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2012 NBA Offseason: Sacramento Kings

Draft Grades, Offseason Needs, Free Agents

Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, David Kay and Peter Christian of the The Sports Bank. Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
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Sacramento Kings (Last Year: 22-44)

Live 2012 NBA Draft Grades:

5. Thomas Robinson, F, Kansas: A Grade
I have Robinson as the second-best player in the draft, so the Kings catch a huge break that he slips to them. Robinson and DeMarcus Cousins are going to form one hell of a frontcourt in Sacramento for years to come. An outstanding get for the Kings.

*** 2012 NBA Offseason Needs and Free Agents listed below this comment box. ***

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Pavel 01-04-2014 12:25 am (total posts: 1)
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3     3

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Paul Minicucci 06-19-2013 11:47 am (total posts: 1)
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I am not convinced that Isaiah cannot be a good distributor. he finished season with 19 ppg and 7 assists in last 10 games. I'd say he can work the offense fine. He might even be a 16ppg 8 assist guy. What he won't be is chris Paul Defense.
If the Kings should land Trey Burke, take him and then trade Thomas to Mavs at 13 or Denver at 19. Take marion's contract if you have to.

Cater-Williams?? No, no and no. in 17 meaningful games against ranked teams, he had 1 to 1 assist to turnover ration at 3 each way per game. Shoots 24% from 3 point line.

Defense, Good, Size good. Overall No. NO. NO, please Mr. D and Malone.
Spurs? 06-02-2013 04:55 pm (total posts: 1)
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Spurs gave up?
Pelicans fan 05-31-2013 11:34 am (total posts: 1)
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I think they should take Micheal Carter-Williams,a distributor who can score sometimes.they really need a small forward but I think Carter-Williams is more of a leader than say Shabazz Muhammed.of course,I think they need to either get a coach that is a leader(Avery Johnson anyone?)or trade Cousins to a team with leadership for a good veteran player,preferably a center.for a small forward,they should get a second round developmental player,maybe a European,to be a future small forward.then again I'm a pelicans fan what do I know?
Yeah 06-29-2012 09:24 am (total posts: 1)
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demarcus cousins is a douchebag with personality issues. Thomas Robinson is the complete opposite. I hope this kid has a great NBA future and cousins dickhead attitude doesnt rub of on TRob.....
@Fitz 06-28-2012 08:45 pm (total posts: 2)
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I posted that before the draft started. I didn't assume Thomas would be available. I'm real happy with the pick.
Fitz 06-28-2012 08:02 pm (total posts: 1)
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@Erik- Robinson is a much better pick. They are set down low for the next 7 or 8 years with Robinson and Cousins
Erik 06-28-2012 07:15 pm (total posts: 2)
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Please don't trade down; just take Barnes.
Jay 06-11-2012 01:17 pm (total posts: 1)
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The Kings draft board should be Kidd-Gilchrist, Barnes, and Drummond in that order. Any of those picks will be a nice upgrade to a team filled with young talent.
G.O.A.T 05-23-2012 08:32 pm (total posts: 1)
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The Kings depth chart next year should be
PG Thomas
SG Evans
SF Barnes/MKG
PF Cousins
C Thompson
Thornton as a 6 man. THey would solidify the SF position for the future as well as define roles for Evans and Cousins. Evans will be a combo guard who will be more of a scorer. Hopefully Thomas develops into a play-making point guard instead of just a scorer.
Geiger 05-12-2012 03:44 pm (total posts: 1)
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I think the Kings back-court isnt a major need and they'll probably look at the 3 in this draft..MKG or Barnes are major possibilities. A center like Dummond could be a nice consolation prize, allowing a move of Thompson to the bench. I hope they figure it out though and get some luck on their side.

Prefered depth chart:
Thorton as a 6 man

2011-12 Season Summary:
Much of the focus revolving around the Sacramento Kings this past season actually had nothing to do with the below average product on the court. The fight by Mayor Kevin Johnson to keep the franchise in town stole more headlines than anything the team did on the hardwood. Johnson has made every attempt possible to try and get a new arena built for the team, but it appears the Maloof brothers don't actually want to keep the team in Sacramento as they refuse to reach a middle ground over fronting the needed funds to make a new stadium possible. Therefore, the franchise's future in California's Capital City remains uncertain. Talk about drama....

Head coach Paul Westphal was fired seven games into the season and replaced by Keith Smart who didn't fare much better while calling the shots. As for the actual basketball team, the youth movement the team underwent a few years ago that has yet to pay dividends.

The Kings obviously have some talented young players led by Tyreke Evans, DeMarcus Cousins, and Marcus Thornton. However, that core has been unable to truly mesh together as a unit, and Evans, once thought of as the future face of the franchise, actually regressed in his third season in the league. Cousins may actually take over that title next season as he showed maturity as a player and a person in his second year as a pro.

To try and provide some experience and leadership, Sacramento brought in veterans Chuck Hayes, John Salmons, and Travis Outlaw last offseason. However, it wasn't enough to get the Kings even close to playoff contention. Now those three players are eating up a good chunk of cap space despite not living up to their worth. The acquisition of J.J. Hickson also backfired as the team ended up actually releasing him during the season.

Perhaps the biggest bright spot and surprise this past season was the play of rookie point guard Isaiah Thomas who was taken with the final pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. The undersized point guard worked himself into the starting lineup and provided the team with a spark as a scorer and distributor. On the contrary, lottery pick Jimmer Fredette had a disappointing first season in the league and saw sporadic playing time throughout the year.

The team finished one win shy of tying for the worst record in the Western Conference, and as a result, will have another high pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. Adding more youth to the roster won't help for the immediate future though. With all the questions both on and off the court, it is hard to imagine the Kings breaking their streak of six straight seasons without a playoff appearance without some sort of major shakeup.

2012-13 Projected Depth Chart:

C: ^Jason Thompson/Chuck Hayes

PF: DeMarcus Cousins/Travis Outlaw/Hassan Whiteside

G/F: Tyreke Evans/Francisco Garcia/*Donte Greene/Tyler Honeycutt

SG: Marcus Thornton/John Salmons

PG: Isaiah Thomas/Jimmer Fredette

NBA Free Agents:

SF-Terrence Williams (UFA)

*C-Jason Thompson (RFA)

*SF-Donte Greene (RFA)

2012-13 Team Salary: Approximately $40.2 million

NBA Offseason Needs:

1. Get Defensive: The Kings were a horrendous defensive team this season, allowing more points and a higher opponent field percentage than any team in the NBA. When you look at the roster, it is pretty easy to see why since the Sacramento has so many scoring-oriented players on their roster. The Kings need to make a more concerted effort to commit on the defensive end which would be helped by a shot-blocking presence in the middle.

2. A Real Small Forward: This really is a position Sacramento has been trying to figure out since trading Ron Artest four summers ago. Tyreke Evans is not a true small forward but with the Kings often using a three-guard lineup, he essentially played the three. Sacramento has used a host of other players in that spot: Salmons, Garcia, Greene, Outlaw, Williams, Honeycutt. However, none of those players are really a long-term solution.

3. Distributor: The Kings have Thomas, Evans, and Fredette who are all capable of playing the point, but all three of those players are score first guys. There really aren't a ton of minutes available in the backcourt when you factor Thornton and Salmons into the equation, so I doubt Sacramento looks outside the current roster. Yet, the Kings still need Thomas and/or Evans to become better playmakers for their teammates.

4. Figure It Out: This should probably be team need No. 1 but the city, Maloofs, and David Stern need to figure out a resolution to this mess of whether or not the Kings will be staying in Sacramento. Dragging it out even further is going to put even more of a dark cloud over the franchise and serve as a distraction to the real goal of any organization: winning games.

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