The Sacramento Kings have turned into the new Los Angeles Clippers of the NBA.
They have endured six straight losing seasons and the Maloof brothers seem content in counting their money and not really doing much to field a competitive team. Life in Sacramento revolves around watching grass grow, paint dry and deciding what to do on a Friday night. Unless you’re into barn dances and bonfires. The Maloof brothers don’t even want to be there, as they have tried to move the franchise. It’s the only game in town and residents have little choice for pro sports alternatives. I mean, seriously …. the Sacramento River Cats?
There is more optimism in Oakland with the Golden State Warriors since Jerry West was brought in as a special adviser, helping transform the Warriors into a legit playoff contender — as long as they stay healthy.
The Kings are coming off a 22-44 campaign and they actually have some nice pieces in Tyreke Evans (16.5 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game) and DeMarcus Cousins (18.1 points, 11 rebounds), but they just don’t seem to fit well together. They had a nice feel-good story with Isaiah Thomas (11.5 points and 4.1 assists), but he is their starting point guard. However, he’s just not a difference-maker, something that is all too common on the Kings roster. They have lots of talent, but something is just not right with this team.
I do like their signing of Aaron Brooks after he spent last year in China. He is the best PG on the roster, even if he isn’t a natural point. But Brooks is just 27 and had a good season in 2009-10 (19.6 points and 5.3 assists) with the Houston Rockets. He could be starting very quickly if Thomas struggles in his sophomore season. At just 5 feet 9, he is a defensive liability. Brooks isn’t much taller at 6 feet, but he does a good job on the defensive end of the court despite his lack of size.
Thomas Robinson was their top draft pick and he will be a player to watch. He could replace Jason Thompson in the starting lineup at power forward.
Keith Smart might be a good coach one day, but fixing the broken Kings may be beyond his capability. He knows basketball, but the players have no real reason to listen to him, especially problematic players such as Cousins and Evans.
Projected finish in the Pacific Division: Fifth (they might win 28-30 games)
Darren Jacks is a regular contributor to OneManFastBreak.net. Send him an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org