Kings Potpourri

Because I’ve not commented on the many Kings newsworthy items (for lots of reasons), I’m going to recap what I think here in some paragraphs. That’s all about the thoughts I have these days anyway.

The Memphis Grizzlies sell for 350 million dollars

How does this effect the Maloofs decision to sell? In of itself, it probably does not. But it does effect potential purchaser costs of buying a team. I’ve said before I think it will take an incredible offer to buy the Kings, and I stand by that. After the Grizz selling for 350 million, pending NBA approval, this will only make it more difficult for the Maloofs to get the purchase price they are really asking for: At least 400 million before the Grizzlies purchase. Now? Could be as high as 500 million dollars (won’t happen), and certainly won’t be a lot lower than 400 million at the end of the day. Here is the Forbes evaluations of each the Grizzlies and Kings at the beginning of the year.

I could see the two parties starting at 500 million and 300 million, and meeting somewhere in the middle, or, and this is always possible, the new ownership agrees to 425 million IF there is a new arena deal in place with the city of Sacramento. Or, some other stipulation that no-one can see at the moment. (Anything at this point is possible.)

Does this mean the Kings will get cities like Seattle to compete with Sacramento to make their bid more beneficial to the NBA? Maybe, maybe not. It’s certainly plausible. But there is only so much a bid can have before it becomes counter-productive. Remember that the Sonics themselves sold for 350 million dollars to Clay Bennett and the OKC ownership group in 2006.

Anyway, at this juncture, I don’t think Sacramento is out of the picture if the pitch of a new ownership group is “Seattle is so much better” or “San Jose has much better corporate support”. With the NBA, it’s rarely as simple as some think. If you thought the issue has gotten complicated, just wait and see how complicated a sale becomes with the Maloofs being involved. Trust me…..

 

Will Thomas Robinson and Andre Drummond be available for the Kings?

First, let’s address the likelihood of both Robinson and Drummond being available to the Kings at 5. Drummond will likely be available unless either Charlotte or Cleveland (I doubt Washington is looking at either Robinson or Drummond seriously) really seriously falls in love.

Robinson is clearly the bigger issue of dropping to the fifth pick. Will Charlotte take Thomas Robinson with the 2nd overall pick on June 28th as both Chad Ford and Jonathan Givony project at the moment?

Excellent question. The question is how much upside Robinson has really. If I were Charlotte (and not because I’m a Kings fan because there is no point in hoping the Bobcats helps the Kings; I wouldn’t if I were the ‘Cats), I wouldn’t be looking at getting a franchise player out of this draft. There is one, and Charlotte didn’t get the luck needed to draft Anthony  Davis. Part of what is driving the decision of Charlotte right now is to pry valuable assets for the 2nd overall pick and they know they hold the key to the entire draft. So they are throwing everything and anything against the wall in the hopes that some team bites and gives up significant assets (multiple picks and a player possibly) for that 2nd pick. The question than becomes: Why would another team do this?

Well, I doubt another team, like say the Kings, would trade a high draft pick and a player to get the 2nd pick. If I were the Kings, and Rich Cho calls, the Bobcats GM, to ask for the 5th pick and Tyreke Evans in exchange for the 2nd pick, I hang up the phone immediately. I might bother to tell Cho to go fuck himself, but that seems a little tactless. That’s the Bobcats problem with everyone else too: There is plenty of quality talent that trading up isn’t that big of a deal if there is an actual player that you really covet at say the 6-13th picks to begin with. Moving up in the NBA draft usually requires a ton of assets to do so, and most teams end up preferring to stand pat.

Will that happen this time? Maybe, maybe not. I don’t know. I know there are plenty of rumors flying around, but I also know there were plenty of rumors flying around in 2009 too. One trade in the top 10 ended up happening:The Wizards 5th pick for Mike Miller and Randy Foye among others was the one trade consumated, and that was the Wizards giving their pick outright to the Wolves.

In otherwords, if I were the Bobcats, and I’m not obviously, I would look at taking the best young player who helps my franchise long term and short term. That guy, to me, is clearly Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Thomas Robinson does not have the upside that Kidd-Gilchrist does, in my opinion, and the Bobcats are not making the playoffs or building their team around Robinson or Kidd-Gilchrist. What is the harm in taking a young player and hope that his offense grows as experience and time sinks in?

I can see the impatience of Michael Jordan settling in here, and Rich Cho having to acquiese to his Dumb Executiveness at the end of the day. This pick may be as much who has the power to really run the Bobcats franchise as opposed to just whom makes the decisions to spend money. If that’s the case, I’d be worried if I were a Bobcats fan. But I’m not a Bobcats fan and the Kings have bigger issue’s than the draft (no matter how quickly the franchise wants to take your mind off the relocation discussion).

Is Thomas Robinson or Andre Drummond better for this franchise long term? Should John Henson really be in the discussion?

First, Henson. I don’t particularly love Henson, and I’m not stumping to draft him despite Henson’s clear defensive gifts. The biggest problem with Henson is his weight, or more accurately lack of it, and the question then becomes is Henson stronger than his skinny frame suggests? That’s not a question I can answer. The answer is I doubt it, but I’ve been wrong before.

As far as Robinson or Drummond, the reason I think Drummond needs a serious look is because the Kings biggest weaknesses were not having a great big man finisher inside offensively and not having any interior defensive presence in part because of Cousins’ poor awareness and effort on that end. (Terrible transition defense and fairly terrible perimeter defense certainly did not help the Kings defense which is not entirely on Cousins though.) The Kings need an athletic finisher inside who can effect the game defenseively on the interior in some fashion, and rebound too. A shot blocker would be nice.

Which is why John Henson gets mentioned. There is belief that Henson could do those things. But, I prefer Drummond for every reason Jonathan Givony mentioned a few months ago. Drummond’s rare gifts are hard to find, and nearly impossible to get through Free Agency and even more difficult in trade. In otherwords, drafting a guy like Drummond is most likely the best way to get a player of his talent if the Kings are going to acquire him. Is maturity an issue? Sure. Is Andre Drummond on the DeMarcus Cousins level of problematic behind the scenes? I doubt it.

Thomas Robinson is a different. Robinson is mature, both mentally and physically, plays hard every minute on the floor, is an excellent defender (even if you can’t anchor a defense around him), and is probably the best rebounder in this draft class. In short, Robinson helps fix a number of problematic areas the Kings have too.

Of the two, the Kings brass will certainly choose Robinson over Drummond due to his maturity. Defensively, the Kings were last in eFG%, and more problematic is that the Kings as a team were 2nd to last in DRB% on the season. So therefore, an argument could be made that Robinson would help the team in many more area’s more quickly that the team needs to end up being better.

I’ll go for that.

I get the Harrison Barnes love but……

SF is not the major problem this team has. Interior defense is. I don’t care if you want Barnes, or Michael Kidd-Girlchrist for that matter, but neither guy solves this team major dehabilitating weakness. The problem is that the Kings may have to choose between Harrison Barnes and/or Bradley Beal and/or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Andre Drummond anyway. Which is why the conundrum of what the Bobcats do will set the stage for what the Kings do.

If the Kings best offense is getting into the open floor (and it is), they will need stops AND defensive rebounding in order to accomplish that. Now, having said that, I think Jonathan Givony’s opinion on his latest mock put on Yahoo brings into stark account of what the Kings front office’s motivations really are:

Sacramento’s front office and coaching staff are reportedly leaning towards picking the player who can help the most next season. They simply do not have the job security to wait on a prospect like Andre Drummond who could take two to three years to develop. With that in mind, Harrison Barnes is both the safest and most logical pick here considering how weak the Kings are at small forward.

The truth is, I don’t think the Front Office is sticking around under new ownership no matter what. It’s an Old Guard type of Front Office and probably needs new blood even if they hit a home run with Robinson, Drummond or Barnes for that matter. It’s just time for this front office to move on. The only reason Geoff Petrie is still running the Kings because the Maloofs are craptastic pieces of elephant shit on the stinkiest day recorded in Earth’s history.

The other truth is I think there is a bigger interest in getting a ready now player in the draft: Petrie and that Front Office’s legacy is on the line quite a bit. From an ego standpoint, they really want to turn it around. This idea of expecting that they will keep their jobs with a new ownership group is rather silly, and I suspect no-one knows that better than the Kings front office group themselves. (Jerry Reynolds will still be with the team, just as an analyst.) Therefore, the need for an immediate contributor is greater than a longer term guy like Drummond.

Which is why I expect the Kings to take either Thomas Robinson or Harrison Barnes of whichever is available at #5. I do not expect that either Bradley Beal or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will be among the remaining players to choose from at #5.

Tyreke Evans working with Geoff Petrie means what exactly…..

It means Tyreke Evans is working with Geoff Petrie. That’s what it means. On what? Who knows, and, frankly, who cares? It’s probably on the obvious stuff: Shooting. Geoff Petrie was arguably the best shooter of his generation in the NBA, and that’s what it is. Great shooters can’t teach other shooters, but they can tell younger players what they think makes up a great shooter.

Besides, having Petrie and Evans talk to each other given each other’s background (both are from the same part of Westchester County in the greater Philadelphia area) might help Evans develop. There is no question that if the Kings want to ever sniff the playoffs, let alone a championship, Tyreke Evans will have to be remarkably better than his rookie season let alone the previous two seasons Evans just experienced.

Again, having a relationship between a player and the franchise is not a bad thing. Especially when a critical summer for that player is being had as I type this very sentence.

DeMarcus Cousins playing on the select team means….

Good things to start. There is all the hyperbolic nonsense about Cousins following in the path of other select team members, and that part is all fine good and dandy. I don’t need to repeat that here.

What is more important, from my vantage, is that Cousins gets feedback on his utter inability to actually pay attention to what he is doing on the court. Somebody, Keith Smart or a team USA coach makes no difference to me, needs to smack that boy everytime he does something stupid on the court. Since that is usually every other 20 seconds or so for large stretches of games, that’s rather problematic. While I’m not serious about the Leroy Jethro Gibbs treatment of Big Cuz, I am serious that perhaps hearing that his inability to help his team (the select team or the Kings is kind of the same thing at this juncture) on the defensive end or taking a lot of bad shots (Cuz’s speciality) is not going to help the select team win games. Cousins needs to hear that, and he needs it from other people besides the Kings organization.

Is there anything else……

Not really but just a piece of advice. I like rumors and find them amusing. But I do not find them either enlightening or full of information and I suggest you do not either. Most of it is either rhetoric designed to confuse the outside world (unlikely this time of year; that’s more trade deadline time) or, and this is a far greater likelihood, given the amount of attention the NBA draft gets this time of year, along with the discussion, one way to continue that is to feed media people almost certainly 100% bogus nonsense. It’s part of the game if you are in the NBA and/or team front office. You as the fan can either take it at face value, or you can ignore it. Some rumors make sense no doubt, and I that’s why I listen to as many as I can. Some I think make sense; most I think are as stupid as the megabytes needed to support the words in which they exist in cyberspace.

In short, you won’t know who the Kings will select because the Bobcats, Wizards and Cavaliers won’t know who they take until they are on the clock and must make a decision. You’ll know when they know, and you’ll know shortly after when they figure it out on draft day. Worrying yourself to death over the Kings will take when it likely will be either Harrison Barnes or Thomas Robinson is mostly a waste of time. You could wake up on June 28th after being frozen in a cryogenic chamber for the last 12 days and be a whole lot better off than having to listen to the rumors over the next 12 days.

Good day then.