A Royal Pain has begun a new series where we analyze the best lineups in certain situations for the Sacramento Kings. This article will discuss which five players on the roster would make up for the best starting lineup.
Darren Collison has proven to be a player that can be reliable and efficient at the same time. During his tenure with the Kings (119 games), Collison has averaged 14.8 points and 4.8 assists per game while shooting an effective 48% from the floor, 38.9% from beyond the arc, and 82.7% from the free-throw line.
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Although Collison deserves to be the starting point guard, his recent conviction of domestic violence will most certainly have him sidelined for the early stages of the season. With that being said, the player to replace Collison at the point should be Ty Lawson. Despite his recent struggles, Lawson has shown to be an effective starting facilitator for good teams throughout his career. He has a career average of 13.1 points and 6.2 assists per game, solid statistics for a player at his position.
Arron Afflalo has been a solid starting two-guard for competitive teams in the past, so why should it be any different now that he is on the Sacramento Kings?
So far in career, Afflalo has been efficient offensively as he has a career average of 11.6 points per game while shooting 45.2% from the court and 38.5% from the perimeter. Affalo has also proven to be an adequate defender as well.
The Kings need a shooting guard that can contribute to the team on both ends of the court, which is why they signed Afflalo this summer to be exactly that.
There is no question that Rudy Gay deserves to be the starting small forward if healthy. The 6’8” player has averaged 19.4 points and 6 rebounds per game since playing for the Kings franchise back in 2013.
Based on the roster, Gay looks to be the second scoring option for the purple and white this season, therefore, will be a starter for the Kings on opening night.
In order for the Kings to improve this season, their defense needs to dramatically improve. Willie Cauley-Stein has the potential to be an elite defender at the NBA level, which is why he should be a regular starter for the Kings at the power forward position.
Cauley-Stein proved enough in his rookie campaign that he can contribute positively for the Kings on the defensive end, which makes up a good duo when paired up with an offensive big (*cough* DeMarcus Cousins). I expect Willie to be the starter on the opening night and continue to progress as an all-around player going forward. He just needs the opportunity to prove it.
Undoubtedly, DeMarcus Cousins is the best player on the Sacramento Kings. Last season, Boogie had a monster year by averaging an exceptional 26.9 points and 11.5 rebounds per game, a walking double-double.
Expect Cousins to play a pivotal part in the Kings’ offense this season. He has the ability to be a menace in the paint but also to be a sniper from beyond the arc. So yeah, #15 deserves to start at center for the Kings on opening night.