Forgive me for a bit of cynicism. All of the intense harboring and belief that the KIngs have turned the corner has made me want to take a permanent residence next to a toilet. After all, there is so much horseshit I can swallow before I can vomit incessantly. Which, naturally, reveals the contents of my stomach to be…wait for it……SACRAMENTO KINGS BASKETBALL!
Gotcha. You thought I was gonna say horseshit twice.
Here's the problem. Nothing is this "perfect." After awhile, even when the team hits the 500 mark (which it will by virtue due to the law of averages…I think–hell even the Clippers were a 50 win team after 4 decades of Donald Sterling ownership–it had to happen sometime after all….) the fans will find something to complain about. It's nature of the beast. Nothing is ever good enough, including championships.
Moments are all sports fans really have. And this past several months have been……frustrating. For me at least. I'm at a loss for words on how this team is being operated.
Tyreke Evans gets traded for Greivis Vasquez, Carl Landry and Luc Mbah A Moute. (Or essentialy anyway. I know literally that is not the way it happened.) In a way, I'm happy for Tyreke. He gets to move on. He doesn't have to be the franchise savior, he's not the guy getting in the way of the guy who is the franchise savior in New Orleans (who, by the way. Anthony Davis is a legitimate franchise player talent), and he'll have a chance to start over and to a degree somewhat reinvent himself. In a way, despite whatever Vivek Ranadive, Pete D'Alessandro, MIchael Malone and everyone else on the roster think about Tyreke,
It's not that I'm the biggest fan of Tyreke, although I love his game a lot more than I like DeMarcus. (Once a tweener lover, always a tweener lover as they say.) But what I was not a fan of was no real defined skillset that Tyreke was supposed to uitlize. He was constantly bouncing around, he was constantly being shifted in terms of skill-sets, he was expected to do a variety of things that most players with dynamic skill-sets aren't really asked to do. And, if DeMarcus certainly was hurt by the instability and lack of leadership from the top on down, there is no question that is doubly true of Tyreke Evans, too.
Yet, Evans was traded in part because he was "too" expensive. Uh. That's horseshit. Evans got traded under the guise of money because D'Alessandro among others probably didn't believe in Evans talent. Which is fine. But everyone in the league knows why D'Alessandro traded Evans, and gave Cousins a non-max tag extension.
Depending on whom you ask, and most people's opinion vary of both Evans and Cousins, some will claim Cousins is more talented (or more even), and there is a strident minority that see's it the exact opposite. I see it with the minority (what's new?), but hell, I can be wrong sometimes.
Extending Cousins this early was pretty stupid, but hell, it might turn out alright if the team gets Andrew Wiggins. Since Wiggins is an A) SF and B) potentially a superstar. And Wiggins isn't the only guy in the 2014 class potentially with that possibility. He's just the guy most people know today.
As far as where the Kings are going, it's interesting. I like Carl Landry, but I don't really think his signing is anything more than an "We're doing something to show we care, we're trying to change the culture, and we'll probably trade him in 2 years anyway and he knows it but doesn't care because he'll be getting a big contract he wasn't getting from anyone else."
Sound familiar? (cough Chuck Hayes cough cough.)
Again, I like Luc Mbah A Moute, but his range is roughly 3 inches outside of the rim. If that.
Greivis Vasquez can pass the ball, no question, but he can't necessarily shoot the ball, score much OR play defense. So while assists are cute on paper, in real life they don't mean jack shit if that's all you do.
Essentially what the KIngs did was trade their most talented player for a bunch of role players, talented role players in all 3 of Landry, Mbah a Moute and Vasquez's cases, but role players who are not franchise players.
DeMarcus Cousins, dare i say it, is not a franchise player. He never really projected to be a franchise player from the very beginning anyway, and that's unfortunate since so many people see him that way.
As far as the rest of the roster, I like McLemore, but not nearly as much as I would have liked him paired with Tyreke. I think a lot of strengths and weaknesses of both guys fit far better than they initially might have seemed. Then McLemore got exposed a bit in Summer League and might take awhile to come along. Which is fine since this roster won't be great shakes anyway.
John Salmons is now–almost–an expiring contract which means fans are only getting to complain about him for another year.
The Kings still owe Cleveland a 1st round pick unless it's in the top 12. So there is that. (All that really means is that the Kings can't trade a 1st round pick until the 2014 draft happens and they make the pick.)
Chuck Hayes is still Chuck Hayes. What his role is now is a major question mark, and frankly his role as the expiring contract a year from now seems far more interesting.
Where does Marcus Thornton fit in with the new regime since he's a gunner first, second, third, umpteenth to the nth power; Whatever number you name, Thornton is a gunner.
Does Isaiah Thomas still have a role? That's a big question, but one that will likely be settled on the court. There isn't much drama on this one despite the fact that it seems incoming management have underestimated Thomas a bit.
Does Jason Thompson still have a role?
And so on and so forth. We can go on and on really. The amount of questions is not infinite in reality, but the discussion certainly is.
The reality remains unchanged: The Kings need a franchise player. And, as of now, they do not have one. Maybe DeMarcus Cousins becomes one (I would not be opposed to such things) but nothing in Cousins history really suggests that franchise player potential is really there.
Which, in of itself, is what it is. But this franchise is stuck in neutral, and possibly got worse this off-season. And while optimism is fun and normal and all that good jazz, it's not likely this group and this franchise is headed toward anything worthwhile anytime soon unfortunately.
While I hope to be wrong on that, it remains to be seen why. Is Michael Malone that good at coaching defense? I doubt it. Nobody can make DeMarcus Cousins Hakeem Olajuwon, and well, that's about what it would take to fix this defense on a realistic basis.
So hopefully, cross our fingers and hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. I do with sarcasm and snide commentary. You do it by getting on all 4 knee's and praying to the big gu that Cousins losing weights will give him better hops this season.
Different strokes for different folks I suppose. Until next time, I think. Or i hope. Or I wish. Or….until next time.