Fizer's Take: Sacramento Kings
The Sacramento Kings season has gone downward ever since the organization tried to "rebuild" around Kevin Martin... Well, we all know that Kevin Martin is a one-dimensional player who takes care of the offense from time to time with the Kings. They had a season to forget though it was understandable that their lack of depth at the starting line-up became obvious out there in the West. They were one of the eight teams that joined the coaching carousel and fired Reggie Theus early into the season and replaced him with an unproven Kenny Natt. The Kings did have something to build in the future by having guys like Jason Thompson and Spencer Hawes manning their frontcourt so Kings fans have something to be optimistic about. Since their team wasn't going to get better throughout the season, they took a huge swing just before the trading deadline and acquired Andres Nocioni in a trade with the Bulls that had them give up solid guard John Salmons and Brad Miller. While the trade worked wonderfully for the Bulls, it didn't do well for the Kings who finished the whole season with having the worst record at 17-65. The make-up of this team still lacks a true and quality point guard, since its obvious that Beno Udrih was not and never will be the answer for them. The Kings do have a future in store and it will be interesting to see how long will it take for the to regain their 2002 form.
The lottery wasn't so nice for the Kings fans. They did have the biggest chance to be the number 1 pick after posting the worst record but in the end, they landed 4th which is waaaay past the Blake Griffin bonanza. So they missed the opportunity of signing a franchise player... So they turned their attention to filling in the need at PG. Who will they take? Everyone was ecstatic to think about European phenom Ricky Rubio wearing a purple and white... or Jonny Flynn could add speed to a team that needs a whole lot of speed... or they could take Tyreke Evans who, though still learning the point guard role, could be a solid answer for the Kings... Ultimately, they passed on Ricky Rubio and took Memphis guard Tyreke Evans at 4. Evans is a 6'5 combo guard that could compliment Kevin Martin's outside shooting to his slashing ability. He is also very athletic and fun to watch... Think Larry Hughes of the Washington Wizards (not New York OK?)... He is probably the most NBA-ready player among the 3 aforementioned. Next, the Kings took a European prospect in Omri Casspi at 23. You could see why the Kings fell in love with such player. He is a real tough combo forward who has the potential to create some mismatches at the next level. He brings a lot of energy to the floor, attacks the basket well and is a good overall athlete. If he continues to improve his perimeter shooting and shores up his handles, he could be a nice offensive presence off the bench. In the second round, they traded the 31st pick but got the 38th pick from Portland which turned into Jon Brockman. A severely undersized power forward, Jon Brockman can provide the toughness and rebounding the Kings badly need.
The offseason wasn't a headturner for the Kings... They didn't sign Garnett nor they made a trade for Stoudemire but they did bought in role players that could hopefully flourish with the team. They brought Desmond Mason to add athleticism and defense which the Kings really need to improve upon... They brought in unproven fat guy Sean May who hopes to relive his career after a slump at Charlotte... They also acquired Sergio Rodriguez who could be a nice backup to Tyreke... All these were no major headlines but they did spell the needs for the team. Geoff Petrie will have to work a little bit harder for this team to rise once more. Staying in the Pacific Division, can they be able to absorb the beatings given to them by powerhouse teams like the Lakers and Spurs? How will Tyreke fair in his rookie season? Should they be regretting NOT drafting Rubio? The Kings will fight for the worst record in the NBA and it's very obvious why.
NBA Draft Grade: B
NBA Offseason Grade: B-
Predicted W-L: 18-64
This is just a writer's opinion... Anyone care to comment, I am open for it^^
Kings will stink, but the fans and GM already knew that coming in so it's not like anything will be a surprise. They are building through the draft and not committing any major moeny to free-agents. I like Tyreke and Casspi as rookies. It will be a very long season in sac town, and I know how much it hurts the fans there who take the sport very seriously and always support their team.
What constitues as "build around Kevin Martin?" The way I look at it they have a piece they are pretty happy with. Scorers are pretty common in the league but he usually shoots with a pretty high percentage, but more importantly he gets to the line and doesn't take a ton of shots. It's great to have top 10 scorer in the league only taking a limited number of shots, it makes him productive. To me build around means they've made him the focal point of the team and try to fill the team with role players to highlight his talents and cover his weaknesses. Build around means signing free agents aggressively, IMO. The Kings biggest name FA in history was Vlade. That's pretty weak so I'd say Petrie has never built around one person, they build around an idea.
I don't think they are so much building around Martin but saying we have a garbage team but our 2G is decent so let's not draft at the one position we are ok at. I don't see how this means they're making him their franchise player. They draft to take the best player available I think. They took Tyreke because he was the most NBA ready and Jennings/Rubio/Flynn are no CP3 or D Will, especially on this team. How much better do you think Rondo is because he's on the Celtics and not the Kings???? Tyreke was really the only one who can succeed on this team.
Petrie has always liked versatility and I think he'll continue to draft that way. Brad Miller/Hawes both F/C, , Bobby Jax was a combo guard, Salmons g/f, Francisco (that's fun to say) g/f, and I think they'll play Tyreke and sergio on the floor at the same time once in awhile.
Only way this team gets good is if they sign someone this summer. This team may have 15 wins this year. Imagine a pick 1-3 in a stocked draft along with Evans, Martin, Thompson, Casspi, Hawes, Garcia and Rodriguez. That's a good young core that with the help of an all-star, could be playoff bound next year. They can draft the best player avail because of the versatility, so they can move people around. Also if Evans and Casspi have good seasons along with that top pick that could be attractive to a FA. Then there are trades, This team is built to make moves and adapt not to win, it's a gathering of the best talent you can draft in order to maneuver until you get the players you want. Personally I like what they're doing (just don't like watching the games,) but a huge part of it is going to be if they can bring in a big name guy without giving up too much.
The Sacramento Kings are one of several NBA teams that are never on national TV, so I have no personal experience that I can rely on for some of their players and/or how the team is structured. However, I will make some comments on players I know and then ask questions about others I never saw play.
1. I think Tyreke Evans will become a big time scorer, however, I don't know if he can play PG.
2. Sergio Rodriguez could be an excellent NBA point guard on a team that runs the court.
3. Kevin Martin is a known quantity.
4. Andres Nocioni is one of the best 6th men in the league.
Now to my questions.
1. I get the feeling S. Hawes doesn't have the talent to be a starting center in the NBA. Is that true?
2. Casspi, the Israeli rookie, is a legitimate NBA player. Is that true?
3. Jason Thompson is a talented power forward and he was a good choice for the Kings. Is that true, and is he big and strong enough to play center?
4. Is Sacramento a half court or a running team [See my Sergio Rodriguez comment above]?
Depending upon the answers to my questions above, I think Sacramento could be one quality center away from becoming a decent team.
To reply to the questions above:
1. I, being a Kings fan, have struggled with this notion for about a year now, he definitely does not have the size and physical presence to play the Center position, which is apparent as soon as you put him up against an Oden or a Bynum, but what he lacks in size and physicality he makes up for in hard work and skill. He is the type of player that always goes for the shot blocks and has the ability to score from anywhere on the court, he can go to the hoop with either hand and is a great passer when he actually tries to be, my biggest problem with him is the same thing I hate about my favorite team, and that is their inconsistency in intensity and ball movement. Only time will tell if he has what it takes, but I personally think he is a better fit at the PF position when I take into account his style of play.
2. Casspi is definitely a legitimate NBA player, I was extremely skeptical when the Kings drafted him, because I hate when teams take a gamble on foreign players who do not pan out; but seeing this kid play in the preseason and in his first NBA game, I can say that he has what it takes, he even could have been a lottery pick in the draft this year with his play so far, and I think that he will soon come to be known as one of the steals of the draft.
3. I love how Thompson plays, he is always hustling and going after the loose balls, he has good post moves and on occasion can hit a spot up jumper from about 15 feet; he is definitely for real. He is progressing faster than anyone thought and looks to be a real force at the PF position this year among sophomores. He is continually getting stronger and I think that he has the skill right now for him to play at the Center position, but I think it will take his body a few more years to catch up to that potential, but when it does, you better watch him close.
4. They are a running team; that is where almost all of their players are at their best, especially with Tyreke as their up and coming PG and Martin as their best player they can run with the best of them, they really tend to struggle in the half court.
Depending upon the answers to my questions above, I think Sacramento could be one quality center away from becoming a decent team.
I think every team is one quality center away from being a decent team, or from being a good team, or from being a championship team.
248curtem33, you made an interesting observation. However, I was trying to make the point that Sacramento is a very different team this year, they are no longer the league doormat. They now have a solid nucleus of players [listed below] and with one more big guy, I think they can turn it around.
Kevin Martin and one of the best 6th men in basketball,
In other words, the franchise is heading up, not down. There are some teams in the NBA who are going in the wrong direction, but I don't think Sacramento falls into that category.
yeah but spencer only played 2 years right?..he doubled his rebounding and scoring in year too..i dont think he has to be real physically in order for them to win because the fact is they are a looooong ways from winning which is cool since they have a young team
BasketBalAllan, thanks for some excellent answers.
It looks like the S. Hawes question is still an unanswered one. However, since I believe Tyreke Evans is probably a better SG than a PG, and since you said Sacramento is a running team, maybe they should give Sergio Rodriguez more playing time. He was lost in Portland's offense, but Rodriguez is the kind of guy who could be dynamite running the fast break. What do you think?
what makes a center a quality center is my questions..because hawes seems like a quality center and hes still young....who are some of the quality centers in ya'll opinions in the nba?
TOUGHNESS and strength, 2 things Hawes lacks. He also isn't a great defender or rebounder. But there's no denying the offensive talents he has.
yeah hes not that tough thats tough..and im sure he will become a better rebounder..he did average 7rebs a game which was only .6 or less then nene,illguskus.noah, okur bradmiller, and marc gasol...and that was his second year inthe leauge
they are still the leauge doormat..they are projected to finish dead last in the nba...and they are in the very strong west..they have a pretty good future but a very bad present
Yea, but it's not like Hawes is gathering boards out their. None of those guys you listed are particularly good rebounders either.
Big O, I don't know if you were serious or only kidding about Brockman, but did you catch his stats in tonight's game? He played 19 minutes and had 10 rebounds. If he played 38 minutes, those stats would have projected out to 20 rebounds, which is why I said all along there was a role for him in the NBA. Guys who love to rebound are hard to find.
he did play very hard and got boards..you cant go by "if he played more he would have had 20"..cuz it really doesnt work that way..how many time have you seen a guy average something like 6 pts or 5 reb in 6 min then someone gets hurt they starts and they dont average near double figures or double there tats..a great example would be eddie house...but yeah brockman is inthe perfect situation in sactown were toughness is lacking
What you said about the stats projection I made is very true, but I was merely trying to make the same point that I made the day after the NBA Draft. Brockman loves to rebound so there will always be a place for him in the league. I remember some guys, who look only at offense, predicted he would never play in the NBA.
i feel ya..yeah i always said he would be in the nba because hes tough and knows his role even before he even played you knew he would know his role
man parker gave evans the business while putting him on lock