Sacramento Kings: Scouts Analyze Their Upcoming Season
Yesterday, Sports Illustrated’s “The Crossover” released an article where anonymous scouts gave their opinions on the teams in the Western Conference, which includes the Sacramento Kings. (To check our their entire analysis, click here).
Throughout this piece, there was a lot of negative views on the purple and white this season, to no surprise. The three points that stood out were that the Kings were a playoff bubble team at best, their defense will continue to struggle, and that everyone on the team should be on the trading block, including DeMarcus Cousins.
“At best, they’re on the playoff bubble. At worst, they fall apart and they fin last in the West. Both are possible. … This whole roster is on the trade block. (per The Crossover)
In fact, the article stated that Cousins should be dealt by the Kings. Although Cousins is a top talent in the NBA, The Crossover mentioned that Cousins’ production hasn’t resulted in the wins and that the Kings are better off trading the big man for a top ten point guard to better suit their team (per The Crossover).
This roster would make a lot more sense if they just rebuilt by trading Cousins for a top-10 point guard. Cousins should bring in strong trade offers because he’s probably the most attainable A-list talent in the league. (per The Crossover)
Although the scouts in the article don’t have high hopes for the Kings this year, they still had some positive things to say about the franchise. They believe Dave Joerger (Head Coach) was the Kings’ biggest acquisition this summer. They believe Cousins is an offensive force. They also predicted that Darren Collison will be a better option starting the point than Rajon Rondo.
Collison might not be able to put up Rondo’s numbers but I think he will have a much better impact. Rondo has the ball in his hands way too much. (per The Crossover)
It’s painful to say, but the scouts for SI’s new article make some good points about the Kings. I also envision the purple and white to finish outside the playoff race when the regular season concludes, but I also see the team finishing the season being better than 33-49, their previous record.
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I don’t necessarily agree that EVERYONE should be on the trading block for the Kings. I would say that Cousins is the exception.
Like they mentioned in their article, “Cousins is the most talented center in the NBA”, and in my opinion, those type of players are indispensable.
I’m not willing to give up on Cousins just yet, but if this season does turn out to be another trainwreck for the Kings then that perspective may change in 2017.
I also don’t agree entirely on the article’s notion that the defense will be terrible. Dave Joerger has a good reputation of coaching solid defensive teams in the past, and I think the Kings will dramatically improve in that aspect of the game for this campaign. I mean, last season they were ranked last in the league in points allowed per game. It can’t get any worse, right?
Although the Kings don’t have the labeled “lock-down defenders” on their personnel, their roster is more defensive-oriented than it was last season, especially on the perimeter.
This trio either has the reputation (Afflalo & Temple) or the potential (McLemore) of being solid defenders this season. (Stay tuned for an article where I predict McLemore’s defensive production this year.) The perimeter defense for the Kings will not be great at all, but they will definitely be better than last year due to the personnel and coaching of Joerger.
The last point, I agree with The Crossover that Collison will be a better replacement at the starting point guard spot than Rajon Rondo. Rondo posted great numbers for the Kings last season and was a passing savant, but the former King also needed the ball in his hands a lot on offense to create.
As a result, the Kings really lacked getting others involved offensively last season. I think with Collison being the main facilitator the Kings will improve the ball movement for the Kings and it gives the team a more reliable shooter at the point.
Overall, there were some valid points that The Crossover made pertaining to the Kings, but I didn’t agree with everything.
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To tackle the majority of the what The Crossover said: I do agree that the Kings are not bound for the playoffs this season and that Darren Collison will improve the offense for the Kings compared to Rajon Rondo.
I also agree that the defense will not be the strongest attribute for the Kings, but I do think it will greatly improve compared to last season. And finally, I think that everyone on the Kings should be on the trading block, except for DeMarcus Cousins.
DeMarcus is a player that is a top five talent (in my opinion) in the NBA currently, and a player that wants to stay in Sacramento, for now. As a franchise, you don’t waste an opportunity like this. You build around your star players, you don’t build by kicking them out.