Ah Sacramento. The front office is a shambles, they only won 29 games last season, the coach and the star player don’t get along and the roster, frankly, is awful. This is all true and the Kings did have a disastrous off-season when looking at their long term future, but in the short-term things are looking up in SacTown! Well sort of. The disastrous off-season begun with drafting defensive Centre (yes, that is the same position as franchise player DeMarcus Cousins) Willie “Trill” Cauley-Stein, with potential franchise Point Guard Emmanuel Mudiay – who has looked awesome for Denver so far – still on the board. Then, Vlade and Vivek traded Carl Landry, Nik Stauskas, Jason Thompson and a 2018 1st round draft pick to the 76ers for some Euro stash players, with a potential pick swap included. Now, I’m not sure whether anyone in the Kings front office is aware of the stretch provision, but it could’ve saved them trading two first round picks (Stauskas and 2018) to clear cap space. What did they do with that cap space you ask? Did they sign a superstar to partner Boogie Cousins? No, they signed Point Guard Rajon Rondo fresh from a career worst season with Dallas on a one year contract for $10 million when they could’ve had Mudiay on a rookie-scale contract. To add to this, they signed Centre Kosta Koufos to go along with Boogie and Trill whom they already have at that position and Marco Belinelli who is 29 and a role player at best that thrived in the Spurs system.
All three of these guys should be able to contribute in the short term – I especially like the Koufos deal financially – but with Rondo only on a one year deal and Koufos and Belinelli role players, the long term future of the Kings doesn’t look too flash. Sacramento better hope that Ben McLemore and Cauley-Stein end up being stars otherwise the future doesn’t look great, especially if Boogie leaves. But the Kings are seriously deep and should be able to cause a few upsets with this depth chart:
Point Guard: Rajon Rondo, Darren Collison
Shooting Guard: Ben McLemore, Marco Belinelli
Small Forward: Rudy Gay, Caron Butler
Power Forward: DeMarcus Cousins, Omri Casspi
Centre: Kosta Koufos, Willie Cauley-Stein
If Karl can get along with his players and implement a fast moving drive and kick offense, this team will certainly be dangerous. With shooters Collison, McLemore, Belinelli, Gay, Seth Curry, James Anderson and Butler, there should be plenty of space for Rondo/Cousins pick-and-roll action, allowing plenty of good looks for Boogie when crashing through the paint. The model projects 36 wins, but who knows what will happen with these misfits, their defence must improve if they want to sniff playoffs.
Projected Record: 36-46
My Predicted Wins: 36-41
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