As you can see from the pixelated image above, I think the Kings should really be working towards re-signing these two players over anyone else at this point.
Considering the lockout has officially begun though, we will have to wait a while before anything happens. So the best we can do is sit and hypothesize what moves are coming next.
Considering the trade that was made just before the deadline, Geoff Petrie appears to be warming up for more shrewd deals, which allows me to segue into my first slide discussing the trade that happened recently.
The savvy of Geoff Petrie may be coming out of hibernation. With this move, the Kings addressed multiple issues:
1. A logjam at small forward
2. Needed help in the front court
3. Dealing a disgruntled player while getting a better one in return
Sure, the Kings surrendered a PROTECTED first-round pick, but with the limitations and conditions of the pick, the Kings will most likely not be giving up a great pick.
But, with the luck the Cavs have had since being spurned by LeBron, maybe this pick will work out for them.
A rotation of Cousins/Hickson/Thompson could be very effective. The Kings also have Hassan Whiteside and Donte Greene, two players who can play in the post a bit, with Whiteside having the ultimate versatility. If the Kings don't bring in any more post players, perhaps Whiteside will even get some playing time this year.
There is one post player I wouldn't mind the Kings bringing in though.
If the Kings are unable to re-sign Samuel Dalembert, perhaps orchestrating some sort of sign-and-trade for Jordan would be possible.
I know it is highly unlikely the Kings would be able to pry Jordan away from the Clippers as he played very well alongside Blake Griffin, but if the Kings throw more money at him than LA would be willing to match, perhaps some sort of swap could be worked out.
Jason Thompson and a second-round pick/some asset for Jordan maybe?
Just spit-balling, but considering he would fill a serious void that Dalembert will leave when he most likely decides not to re-sign, Jordan would be the ideal replacement.
Signing someone like Marc Gasol or Nene would be great pickups, but I would think Memphis will match any offer Gasol is given and Nene would probably prefer to sign with a big market team or stay in Denver for the right price.
Jordan is an outside shot, but he may be the best option the Kings have, and I am not opposed to making a run at him.
Or perhaps the Clippers would be interested in dealing Chris Kaman?
He is often injured and isn't exactly the athletic big I would want, but he has one year left and perhaps the Clippers would like to clear some more salary in order to retain DeAndre Jordan and sign some other players. Plus, any issue of him and Jordan splitting playing time would be eradicated.
If he is healthy, Kaman is one of the better centers in the league. He can score with both hands around the basket, is a great rebounder and a solid defensive player and good shot blocker. He might be worth the gamble.
Perhaps someone like Brandan Wright could also be snagged for a low asking price if all else fails. He's an oft-injured post player with scoring ability and rebounding and also very athletic.
If the Kings are unable to retain Marcus Thronton for one reason or another, they should be looking to sign another guard, preferably a point guard. Or, at the very least a combo guard.
Shannon Brown isn't the best ball handler though, so maybe I am jumping the gun a bit on putting him up there as someone to get.
Patty Mills is a guy I've always liked, but he has been injured at times buried on a deep Blazers team, and I've read that Portland may not be looking to match offers to the restricted free agent.
Bringing in a veteran could be an even better idea. Earl Watson or Ronnie Price would be nice insurance policies and are veteran point guards, both are free agents and I would guess the Jazz won't be retaining both of them.
Carlos Arroyo is available, and although he was less than stellar, a minimum or close to minimum level contract might not be a bad choice. He has been a decent player in the past and even started for a few teams.
The Kings offense certainly looks to be on the rise, but something the Kings will have to work at improving is their defense.
The Kings ranked No. 20 for overall defense this last year, which isn't bad. It certainly isn't great either.
From what I noticed, a large amount of the improved defense was the presence of Samuel Dalembert, who may just be on his way out. For me bringing back someone who clogged the middle like he did is vital.
The trade for Hickson would make Dalembert very expendable, except that their defense got much worse in the post. Cousins is a solid defensive player, but a bit too aggressive at times and often finds himself in foul trouble.
Thompson is a decent defender, but he can't protect the hoop like Sammy D. This leaves the Kings with a few scenarios. One being that their wing defenders will be much better this season, which could happen if Tyreke Evans tries harder and John Salmons plays like he usually does.
The other option would be for Hassan Whiteside to actually get some playing time. He was a great defender in college, but he did play at a small school, Marshall, against not-as-talented players. Whiteside also happens to have a freakish wingspan and a lot of athletic ability.
He isn't going to hold anyone off the block with his current size, but he is someone who could be a great weakside shot blocker.
To put that kind of stock into someone who really played very little is going a little overboard though. Hopefully he can get some minutes this coming year and prove he can make an impact on defense.
Otherwise, the Kings might have some serious issues on defense.
This is what we have to look forward to. Press conferences involving the people who make the league run. Seeing B-rolls of Derek Fisher walk out of a court in a suit or reporters hounding LeBron James while he takes his workouts to South Beach.
Just, really uninteresting things. People trying to get a workable CBA in place. The issue being that two sides want completely different things and the pressure is to get something going before the NBA season starts.
Some speculate that the lockout could be very short with little or no work stoppage, or it could turn out to be lengthy, to a point where the whole season could be lost. Which in essence would make this article moot.
I'll try to be a bit more optimistic; gloom and doom has never helped an already bleak situation. I have to say though, it doesn't look good.