Despite finishing with the identical 28-54 record they posted in 2012-13, there were some positive developments for the Sacramento Kings this season. Most notably, players such as DeMarcus Cousins and Isaiah Thomas took big steps forward.
The Kings also improved as the season went on, most notably on defense. The team finished 23rd in defensive rating, but it ranked 19th in the metric since the turn of the year. It's an encouraging sign considering head coach Mike Malone's forte is on the defensive end.
However, the Kings still need to upgrade their roster to take that next step. That said, there were some bright spots on the team—players who look to be worth building around, or those who improved as the season went on.
Seeing as how a coach or team can only accomplish so much without talented players, now is a perfect time to evaluate the roster heading into the offseason. The best way to accomplish that is by providing a grade to each player.
But before we get to the grades, let's do a quick rundown of the criteria. First and foremost, only current Kings players were considered. Furthermore, each player had to appear in at least three games with the team, even if he's still on the roster.
As far as the grades are concerned, each player is graded against himself based on reasonable expectations for his performance. In other words, how a player performed compared to his teammates or the rest of the league is irrelevant. For the most part, the scope is the entire season. Yet those who improved or regressed dramatically down the stretch will be judged accordingly.
With that out of the way, let's get to the grades.