What is going on in Sacramento
I really really wanted to write about the NBA draft but something, well a team moved me away from such a post. Remember that one guy who is extremely old and they try to hang out with every kid outside, not knowing they look like a fool, well that’s the Kings since 2002. Ever since Chris Webber blew out his knee this franchise has been free falling. The Maloof brothers were previously in charge and made a question to the downright awful personal decision, to them doubling down in Vegas and falling flat on their faces. The franchise was so wrecked, the Maloofs almost sold to the team to an investment group in Seattle. Yes, we were very close to having the Sonics resurrected. However, former NBA player and Mayor of Sacramento Kevin Johnson help propel the franchise to stay in Sacramento and the Maloofs sold the team to Vivek Ranadivé, what should have been a happy ending, and return to glory for a franchise, turned into comedy hour. Under Ranadivé, the team has had four I repeat four head coaches (Keith Smart, Mike Malone, Tyrone Corbin, George Karl [More on him later]). Three general managers and a god awful idea to make cherry-picking a legitimate strategy. The main issue with this team is their own identity crisis, the owner wants an up-tempo modern team, but the roster construed suggests otherwise. In other words, what is going here??
Last night, the NBA draft occurred and Willie Cauley-Stein became the newest member on the team. Many speculated this being the end of DeMarcus Cousins. However, a lot of insiders are saying HE wanted the team to draft him. I still do not see this working for this team mostly because they are limited on outside shooting and now have two centers who will be in the paint the duration of games. Collison and Rudy Gay are known for their names being valued than their play. Ben Mclemore still has not developed to into the player most thought he would be, and Nik Stukas looked awful, and them two are the only perimeter shooters on the team. Caspi is another bigger name than play guy along with Carl Laundry who cannot stay healthy. The Kings’ rosters need a revamp more a lot of teams; most of this roster looks like spare parts of an actual team and the Kings are trying to make it work at the moment. That is what happens when a team changes their GM 3 times in a matter of ONE NBA season. Quite possibly, the best solution could be to blow up the team and discover who parts to keep. Cauley-Stein fits the mold of centers George Karl prefers; big, slinky, athletic centers who can defend the paint and provide energy on the court. The rest of the team, however, needs either development or be traded. DeMarcus Cousins is the only exception to this claim, and yet he is in his own state of limbo right now. He is the King’s franchise player, and yet he is their biggest chip and has been floated around for months now. The head coach doesn’t want him and other teams are ready to give up the farm for him whenever necessary. Cousins is one of the few great to elite talent left at the Center position. Last year, only Kevin Garnett in 2004 put the numbers DeMarcus Cousins was able too. Cousins is a top 10-20 Talent in the league and should be treated as such. However, the trade rumors surrounding him are pretty alarming and unprofessional. Yet, if I was in their position, I would trade him mostly because the number of players/value they will get back for him is ridiculous. Kings’ Front Office seems adamant of him staying while everyone else including myself is saying otherwise. These trade rumors probably would not exist if a team did not hire one particular coach. Speaking of that coach:
Man does George Karl always know how to make players feel uncomfortable especially if it’s the team best player. George Karl knows what works for George Karl, he is the guy who makes role players play to their full potential until the playoffs arise. Karl has traded and lost some of the best players on his team due to his thoughts about them. He did not Carmelo because of his mediocre defense, disliked Ray Allen and wanted Gary Payton instead, thought Andre Igoudola was dry snitching to the Warriors, and now Demarcus Cousins for his commitment level. Karl’s habits of straying players away from the team he is coaching with the players he enjoyed with previous stops. Karl can definitely be called the Chip Kelly of the NBA and vice versa for Chip. Karl is already being rumored to have personal split on Cousins and the Owner is considering to fire him after these messy rumors. But for those who say fire Karl that would be the 5th head coach for this team in 3 years. This would scare any coach from trying to land this gig because the job security for it is terrible and no one will take a gig and that they can be canned from tomorrow. This would never happen had they remained committed to Malone, now they are stuck between choosing Cousins or Karl.
This whole dilemma is a bunch of what ifs. What if Cousins never got sick at the beginning of the seasons? What if Malone never got fired? There are too many questions than answers with this team, who has no chance to see the playoffs next year. Here’s a suggestion: why not rebuild? It gives the fans and the organization a direction for the team to head towards. Trade Cousins for the best value possible and available. Cauley-Stein is the only one person I see untradeable. The rest of this roster needs to be moved. Jason Thompson, Carl Laundry, and Rudy Gay have god awful contracts to move but a package with Cousins in it can move one of those contracts and clear cap space. The Kings need all the help they can get and to do so means they need to hit reset yet again. Ranadivé reign as Owner has gotten off to a terrible start and lord knows it would take some time to recover. After promising victories to the city of Sacramento and seeing there rival Golden State win a title before they is disheartening for someone who wants to produce a winning product. For fans of this team, maybe it is time for air frustrations instead of accepting complacency. This is coming from someone who has 21 years of incompetence from their owner as a Skins fan. It is time for Kings to restart and build a team not with absurd contracts, but with smart and sound moves. Until then, this soap opera of a team will be enjoyed by me and many others as they continue to befuddle everyone.