4. Tyreke Evans, G, Memphis
I love Tyreke Evans and have been telling anyone who listens that I think he has the chance to be special. I'm not sure how he fits in the Kings backcourt alongside Kevin Martin. Yes, he played the point at Memphis, but is he really going to be a true one in the NBA? (Pick Grade: Meh)
23. Omri Casspi, F, Israel
Casspi will bring some toughness to Sacramento whenever he comes to the U.S. The Kings are thinking long-term with this pick which makes sense. (Pick Grade: Makes Sense)
31. Jeff Pendergraph, PF, Arizona State
Sacramento turned this pick into Jon Brockman and Sergio Rodriguez. Brockman is a bruiser who will bring some toughness to the Kings, while Rodriguez is a true point guard option and not named Beno Udrih. (Pick Grade: Makes Sense)
2009 NBA Offseason Transactions:
Rockets sign SG Rashad McCants
Kings sign SF Desmond Mason
Kings sign PF Sean May
Hornets sign PF Ike Diogu
Blazers acquire F Jeff Pendergraph from Kings for PF Jon Brockman and PG Sergio Rodriguez
2008-09 Season Summary:
Their best player missed 31 games with an injury. They dealt two solid veterans in Brad Miller and John Salmons for Andres Nocioni and some cap space. They were out-scored by an average of nine points per game and deservedly finished with the worst record in the league. Needless to say, but the Kings franchise has hit rock bottom and is in a major re-building mode that may take a few years to complete.
PF: Jason Thompson/Andres Nocioni/Kenny Thomas/Jon Brockman
SF: Francisco Garcia/Donte Greene/Desmond Mason
SG: Kevin Martin
PG: Tyreke Evans/Beno Udrih/Sergio Rodriguez
NBA Free Agents:
PG Bobby Jackson (UFA)
C Calvin Booth (UFA)
PF Cedric Simmons (TO)
2009-10 Team Salary: approximately $52.1 million
2009-10 Expected League Salary Cap: $57.3 million
NBA Offseason Needs:
1. A Face of the Franchise - Right now, Kevin Martin is the face of the Kings' franchise and I bet 7 out of 10 sports fans couldn't pick Martin out of a police line-up. The Maloof brothers need to bring some excitement back to this franchise and that starts with bringing in a player that fans can get excited about and will pay to see. The problem is that Sac-town does not have the cap space nor ammunition to make a big trade unless they are willing to give up their top-3 pick this NBA Draft.
2. A Point Guard - Beno Udrih signed a five-year, $32 million deal last summer and certainly did not earn that contract this past season. He finished 22nd among point guards in scoring (11 ppg), 23rd in assists (4.7) and 29th in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.16) among starting point guards. Plus, he is the only point guard on their roster for next season.
3a. Ricky Rubio - Whether the Kings win the lottery and pick first overall or land number two or three, they need to draft Ricky Rubio. I cannot be more adamant about this. When you combine Off-season needs #1 and #2, isn't Rubio the solution to both of those? Rubio will not be the Messiah of Kings basketball right away, but he would definitely pump a little life into an organization that desperately needs it and give the franchise a future stud at the point.
3b. Patience - Unless the Kings pull off a blockbuster deal in which they steal a few players from an idiotic general manager, it is going to be another long season in Sac-town.