The Sacramento Kings had arguably one of the best drafts in 2010. They were able to select Demarcus Cousins with the #5 pick, and they were fortunate to have Hassan Whiteside slide all the way to them in the second round at their #33 selection.
Other than the draft, the Kings also made a trade in which they acquired Samuel Dalembert. The Kings now have a problem in the front court that any coach would love to have... They have a crowded front court of talent and will need to figure out how to give satisfying playing time to all their bigs.
Although the Kings have done a good job of filling some holes this offseason, they still have more to fill. They could use a point guard if they feel like keeping Tyreke Evans at the 2, like they did toward the last quarter of last season, and they could also use a good shooting guard or small forward for Tyreke to be able to kick the ball out to when he drives.
Let's look at some moves that the Kings will or should be looking to make in order to put this team in the best possible shape heading into next season.
The Sacramento Kings are one of the few teams with enough cap space to sign a free agent to a max contract this year. Although that is true, Sacramento is not known for attracting big name free agents, so here are a few realistic names that the Kings would be smart to pursue and that they actually have a shot at getting.
1. Rudy Gay (Restricted FA)- Rudy would be the perfect compliment to Tyreke and this new, evolving Sacramento team. He adds some more athleticism and the three-point touch that would be put to use on Tyreke's kick outs and when Demarcus Cousins gets doubled in the post. Rudy will get offers from a handful of teams, but could see the benefit in joining the young and promising Kings.
2. Raymond Felton (Unrestricted FA)- Raymond Felton would benefit the Kings greatly. He would add another point guard, which they desperately need, and would add depth to the bench by allowing Beno Udrih to slide to bench role. Felton isn't the best three-point shooter but can hit the three with decent consistency. He would make up for any lack of long ball range by doing a great job of distributing the ball and being an upgrade defensively to Beno.
3. Anthony Morrow (Restricted FA)- Morrow would add similar benefits to what Gay would add. Of course Anthony Morrow is not near Gay's level of skill, but he would add the athleticism and three-point range that Gay would add to the table as well. Morrow is, in fact, a better long range shooter than Gay, but Gay has the ability to take over a game if Tyreke or Demarcus were struggling to get their offensive games going.
4. Ronnie Brewer (Restricted FA)- Brewer lacks long ball range, which is something the Kings are looking for if they seek to acquire another guard. But Brewer would add a defensive presence that would be superior to any other guards on the King's roster as of now. He also brings some athleticism to the table as well and would be a great player for Tyreke to run the break with.
5. Shannon Brown (Restricted FA)- Shannon Brown sounds like he is opting out of his contract and will test the free agent market. This is a great sign for any team that would like to add athleticism and a bench spark to their team. Brown would be a great addition to the Kings and for Tyreke to throw alley oops to time and time again. I can just see the Evans-Brown alley oop making ESPN's top 10 plays numerous times throughout the season.
It's always unfortunate to not be drafted and fall in the dreaded undrafted category, but the summer league gives undrafted players the chance to prove themselves when they are brought on to a team's summer league roster.
The Kings added a few undrafted rookies to their summer league roster such as Ryan Thompson from Rider, Wayne Chism from Tennessee, and Sylven Landesberg from Virginia. Out of those three names, the most intriguing names to consider adding to the Kings actual season roster would be Ryan Thompson and Sylven Landesberg. Chism is a good player, but the front court is all ready crowded and he has had his maturity issues.
Some Kings fans may recognize the name Ryan Thompson as Jason Thompson's younger brother, but Landesberg is less known. Both are great scorers and would add another talented piece to the Kings, but one definately fits better than the other.
Landesberg, although he can shoot from the perimeter occasionally, often plays with a drive first mentality which would knock heads with Tyreke's same style of play. Thompson, on the other hand, can do a little of everything. He has the ability to drive mixed with the ability to knock down the long ball. He would probably feel more relaxed and confident playing on a team with his older brother and would be a good asset to the team. Expect the Kings to sign him on at the end of the summer if he performs well.
The Miami Heat are desperately trying to rid themselves of Michael Beasley's contract and at this point would almost give him away to a willing taker. The Kings front court is already packed to the max so the likelihood of Sac pursuing this isn't much.
But just imagine taking on Beasley for pretty much only the price of his contract. I know he hasn't had near the career yet that people expected, but I think a new chane of scenary could benefit him. Coming to a new young team like the Kings could really energize him and revamp his career. What sucks is there is just no room for him so chances are it won't happen.
Kenny Smith made a prediction for the Sacramento Kings after the draft that even blew me, a die hard fan, away... He said that we would be the Oklahoma City Thunder of last year; in other words, go from a 20 something win team to a playoff contender. He went even further and said with a week left in the season the Kings would be holding the ninth seed and would be vying for the eight seed and a chance to make the playoffs. That would be a huge improvement and I'm hoping he is right on the money.
Here are my predictions for the Kings next year:
Record: 42-40, give or take a few from either. That is a vast improvement and although that might not be an eighth seed record in the West, it would still be very encouraging to the Sacramento organization and fan base. With that much of an improvement this year, the year after would be a playoff season for the Kings for sure.
1. Tyreke Evans finishes a couple more layups a game and improves his mid and long range shooting slightly, leaving his statistics looking something like: 23.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg, and 6.3 apg... approximately...
2. Sac takes the R.O.Y. honors for the second year straight as Hassan Whiteside wins Rookie of the Year... Funny joke, right? Sorry Whiteside, but Demarcus Cousins all ready has it locked up. If Cousins could pull off a R.O.Y. this year, it would be quite impressive seeing how John Wall and Evan Turner are going to have great rookie seasons and Blake Griffin is still eligible to win it.
3. Either Omri Casspi or Donte Greene has a huge break out year. I don't think it will be both, but Greene improved a lot last year over his rookie season and Casspi had a surprisingly good rookie campaign himself. My guess is they both improve, but Greene has a bigger year which saves him from the Kings rather trading him or burying him on the bench and eventually releasing him.