Before we get ahead of ourselves, the reality is that the Sacramento Kings have not officially become the Seattle SuperSonics just yet. While all signs point to a deal getting done, Sacramento mayor and former NBA player Kevin Johnson is not going to give up the team without a fight.
Still, the general consensus seems to be that the team will find their way to Seattle in time for the 2013-14. Obviously, the fans in Seattle are excited about getting a team back in the Emerald City.
Beyond the name, uniform and logo, will the new owners be getting a lot of pieces on which to build if the deal gets done? Or, is this a squad that needs to be rebuilt from scratch?
It is probably fair to suggest that the fans in Seattle have not been paying a great deal of attention to the roster in Sacramento. Gone are the days when Chris Webber and Mike Bibby led an exciting team that challenged the Los Angeles Lakers.
Today, the Kings are a 16-29 team that is struggling for an identity.
Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe sums up the bleak picture with this team when he writes,
For years they have tried to stockpile lottery picks and allow them to grow, taking a page from the Oklahoma City playbook, but it has failed miserably. Tyreke Evans has regressed, [DeMarcus] Cousins is a disciplinary case, Thomas Robinson hasn’t cracked the playing rotation, and Jimmer Fredette has no true position.
There won't be good times ahead for this team unless some personnel changes are made. Cousins has the talent to be an impact player in the NBA, but there seem to be some personality challenges between DeMarcus and management.
A change of scenery may help the situation.
Evans also has talent, but the team is currently being led in assists by 33-year-old journeyman John Salmons. Perhaps Isaiah Thomas can return to Seattle and develop into the point guard of the future, which would bode well for rising stars like Thomas Robinson who has yet to find a consistent role in the offense.
Are there other bright spots of potential in this lineup? Not many.
The challenge with this team is that while there is youth, there isn't a clear core of talent that has a definite future together.
There might be a few pieces that can potentially be assembled, but the tough reality is that the team may need to be taken apart in order to be rebuilt into a winner.
If the Kings end up in Seattle, the new owners will have some challenging decisions to make regarding the future of this roster. As noted by Rotoworld, the team has a few team options that will come up in 2013-14 in addition to some free agents.
At this point, Seattle fans may not be terribly worried about the roster. Until the deal is finalized and approved by the NBA, any discussion of future players is moot.
However, the day may soon come when the loyal fans in the Pacific Northwest can start thinking about the future of this team. That day may come soon.