Sacramento Kings Race to the Bottom

Blake MehiganCorrespondent IMarch 25, 2009

NEW ORLEANS - DECEMBER 20:  Bobby Jackson #24 of the Sacramento Kings drives against the New Orleans Hornets on December 20, 2008 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

This has been a season to forget in Sacramento.

The Kings are currently on pace to have the worst record in franchise history, almost managed to go winless against the Eastern Conference this season, and not to mention are on their fourth head coach in three years.

As each game that passes means less and less, the looming question is: What next?

This offseason will be huge for the Kings. They have to decide who will be their coach, which players they will have to sign or let go, and there will almost certainly be more trades over the summer.

This offseason could be heavily dictated by whom the Kings will pick in the draft. Assuming the Kings land the first pick, the debate will be, Blake Griffin or Ricky Rubio?

They are two radically different players. Griffin is a big, bruising post player, while Rubio is a lanky finesse point guard. But the debate really is not over these two players, it is really on a more philosophical level. Pick for need or for talent?

For the need, the Kings should pick Rubio, hands down. He is described as being a great passer with amazing court vision. Although he lacks explosiveness and deep range on his jump shot, he is garnering more attention than any player coming out of Europe has in quite some time.

Rubio is also only 18 years old and was a starter on the Spain national team during the Olympics, a team that went to the Gold Medal game and lost to the Redeem Team. Rubio is a talented player with a whole lot of upside and could be a very nice pick for the Kings.

For the talent, Blake Griffin is considered by many to be best player in this year’s draft. He is a big athletic player, great rebounder, and very aggressive. His main knock has been his very raw offensive skills.

He is a very capable big man with soft hands and is capable of charging down the lane for a double-fisted slam. He has all of the physical tools to be a great player in the NBA, but he will need to learn some moves around the hoop if he wants to become a force in the paint.

Taking all of this into account, the question remains: Pick the best available or pick for need?

Considering how many point guards will be in this next year’s draft, taking Rubio over Griffin would almost be a crime. With Houston’s first-round pick this year as well, the Kings could potentially fill two roles desperately needed: a post presence and a distributor.

This is all based on the slim chance that the Kings will actually get the top pick, considering in the 24 years the lottery has been around, only four teams with the worst record snagged the top pick.

With so many factors to account for this offseason, to make any predictions at this point is really silly. But, considering how little there is to talk about this season regarding the Kings, why not look ahead to the one thing that has not gone wrong yet: the possibility of landing a great young player.

Off the Record

Rashad McCants dropped 30 points a few nights back against the Bobcats in Charlotte. Despite the Kings losing that game, a bright positive came out of it. McCants had really struggled to find a niche for himself since coming into the league. But since coming to Sacramento in the deadline deal from Minnesota, McCants has been posting some great numbers.

After joining the Kings, McCants has been shooting around 50 percent from the field, around 40 percent from behind the ark, and has averaged a little over 10 points a game in a little less than 20 minutes a game.

McCants had been given a second chance when he came to Sacramento, and will be garnering much attention from teams over the summer with his solid performance late in the season. Maybe McCants will be a part of the Kings' future. He could be a vital piece off the bench.