Stability wasn't exactly a strong point for the Sacramento Kings last season, as they had the second-most lineup changes in the league. Blame Westphal or blame the players—no matter who was at fault, a lack of consistency was evident.
The small forward spot was the most in flux for the Kings last season. So far this summer, Sacramento has begun to address that deficiency.
The acquisition of John Salmons and drafting of Tyler Honeycutt has caused a bit of a logjam at small forward though.
The prospect of platooning these five players between both wing positions seems even slimmer. Tyreke Evans, Marcus Thornton, Jimmer Fredette and Isaiah Thomas will all be playing a majority of the minutes at both guard spots, truly limiting the opportunity for the other five at that off guard. Francisco Garcia and Salmons may see a little time at both guard spots as well.
It is Donte Greene and/or Omri Casspi that appear to be the odd men out. Last season, Greene, Casspi and Garcia were platooned between the starting small forward spot. Of the three, Greene and Casspi were the most inconsistent.
These two did see a consistent pattern though. Greene would play more than Casspi one night, then vice versa. Casspi would have a good night and/or Greene would have a good night, and/or both would have an off night.
What happened last season and the preceding ones are there to see and the numbers speak for themselves.
While both players regressed, Casspi was marginally better than Greene this past season and shot better than the Syracuse product. Greene, however, is a much more adept defensive player, but his basketball IQ seems to be lower than anticipated. Perhaps, a couple more years in college would have done him well.
One of these two will be dealt this offseason with the management being higher on Casspi than Greene, according to the Sacramento Bee's Ailene Voisin. The hope is for them to land a frontcourt player who can come in and contribute right away.
It may be time to cut ties and see what they can get for these two wing players. They were acquired as a package, for Ron Artest—may as well see what the two could net them now.
Although the Kings would like to keep Casspi, packaging him and Greene would not be a bad route to take. They already have two other swingmen that have been solid for the Kings in the past, Salmons and Garcia, and a prospect in Tyler Honeycutt.
Management may be hung up on Casspi more so than Greene because of the performance he gave for the first half of his rookie campaign. The Israeli product has mostly failed to make a string of consistent performances resembling that since then.
Although the Kings may be more comfortable parting with Greene, I can't see them getting more than a second-round pick, realistically. David Kahn wouldn't happen to be interested in adding to that cluster-mess he has, would he?
The Kings appear to be taking strides to making their team more complete and competitive. If they can solidify their frontcourt, not just at the 3, then the Kings could be just a few years off of making a run at—dare I say—a playoff spot!
The guarded optimism I carry isn't just whether they can be a competitive team but as a team that exists in Sacramento too. Geoff Petrie and Paul Westphal are the two men making the calls this summer, and hopefully, they lead to a productive team this coming season.
A shakeup appears to be coming, for better or worse.
UPDATE: Omri Casspi has been traded along with a protected first round pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers for J.J. Hickson (6/30/2011)