By Will Robinson

Well, unfortunately, this piece was going to branch off into a Kings tirade as well as tying in some free agent transactions; however, since there is a lockout and all, I will stick to the Kings moves pre-July 1.


Look, I don’t need to place the disclaimer, but: I’ve been a lifelong Kings fan. I only want what’s best for their chances to win games. And to put it bluntly, the moves they have made in recent years were mostly poor for the team’s direction.


Ever since they traded off Chris Webber, Peja Stojakovic, Mike Bibby, and all of the other usual suspects from the glory days, the message was assumed the Kings would be rebuilding. The problem was they kept bringing in mid-level free agents that kept the Kings right in the 35-win range. They didn’t bottom out. They were just average. Rebuilding ACTUALLY started the year they finished 17-65.


In recent years, they have made some solid pickups such as drafting Tyreke Evans, DeMarcus Cousins, and acquiring Marcus Thornton for Carl Landry, as well as some other ones (Dalembert, Greene – depending how you feel about him). But the first two they made this offseason really bothered me. A lot.

First, the Kings were a part of a ménage à trade with the Bucks and Bobcats, sending off Beno Udrih (a very solid backup point guard, albeit with an overpriced contract) and the #7 pick (Bismack Biyombo) for John Salmons (a good defender but needs the ball in his hands on offense) and the #10 pick (Jimmer Fredette).


This move may have not hurt the Kings salary cap, but team wise, it makes little sense. John Salmons has compiled some good years, even when he was a King his first go around. Last year though, he was just ok. The main problem lies with his play style. As I briefly state earlier, Salmons is a ball dominant player; he likes to have it. A team can have a player or two like this, but if they’re not LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, or Kobe Bryant, this can be a problem. And Salmons is certainly not one of the aforementioned people. Now since Omri Casspi is gone, Salmons is the presumptive starter at the 3. Unfortunately, that leaves him in a lineup with Fredette or Thornton (both ball dominant players) and Evans (obviously likes the ball). Three players who all like the ball is a major problem; it is not conducive for a functional offense.


Speaking of Jimmer. Oh, Jimmer: Your name is so cool, but why must you skip playing defense and jacking up (but making some) 30 foot three pointers? I don’t think Jimmer will be a good NBA point guard, but if he is to become one, it will not take one shortened off-season for the transition. He needs time. Jimmer Mania is in full force, and even though he was treated like the second coming of Joseph Smith at BYU, we’ll see if he can handle the focus of the NBA spotlight. The Kings coaching staff reportedly did not want Jimmer. If that’s true, then this pick was pushed by the Maloofs and Petrie to attract media attention and boost ticket sales; it’s always a poor idea to make business decisions over basketball ones in order to rebuild and win. There were some possessions for BYU where Jimmer would use up his dribble, pass to his teammate, and immediately request the ball back. His usage rate must have been like 185018% for BYU; that’s why he was filling up the score sheet. He will be teamed with another iso-centric player in Tyreke. Jimmer with Tyreke will probably produce some awkward offensive possessions, but also some great off the court scenarios. They should have just drafted Brandon Knight. Ugh.


jj-hickson-49bHowever, lost in these poor transactions was a great deal: Omri Casspi and a very protected first round pick for the Cavaliers’ J.J. Hickson! Sweet! I love this deal because A) Casspi, while effective at times, was in a logjam with Greene, Salmons, and newly drafted Tyler Honeycutt at small forward, B) whenever I saw him play, Hickson was an athletic force above the rim and C) the Kings got more size, especially if they cannot re-sign Samuel Dalembert. The Cavs must have thought the #4 pick Tristan Thompson would be better than Hickson. I personally think Hickson can be a pretty good player, so for the Kings to acquire him for such a cheap price was solid. He’ll be able to split minutes with Cousins at center, so that can free up some more minutes for the big men off the bench.


Hopefully, the Kings can figure out this clusterf*ck on their team. Right now, I really do not think that this roster can work legitimately unless Tyreke or Jimmer can figure out how to be a real point guard. Until then, I’ll be watching the 25-win Kings for another season. And that thought sucks.

  1. […] = 'none'; document.getElementById('singlemouse').style.display = ''; } Sunday Lunch: John Was Bad, Jimmer Was Bad too, but J.J. Was Alright! #content-body,x:-moz-any-link{float:left;margin-right:28px;}#content-body, x:-moz-any-link, […]

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