Rebounding is an underrated aspect of defense. After all, a stop doesn't actually become a stop unless you get the ball back. In addition to being the worst defensive team in the league last season, the Kings were also among the worst rebounding teams, ranking 29th in defensive rebounding rate.
This summer the Kings made defense a priority above all else, and part of that was acquiring more size. Sacramento re-signed Richaun Holmes and also brought back Alex Len. They also traded Delon Wright for Tristan Thompson in a move that confused many fans but makes sense in the context of trying to help the team with their rebounding issues.
The Celtics weren't a phenomenal rebounding or defensive team last year, but they were slightly above the middle of the pack, ranking 14th in defensive rating and 13th in defensive rebounding rate. Thompson is stronger as an offensive rebounder than on the defensive end, but the Celtics were better as a team on both ends in the minutes he was on the court last season. Basketball-reference's on-off stats show the Celtics jumping from a 76.8% defensive rebounding to 80.4% with Thompson on the floor. For reference, the best defensive rebounding team in the league last season was the Chicago Bulls, and they finished the season with a defensive rebounding rate of 80.3%.
Lest you think this might just be a one season outlier for Thompson, you have to go back to the 2014-15 season to find a year in which his team was better at rebounding when he was off the floor. The team's acquisition of Thompson makes a lot more sense when you consider his rebounding prowess (although there are still issues of fit on both ends of the court).
Alex Len is another player who has had a similar effect for his team in recent years, even in his short time with the Kings a couple years ago. With Len on the court, the Kings had a defensive rebounding rate of 80.5% and he had the highest defensive rebounding rate of anyone on the Kings that season. The Kings as a team were pretty good on the glass as well, finishing 9th. They still weren't all that good defensively (20th) but were still much better than last year.
Sacramento's strengths lie with their guards, but both De'Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton aren't particularly good rebounders so it's important that the Kings surround them with players that are. By bringing back Holmes and adding on Thompson and Len, the Kings seem to at least be in a better position to compete on the glass than they were last season. They may not be elite, but they should at the very least be better.
Kinda hard to answer until we know if Bagley is going to be the Kings starting four this year or not.
Or if Buddy is going to be on the team or even starting, since he is actually an okay rebounder for a two.
But that wasn’t the question, as I understand it.
Did the Kings do enough in the offseason to fix their rebounding issues? I’d say yes.
Will the effect of these upgrades pan out into real numbers based on lineups? Unknown.
For what it’s worth, Bagley needs to get thirty minutes a night, as starter or off the bench. He remains an asset, and it would be irresponsible of the organization to not find out everything that it can about what that means.
Bagley could play himself into a position where he’d become the target of other teams during the season, or even make a good case that Sacramento not extending an offer might be a mistake. Marvin’s per 36 numbers suggest a player who can score and rebound, and if he remains healthy, he could still be a damned good player in the league.
Opinions will certainly vary on my assertions, but if your response is to bring up his family and social media stuff, neither of which actually matter, then please just call me a drooling moron, and spare me the rest.
You’re a Sims Gemcity Drooling Moronabus. Probably right about Bagley, too, but that’s besides the point.
If Bagley earns his minutes let him play. If Bagley’s ultra stupid basketball IQ is impacting the game put him on the bench.
We know he can score. We also know he is the biggest liability in the NBA defensively.
Uh, they have the same team. Len and Thompson ain’t gonna be on the floor when it matters. Unless Bagley has packed on 20 pounds of muscle and has suddenly become an Ironman with a tremendous feel for the game (yeah, right), nothing has changed.
Monte basically struck out in offdeaeson, except for bringing Richaun back.
I’d argue that Len and Thompson will be on the floor precisely when it matters the most: This team got utterly destroyed in the paint and on the glass last year any time Richaun was on the bench. If Len & Thompson can provide even mediocre big-man presence it will be a vast improvement AND allow the team to better manage Richaun’s minutes.
That’s my thinking as well. Hassan Whiteside is a very good individual rebounder and had the highest defensive rebound rate of any King last year, yet the Kings were a better defensive rebounding team when he was OFF the floor last year.
Whiteside played mostly in small lineups and mostly with Haliburton. Surprisingly a little, those small lineups with Haliburton were always bad defensive rebounding.
genuine question, was Richuan getting 29 minutes, one more than the year before, actually a problem?
Len is a solid rebounding backup big. I think he’ll hold his own. Personally hoping TT only plays when needed due to injuries.
Thompson will play when Bagley is not willing to play. Get ready for 75 games with Thompson in the line up.
I feel the premise to this idea of improving rebounding by adding TT and Len requires two not so good ideas. One would be they eat into the minutes of Holmes, and the other is Monte wants minutes with 2 of the Holmes, TT, Len trio on the floor at the same time. This also doesn’t even touch on the elephant in the room in Bagley.
I’m really starting to wonder if Monte wants a 3 guard, 2 big lineup for this team. Are we ready to watch that shit show?
I don’t think they’re going to eat into the minutes of Holmes necessarily but I do think we will see some 3 guard, 2 big lineups at times. But I do think even if Len and/or Thompson only play 15-20 minutes a game apiece, it will help the team’s rebounding compared to last season. Like you though, I’m skeptical on how the fit works.
And I didn’t really touch on Bagley because I’m not sure Bagley is even on the team by the time the season starts.
That’s where I am with answering your question. If we start the season with a line up of say Fox/Hali/Barnes/Bagley/Holmes and Bagley is playing 20-25 minutes a game then I don’t see the team rebounding numbers improving all that much.
If he is off the team, then I have more questions. Is Buddy still here? Who starts at the four? Fox/Hali/Buddy/Barnes/Holmes isn’t a good rebounding lineup. So, is TT or Metu or Moe or someone else starting/playing a lot at the four?
Lots of questions until the roster gets sorted out, if it does!
Agreed. Bagley is the de facto start at PF. Under Walton, Bagley has started 48 out of 56 games, or all but one game last season. He got 25 min a night under Walton as well. I don’t see how the addition of Len and TT change that, thus I don’t see how the Kings rebounding changes unless Bagley is removed from the equation and someone like TT is given the lion’s share of minutes at PF.
As of today Len and TT are basically splitting that backup C minutes vacated by Whiteside, which were 15 min a game. This also doesn’t take into consideration Damian Jones, whom McNair pickup up the option on.
So many freakin centers.
Bagley starts because the front office tells the coach to start him. Walton got the job because his predecessor pointed out that it was stupid having Bagley on the team.
Walton will not tell the front office that Bagley is not an NBA player yet.
My thought is 3 guard 2 big lineups are likely. Assuming no trades you can’t play bagley and heild together so Heild gets the start and Bagley comes off the bench. Fox/Hali/Heild/ Barnes/ Holmes with Bagley, Len and TT getting time at 4 and 5.
That’s not a 3 guard 2 big lineup!
Also, you need to follow me on twitter so we can DM. Do you have an account? If I can’t get an email from you then I will need to fill that spot with someone else soon!
If anything, it’s a too small lineup.
It says you can’t be messaged.
I created an account on the twitters but it says I can’t message you.
Haliburton and Harkless can play the 3
If the black hole of Bagley is gone rebounding improves. If not it is still 4 vs. 5. Not a chance with that.
Holmes and Bagley kind of have to play together because Bagley can space the floor for Holmes on offense and cover for Holmes’ weak defensive rebounding.
Take a guess on who the most effective duo was last year.
Thompson I think is the first big off the bench because he is versatile. He can play in small or big lineups. I think he works well with the bench unit of Mitchell/Hali/Harkless/King.
Mitchell/Hali/Harkless/King/Thompson you can use as a ball pressure and switch everything kind of defensive scheme. Pretty much similar to the Summer league system.
Len is situational. I am guessing he is used to defend a certain pick and roll situations, most likely in drop coverage. Like when you are getting torched by an excellent P&R ball handlers (Trae, Luka, Dame,…). I think the best guard to pair him with is Mitchell because he is excellent fighting through screens.
I agree, the Kings need to find some kind of stretch big who rebounds at a decent rate to play next to Holmes. Currently Bagley is that only option, along with Barnes in a small ball set. If you are playing Bagley big minutes, sure you may rebound at a decent clip but man that defense is going to suffer. That is why the additions of TT and Len are so confusing to me.
Guys like this
are not cheap. We do have Metu who does a little bit of those.
About Bagley, I guess Monte couldn’t trade him for the right value so Bagley has to play if he is here. One thing about Bagley, he is a versatile power forward. He can play with any kind of centers; just don’t play him at center. Bagley at the 4 is a net positive player.
When Holmes is not on the floor, play Bagley with Thompson or Len.
On the other hand, when Bagley is not on the floor, Holmes can play with 4 guards/wings.
Thompson and Len serve a purpose so I am not worried about them.
Just an idea. Trade Buddy and Bagley to the Mavs for Porzingis and Dorian Smith. Porzingis is a strech 4 and rebounded almost 10 per game last year. Dorian Smith is a great defender and can backup as a SF or PF. I think the Mavs want to get rid of Porzingis. Numbers work.
Crazier idea, if the Kings are really done with Bagley and Buddy, send them to Cleveland for Kevin Love and a future pick.
this is worse.
Love be done. Hurt, hurt, hurtin.
Pick will be lottery maybe. Maybe not.
Hurt any more than Bagley? All kidding aside, it is a risk and I’d only do it with a very thorough physical. It removes two possible locker room issues and does save long term money.
Ideally, if McNair wants to go with a two big and 3 guard lineup, I’d swing for Myles Turner. He’s the guy I think fits best next to Holmes that just might be gettable.
If he is gettable then I will go for this.I have always liked Turner.
If Love will play and not check out I think you are correct.
Kevin Love’s desire to play and attitude will not be awesome on the Kangz. I like him as a fit in the rotation. I think as a King he simply shuts it down.
I doubt Mavs fall for this. Sounds like one of those “I am really stoned” trades
The usual Kings trade scenario. Lebron James for Metu.
Look at the upside. Lakers gain salary room and a summer league champion.
Porzingis is a stretch four because he stretches a team’s salary cap beyond recognition, and suggesting that he’ll be healthy for even half the games is a huge stretch.
And he’s an absolute shit defender since his body fell apart.
yes, Len is situational- everybody needs at least one big guy. And his best compadre will be Mitchell.
But not sure of King- first i he is two way and second, he has not proven himself yet.
Emanuel Terry – 8.6 rpg in 17 mpg. Just saying.
In summer league?
Guess we ought to re-sign Donte Greene.
Ask me that when we know what the rotation looks like. But as of now, I’m guessing not a whole lot.
Pre and post trade deadline, the Kings were 30th in DRB% pre deadline and post deadline 29%. Can Len and Thompson help ? Some. Especially when you are talking about the seemingly inevitable reality of Holmes missing games at some point.
It’s possible to improve, though, through better depth, Fox and Haliburton doing a bit better in that area, and probably not playing Bagley as a starter. It won’t make for a dramatic improvement, but it will certainly allow the team to potentially maximize their offensive output as the roster is currently constructed.
1951 and Kingsguru:
Acquiring Len and TT did not address Kings rebounding problems. In all likelihood, only one of them plays at a time and plays when Holmes is on the bench. Holmes is below average for position so for 20 minutes a game, the rebounding might improve. Second, the rest of the team are all below average rebounders for their position- Buddy, Hali, Fox, and probably Barnes. Bagley is average at best. Add in Mitchell who is not a good rebounder.
Good rebounding teams either have a super board guy or above average guys at all positions.
If the plan is to enhance rebounding by having the guards stay back and crash the boards, where goes the running and easy hoops?
I think you hit the nail on the head.
We shouldn’t expect much improvement in the rebounding department given the personnel. And I can’t see the Kings playing slow to improve the rebounding.
No superstars, no big-time free agents.
Nice arena though and lots of good teams to play and occasionally defeat !
Not even any good players, possibly outside the draft.
No, the core of the team is the same and the only new players are a smallish PG who shouldn’t be relied on for any rebounding, a decent backup C who can rebound and defend but shouldn’t see too many minutes regardless, and finally, a washed up under-sized C who can’t play more than a few feet from either basket and is more known for offensive rebounding.
If the question were, “Will the Kings be a better rebounding team this year?”, then the answer would be yes. The Kings as a whole should be better, but that’s just because they were SO BAD at it last year that they can really only get better, it would be harder to be worse than it would be to get better.
Glad you pointed out the rebounding. A lot of fans want to see three small guards play together but that seems like a recipe to get crushed on the boards and get exploited with mismatches.
The notion of rolling out Fox with Haliburton and Mitchell or Hield to create driving lanes for Fox … and then ensure those lanes don’t extend into the paint by playing two bigs to cover the three guard lineup is a total Walton move.
They did enough to prevent Jacob Poeltl from having another career game.
I personally would say no. I don’t think the Kings upgraded any position on the team except back-up Center.
Which, yes, our centers as a whole are now better at rebounding – however, you can only play one of them at a time (don’t anyone dare suggest playing Tristan Thompson at PF in 2021). So, since you’re only playing one at a time and we didn’t upgrade our wing depth at all or get any bigger guards, we’ll still have that same problem without massive internal improvement and growth.
So yeah, I guess I’m still real pessimistic about this off-season.