Despite what the record may indicate, it actually was not a bad year for Kings fans. They identified a couple of valuable roster pieces moving forward in John Brockman, who many think will be among the best offensive rebounders in the game over the next several years, and "The Hebrew Hammer" Omri Casspi, who posted an impressive 10 points and 4.5 boards per game in his rookie season. Then there was that whole Rookie of the Year thing that Tyreke Evans took home. Not a bad year at all. Add that trio to the emerging talent that appears to be Jason Thompson and the Kings have a legitimate core for the first time since the Bibby-Divac-Stojakovic-Webber-Turkoglu days. The roster also boasts valuable pieces like Francisco Garcia, Donte Greene and the always impressive Beno Udrih. While Kevin Martin had previously appeared to be the face of the franchise, management did a good job of getting something back for him when they acquired Carl Landry, who averaged 18 points and 6.5 rebounds per game during his 28 games in California's capitol city.
The roster reshaping continued this week when the Kings shipped Spencer Hawes and Andres Nocioni to Philadelphia for Samuel Dalembert. While Dalembert's deal is off the books after next year, the Kings may consider holding onto him if he can provide the kind of work he did in Philadelphia. Dalembert will be a strong rebounder and brings a great defensive presence. He'll also average right around 11 points a game. He should be a great complement to the guy the Kings are probably going to take at the No. 5 pick, DeMarcus Cousins.
Cousins is the most NBA-ready big man in this draft. His defensive skill set needs a lot of work. But the acquisition of Dalembert will mask that for a while. Offensively, Cousins can provide the kind of consistent low-post threat the Kings need. His rebounding improved greatly over the course of his freshman year. The right coaching could see him become a 20-10 guy in short order. Greg Monroe will get a long, hard look here. But it will ultimately be a second straight one-and-done from a Calipari-coached team for the Kings when they take Cousins. That will leave them to address any other needs, like shooting guard depth, in free agency.
The only thing that really remains to be seen is how the Kings manage to get enough playing time for Thompson, Landry, Dalembert, Brockman and Greene after taking another post player this high in the draft.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!