It’s difficult to understand any of the Sacramento Kings’ moves.
Before the deconstruction and questioning of the Kings’ many odd acquisitions and moves, the positives for the unfortunate franchise:
They still have DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay. Cousins should be a monster this year. The offensive-minded center set career-highs in points, field-goal percentage, rebounds, assists, and blocks. It would not be a long-shot for Cousins to experience another career-best season. Gay is an established player in the NBA. He’s still one of the better two-way threats on the court and provides plenty of athleticism at the small forward.
The Kings also drafted promising shooting guard, Nik Stauskas. He’ll fight for starter minutes immediately and could be the dark horse for Rookie of the Year in a very stacked field. His main competition for the starting shooting guard job, Ben McLemore, finally broke out and flashed his potential during the last two months of last season. His averages of 10.6 points and 13.9 points were noted improvements over the majority of the season (no month averaged over 10 points). If the two can coincide, this could be a promising shooting guard duo or great trade bait.
Now, the reality for the Kings in a difficult Western Conference is another season watching the playoffs. This is simply not a contending team — not enough notable players or working parts. While the team boasts one of the best emerging big men in Cousins, the Kings also unloaded promising Isaiah Thomas and replaced him with career backup Darren Collison. His backup, Ramon Sessions, is also a career backup point guard.
The rest of the team are question marks and veterans with no sure role. Outside of Carl Landry and Reggie Evans, the team is just “potential.” The expectations for Ray McCallum, Derrick Williams, and Jason Thompson are low to just plain unknown. Williams is on a rebuilding track to NBA relevancy, McCallum is a complete question mark, and Thompson is just an average backup big man.
Before the Sacramento faithful put up their pitchforks and plan their playoff tickets, remember to temper and control those expectations. The Kings have building blocks, but puzzling decisions (like giving up Thomas and replacing him with Collison), continue to plague this franchise and its fan base.
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images
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