DeMarcus Cousins will play a big role in the Kings' 2012-13 season.
Although the Kings have a ton of potential within their ranks, it will take a season of collective improvement to take a step toward becoming a consistent basketball team.
Here are three ways the Kings can prove the naysayers wrong this upcoming season.
One of the few bright spots for the Kings is DeMarcus Cousins.
Cousins possesses a variety of offensive weapons, including a dependable mid-range jumper, soft touch around the rim and exceptional handles for a big man.
Despite his talent, Cousins' off-the-court personality left a lot to be desired, especially when his constant feuding with former Kings head coach Paul Westphal led to the latter's eventual firing.
Although he seems to be on better terms with new head coach Keith Smart, he still has lapses of immaturity.
He has the ability and natural athleticism to be one of the best players in the league, but he needs to mature on and off the court to put everything together.
If the Kings are to improve, they need more consistency from their backcourt.
A tandem that features sophomore Isaiah Thomas and ex-New Orleans Hornet Marcus Thornton is a mixed bag.
Their three-pointers and streaky play either led to a lot of points or blowout losses.
With DeMarcus Cousins on the block, the Kings will need Thomas and Thornton to consistently bring their best to make opposing defenses think twice about doubling Cousins.
Thomas needs to improve his decision-making and shot discipline. His poor shot selection and turnover-prone play stunted the Kings' offensive flow.
Thornton was also quick to fire up questionable shots, but if he's open from behind the arc, he is a considerable threat.
If Thomas and Thornton can improve their decision-making and knock down shots, the Kings will be a handful for opposing defenses.
Following a stellar rookie campaign and solid sophomore year, Tyreke Evans didn't seem like the same player last season.
His regression was due in large part to playing different positions in the lineup.
Tyreke was a point guard his rookie season, but since then, he has been moved around to the shooting guard and small forward positions.
Since Tyreke won't be initiating the offense as much as he used to, it will be up to him to improve his jumper and make plays when his number is called.
He is a strong finisher and willing passer, but for the moment, he still seems to be adjusting to his new role as an off-the-ball player.
If Tyreke comes into the season knocking down perimeter shots on a consistent basis, it will make him an even tougher matchup for his opponents.
Assuming he can figure it out as a small forward, he will play a huge role in the Kings' overall improvement.