt mates, and the inside presence of horford plus the glaring need for a starting caliber 2 guard all make this a interesting destination. Portland- inside/outside presence of Aldridge and lilliard, Batum being there to be the primary perimeter defender and Wesley Matthews inability to be a consistently good player leaves a open spot that reke should be able to fit into rather seamlessly. Minnesota- Rick adelmans offense is tailor made for reke and I think his coaching style would mesh well with Rekes aloof yet sometimes confrontational attitude, having Rubio run point along with the inside presence of pek and klove have his team needing a dynamic perimeter slashing option to truly be considered a contender. Chicago- Thibs hard nosed coaching style might not sit well with reke, but he sure would regain his defensive focus and pairing him up with drose would give chi town the most physically dominant backcourt in the league and a much needed scoring presence from the 2 spot. Lets hear what you guys have to say I think reke is a very interesting player and if put in the right situation could be the difference maker for a handful of teams
What We Learned From the Preseason: This is going to be unfair. LeBron James is gearing up for what could be the single greatest individual season of his career (which is saying something), and adding Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis to the defending champs isn’t going to make things any easier on the rest of the league. These guys are going to be impossible to beat most nights, and predicting 18 losses may just be wishful thinking. As long as LBJ is healthy, the rest of the league shall weep with despair.