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How DeMar DeRozan fits with the Sacramento Kings

The Kings landed an elite mid-range scorer. How will he fit with the other core pieces?
By | 232 Comments | Jul 8, 2024

Jan 30, 2024; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan (11) looks to pass the ball against the Toronto Raptors during the second half at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Malik Monk once said about his tandem with De’Aaron Fox: “They can’t stop both of us.” Now, opponents will have to stop Fox, Monk and DeMar DeRozan. While this also results in some roster imbalance with the current Sacramento Kings rotation, that offensive firepower is a good problem to have.

The Kings, in an effort to improve on the last two seasons and keep up with the Western Conference, traded Harrison Barnes, Chris Duarte, an unprotected first round pick swap, and second round picks Saturday for DeRozan. The veteran was signed to a reported three-year, $74 million deal.

Here’s a look at DeRozan’s addition to the Kings lineup.

How DeRozan Will Help the Kings

Steady Scoring Punch

Most are aware of DeRozan’s scoring ability. Since the 2009-10 season when he entered the league, he has averaged 21.2 points per game with a career field goal percentage of 46%. DeRozan, also known as “Deebo,” is lethal from midrange and is crafty at scoring around the rim. At 34 years old, many are right to question how much he has left in the tank, but last season indicates there is plenty: he averaged 24 points, 5.3 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 37 minutes per game – yes, 37 minutes per game, the second most minutes per game in his career. He played a league-leading 2,998 minutes, at 34 years old. Domantas Sabonis was second with 2,928. He also started in 79 games for the Chicago Bulls last season. His ability to score consistently should help improve the Kings offense and maybe get it closer to where it was two seasons ago (depending on fit, of course). A third consistent scoring option in the starting lineup is likely a big relief for Fox and Domantas Sabonis.

Versatile Offensive Skills

There is a lot in Deebo’s offensive bag. He has nifty finishes at the rim, nasty fadeaway jumpers, isolation, back-to-the-basket game, step-backs, lean-in floaters, sly pump fakes, hesitation dribbles and some incredible patience. Not to mention, he rarely turns the ball over, even when dribbling into tough shots and positions on the floor (he averaged just 1.7 turnovers last season). He isn’t the best at it, but he can knock down a three on occasion (he shot 33% from three last season on 2.8 attempts per game).

Take a look at some his highlights from last season.

Another Playmaker/Clutch Player

DeRozan is a good playmaker, averaging more than five assists per game in recent seasons. His passing ability shouldn’t be forgotten because of his midrange game. He has been known to pass out of the lane off 360 spins – something I am excited to see happen in Golden 1 Center. This should complement Fox’s responsibility as primary ball handler and give him the ability to focus a little more on scoring. This might, and I say might because there may be more dribbling going on in this new offense and less touches for Sabonis, result in better ball movement and an increase in open shots for others.

The real benefit though comes with the fact that Kings desperately needed a third player who could get their own shot. As of last season that list was Fox and Monk. We saw how detrimental that was when Monk went down with an injury toward the end of the season. Now, if Fox or Monk is out with an injury opponents won’t be able to collapse on the other because no one else can play-make. This also will come in handy during close games as DeRozan finished second last season for the Clutch Player Of The Year Award. He can make difficult clutch shots that will alleviate some of the pressure on Fox and Monk, and give Mike Brown more flexibility in those moments. Imagine having Fox, Monk and DeRozan coming at you in the closing minute of a tight game. They can’t stop all three, especially when the game slows down and they can dump it into Deebo to get his shot however he wants in the midrange with three-point shooters spread out around him.

Veteran Leadership

DeRozan is a six-time All Star and has appeared in the playoffs seven times over his career. With this comes a level of veteran leadership that can be crucial for a team with a core lacking a lot of playoff experience. His wisdom should help the team’s younger players, especially Keegan Murray who is likely hard at work right now adding elements to his offensive arsenal. If Deebo can pass on just a fraction of that midrange knowledge to Murray that would be a big boost.

Aside from that, the sense of calm and confidence in clutch situations will be very much welcomed, especially should the Kings get back to the playoffs next season.

Bulls coach Billy Donovan had this to say:

“I appreciate him. He’s a consummate professional. The thing I love about him is he’ll do whatever he’s gotta do to help the team. In conversations with him about us having to play faster and him to get up the floor, he does what you ask him to do. He’s an elite closer. And he’s been that way for his career. When the game slows down, you try to get him in areas of the floor where he does what he does. But the unselfishness and sacrifice for him for 36 minutes of trying to get off the ball, advance the ball, help us play fast, get those other guys involved, generate shots for those guys and still keep his head in the game, it speaks to his greatness.”

Offensive Flexibility

DeRozan can score from pretty much anywhere on the floor, which adds a new element to the Kings offense. The midrange shot, ability to finish at the rim and make an occasional three creates a balanced scoring punch that can keep opponents guessing. This versatility may complement the quick attacking style of Fox, as well as his ability to hit threes, and the inside-out style of Sabonis, depending on the scheme.

Free Throws

The Kings were dead last in free throw percentage last season at 74.6%. They were 21st in free throws attempted at 20.8 per game. DeRozan attempted 7.7 free throws per game last season and averaged 85% from the line. Fox led the team last season with 5.7 attempts per game, but only averaged 73%. Sabonis was second on the team with 5.1 attempts, but only averaged 70%. Monk, a good free throw shooter, was a distant third in terms of attempts at 2.8 per game.

Injecting DeRozan into the lineup should show great returns for the team in this regard.

Steals Leading To Transition Baskets

DeRozan isn’t known for defense, and we will get to that, but he can close on passing lanes in the backcourt and grab steals that can lead to fast break buckets. His defensive on/off stats throughout his career don’t show the greatest results, but he can force turnovers which will be a valuable asset when you have quick guards like Fox and Monk alongside him.

How DeRozan Might Not Help the Kings

Defensive Limitations

While the Kings did improve on defense last season, there is much more still needed. That should start with rim protection, size in the front court and length on the perimeter. DeRozan does not come with a versatile defensive skill package that can solve this. DeRozan can use his anticipation and positioning to force mistakes by opponents. However, he struggles to fight through screens and can’t guard players who can change direction fast, which results in the players he is guarding getting a lot of open shots. Fox will need to keep his tenacity on defense up at a high level when sharing the court with DeRozan, and it will put even more pressure on Sabonis with rim protection if more reinforcements don’t come this offseason. As Hoop Venue so greatly broke down, the Bulls used DeRozan as a four on defense to hide his limitations in stopping the ball in space in the backcourt. In that role, he would do what he could to help around the rim.

Three-Point Shooting

Deebo is the midrange king for a reason: He doesn’t take a lot of threes. Over his career, he has averaged just 1.6 three attempts per game, though he did increase that to 2.8 last season. But his career average is just 29% from three (33% last season). Mike Brown loves spray threes and spacing as part of his offense, so this will be an interesting wrinkle to watch next season. With less threes taken in the starting lineup; opponents could collapse on the team’s top scorers. That is unless more of the offense runs through DeRozan in the middle of the floor with him passing out for open threes.

Potential Spacing Issues

Speaking of spacing, both Sabonis and DeRozan lean toward operating in the mid-range and interior areas of the court. Brown will need to adjust his schemes/usage next season to make sure the floor is properly spaced so that both Sabonis and DeRozan can operate effectively and avoid overcrowding. The two of them could potentially fit together in the pick and roll though. The good news is that Deebo is flexible in terms of his playing style depending on the rest of the roster.

Donovan had this to say about his time in Chicago:

“He’s also getting everybody else involved and playing stylistically in a way that’s best for those guys. To his greatness, he can play a lot of different ways.”

Rim Protection

While DeRozan can grab boards for his position(s) (4.3 rebounds per game last season), he does not address the Kings’ need for more rim protection. This shouldn’t be a surprise considering he’s 6’6’’ and not a front court player, but this still remains one of the biggest holes in the rotation. The front office will need to look for a solid defensive big man to deliver the necessary shot-blocking and front-court defense to alleviate some of the pressure on that side of the ball for Sabonis.

Age and Fit with Team Timeline

DeRozan will be 35 when next season begins. Fox, Sabonis, Monk and Murray are all under 29. But the NBA is a talent league and the Kings needed to add talent regardless of age. This is a concern for the longevity of how DeRozan will mold with the team as time goes on, but he has more than proven himself to be durable and productive into his later playing days. As mentioned before, he averaged a very productive 37 minutes per game last season. And being productive into his later years is a goal of his. He said:

“I hate the stigma in terms that 33, 34, 35 is old. I hate that. So, I try to just break the stigma of that,” DeRozan told The Athletic.

The Kings offense is going to look different next season and if Monte McNair can balance out the rest of the roster and Brown can effectively incorporate DeRozan into his schemes this could end up being a really successful deal. The potential spacing issues and how this changes what Sabonis does, as well as how much DeRozan’s dribbling combined with Fox’s ball dominance are some big questions. This is a talent-driven league though and when it comes to the playoffs, these last two seasons proved that the Kings existing talent pool isn’t enough to keep up. Kudos to the front office for bringing in an offensive weapon of this caliber while not impacting future flexibility heavily.

And shout out to Harrison Barnes for his professionalism and being part of the original Beam Team.

Check out this video Barnes posted:

Also, I mentioned it above already, but I encourage you to check out the excellent video breakdown from Hoop Venue about DeRozan’s fit with the Kings.

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alec26
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July 8, 2024 9:55 am

Wasn’t there a game last year where Demar DeRoozan almost singlehandedly beat the Kings in the fourth quarter? Glad to have him on our side.

andy_sims
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July 8, 2024 10:55 am
Reply to  alec26

You could be talking about so many players, most of them not nearly as talented as DDR.

Hobby916
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July 8, 2024 11:33 am
Reply to  alec26

Yes, he was shut down for 3 quarters and then outscored the Kings in the 4th, I believe.

mdeedublu
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July 8, 2024 9:28 pm
Reply to  alec26

Yes and my family and I were at that game for my son’s 8th birthday. We did not have fun…..

Kosta
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July 8, 2024 10:05 am

First there was Hedo.

Then Z-Bo.

Now Deebo.

It’s a whole new world, for Kings fans.

(Sing it, Peabo!)

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Last edited 4 days ago by Kosta
andy_sims
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July 8, 2024 10:55 am
Reply to  Kosta

Bryson’d

Hippity_Hop_Barbershop
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July 8, 2024 10:05 am

I am very excited for this season. If we stay healthy we gonna be a problem for everybody. MM got more moves left too.

Kosta
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July 8, 2024 10:08 am

Sam Vecenie says we should try to get Beef Stew from the Pistons.

Last edited 4 days ago by Kosta
Jack
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July 8, 2024 10:24 am
Reply to  Kosta

I totally agree. Either Stewart or Collins. The Pistons I believe are looking to trade Beef Stew. They also want more shooting espacially 3 point shooting. Huerter might be the ticket. His contract almost matches Stewarts.

Kosta
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July 8, 2024 10:29 am
Reply to  Jack

I’d be happy with either of those two you mentioned.

Also, saw this on Twitter, but I can’t find the original piece on James Ham’s twitter feed which is interesting because it still mentions Lauri Markannen as a Kings target…

https://x.com/bretthuff22/status/1810361353003216962

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Last edited 4 days ago by Kosta
andy_sims
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July 8, 2024 12:02 pm
Reply to  Kosta

Given the likely cost, I just don’t really want either of them. Sacramento needs a PF, but to quote Used Cars, that price to too fuckin’ high!

RobHessing
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July 8, 2024 12:08 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Marshall Lucky’d.

ShaneKC
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July 8, 2024 1:37 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

You can ride a scooter or buy a car.

Jack
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July 8, 2024 4:23 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

You call Stewart a used car. He is only 23 years old.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
July 8, 2024 10:37 am
Reply to  Jack

I’d be surprised if Detroit moves Stewart now. They have very little big man depth. Utah, however, is swimming in bigs.

Hobby916
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July 8, 2024 10:51 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Huerter is the only larger contract as of now that I think will be moved. Guard depth just got a bit thinner with Carter being out for surgery. Trading Huerter for John Collins, for example, makes the depth even less. They need to fill that PF/C somehow though.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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July 8, 2024 11:07 am
Reply to  Hobby916

Huerter and Lyles for Collins is what works contractually. Sure the guard depth is lower, but you can rotate DeRozan to SG as needed with Keegan and Collins at the forward spots.

Hobby916
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July 8, 2024 11:33 am
Reply to  Adamsite

That sill leaves Collins as the only real PF on the roster, and I guess Keegan but he doesn’t really have PF size. They would still need to add another PF/C with the MLE or BAE.

Monte has some creative work to do in the coming weeks.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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July 8, 2024 11:39 am
Reply to  Hobby916

There is even less room than that now that the Kings are hard capped. They don’t have space for the full MLE.

Jack
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July 8, 2024 12:45 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

Paul Reed is a FA.

Hobby916
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July 8, 2024 12:58 pm
Reply to  Jack

Kings are about $7m under the tax, so Reed to have to fit in to that if no other moves are made that increase the team salary.

9sac8
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July 8, 2024 2:12 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

Keegan is 6’8 225. That is definitely PF size in this league. What I will say is, he doesn’t use his attributes correctly. Keegan has the potential to be a beast if he learns how to play through contact and body the opposing player when they are trying to post him up.

Hobby916
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July 8, 2024 2:25 pm
Reply to  9sac8

He just doesn’t play physical enough to matchup with some of the other PFs. He got moved around a lot last year, and Barnes had to step in with his old man strength to play the bigger PFs.

Jack
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July 8, 2024 4:27 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

This is why they are looking for a true PF.

Jack
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July 8, 2024 4:26 pm
Reply to  9sac8

What position did he mostly play last year? I believe it wqs PF.

DCKing
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July 8, 2024 4:40 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

We need their backup big, Yurtseven, if we lose Lyles (would love to trade Colby Jones instead of Lyles). He’s cheap and serviceable.

kingarthur916world
July 8, 2024 1:17 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

Much more easier to replace a guard in the NBA , I wish our GM know that . Money is very important to our owner . I don’t see John Collins ending up a king , especially with Danny asking for a first for him . We had a chance when he was salary dumped. But I can be wrong lol

plus derozan was playing the small ball 4 role in Chicago a lot . So I’m guessing he plays the 4 a lot in sac .

i think grant williams ,Dorian finney smith are most likely. I would rather have grant . Dorian is kinda washed to me , kings burnt him on the perimeter like crazy last year and sucks at rebounding. Nets are stupid for not trading him lol

I will honestly rather have keegan at shooting guard , derozan at the 3 and grant at the 4 .

Jack
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July 8, 2024 12:43 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Get Collins.

murraytant
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July 8, 2024 7:28 pm
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Yes Utah is swimming in bigs, especially the biggest head of all- Ainge.

Hobby916
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July 8, 2024 10:49 am
Reply to  Jack

With Carter being out for 6-8 monthly, potentially, the guard rotation becomes a bit more thin. Moving Huerter would make the depth chart Fox, Ellis, Monk, Jones, McLaughlin, maybe Derozan if he is used as a SG in some lineups. My guess is that they hold on to Huerter for now and look at moving him closer to the All-Star break.

Jack
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July 8, 2024 12:48 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

We need a PF now not at the All-Star break. We need to jump on teams at the beggining of the season not in the middle.

9sac8
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July 8, 2024 2:18 pm
Reply to  Jack

This is the truest statement you’ve ever made. We need to throw the first punch out the gate.

ShaneKC
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July 8, 2024 2:42 pm
Reply to  Jack

This organization is definitely not known for closing out the last half of the season strong.

UpgradedToQuestionable
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July 8, 2024 3:27 pm
Reply to  ShaneKC

last season.

The season prior, 2022-2023, Sac went 18-10 (losing the last 3 when playoff position was already set).

Elephants have long memories they say. Sports fans, not so much.

ShaneKC
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July 8, 2024 5:42 pm

I remember the sixteen years before that year. One out 20 is ok I guess.

AmateurNerd
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July 8, 2024 2:05 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

IMHO a 3-guard rotation of Fox, Ellis, and Monk (plus Jones in spot cases) is fine. The 4th guard in a 4-guard rotation gets limited minutes anyway, and Huerter would be wasted in that kind of role. Better to move him for a piece that can be more impactful going forward.

Hippity_Hop_Barbershop
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July 8, 2024 1:57 pm
Reply to  Kosta

Add Beef Stew and we be cookin.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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July 8, 2024 10:19 am

I imagine DeRozan’s addition will undoubtedly impact the number of touches and scoring opportunities his teammates get, because there are simply only so many shots per game.

My question is, does DeRozan addition lower the numbers for Fox who himself is attempting to make All-NBA and earn a super max extension? The team should definitely be better, but may come at the expense of individual accolades.

Hobby916
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July 8, 2024 10:46 am
Reply to  Adamsite

I would hope that DeRozan taking shots will limit the unwarranted bad shots taken by Fox, which would likely increase his overall efficiency. His raw numbers might go down, but they might also go up by being more fresh from not chucking random 3s. I think that will be the same for Monk.

All the shots from Barnes (8.9/game), a couple from Fox and Monk each, would get DeRozan to around 13 or FGA/game. Brown and Triano will have to work to feed all the guys, but I think the players would be fine with a couple less shots if it means more wins?

andy_sims
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July 8, 2024 10:54 am
Reply to  Hobby916

It would be difficult to describe Fox, Sabonis or Monk as selfish players, so I don’t imagine there will be any hard feelings about spreading some attempts to a highly-efficient scorer like DeRozan.

Hobby916
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July 8, 2024 11:35 am
Reply to  andy_sims

I agree. That is why I think it should work out with those players wanting to share the ball and play winning basketball. The culture of players on the Kings seems to be about winning and not necessarily “getting theirs”.

RikSmits
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July 8, 2024 11:01 am
Reply to  Hobby916

It could also enhance the trend of him taking more 3’s, in an attempt to help spacing. Not sure I’d love that but there is a realistic chance that teams will clog the paint and dare the Kings to beat them form outside.

Our top 4 3-point shooters (Fox, Keegan, Monk and Huerter) took a total of 25.6 threes per game, while their 3P% was between .350 (Monk) and .369 (Fox). Not ideal.

Last edited 4 days ago by RikSmits
Hobby916
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July 8, 2024 11:39 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Fox shot 39% on Catch and Shoot 3s last season. 35% on Pull-up 3s. Hopefully the C&S 3s will increase in frequency, and the Pull-up 3s will decrease. Ideally…

RobHessing
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July 8, 2024 11:26 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Let’s work a little math here.

DeRozan was at 10 more shots per game than Barnes last year when you factor in free throw attempts. The Kings were worth a shot more per game than the Bulls, so maybe that’s one of the ten? DeRozan, no longer the lead dog on a bad team, will not be called upon to shoot as much. So maybe one less shot per quarter, which gets the difference down to 5?

Next, let’s say that Ellis starts instead of Huerter (or Lyles if you want to put DeRozan at the 2 and Lyles at the 4). Huerter takes 3 more shots per 36 than Lyles, 5 more than Ellis. So maybe you pick up a couple there and reduce the number to 3? A couple less shots from Monk and Fox, who were not overly efficient while being far and away the shots per minute leaders on the roster, and you’re there.

And 1 – DeRozan’s presence could very well make Fox far more efficient, reducing the number of times that Fox has to force up shots as the clock winds down. In the end, Fox’s raw counting stats may be unaffected while his advanced stats and percentages benefit.

Or not.

ShaneKC
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July 8, 2024 1:15 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

When Huerter is back to his shooting form and starting the team will be much more efficient. Huerter will spread the defense.

RobHessing
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July 8, 2024 1:24 pm
Reply to  ShaneKC

Sure. But if you’re going to plug in Huerter’s shooting frequency vs. Ellis, you are now asking the top of the core to sacrifice another 5 shots per game, so the effort to attain fit becomes at least a bit more challenging. You are also sacrificing defense for offense that you may not need, given that you
re really talking about your shooting guard being the 5th option.

The reality is that it is an “if” and not a “when.” I’d love to see it, as it would spike his value and improve the team. But the guy has basically been in a slump since the 2023 playoffs, shooting at a clip beyond the arc that has been less than the team average. In other words, the team has been better off when Huerter doesn’t do the thing that he allegedly does best.

ShaneKC
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July 8, 2024 1:31 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Taking away five shots and adding made three pointers will help the whole team score more. More open shots when someone on the floor can hit a three. I don’t think the number of shots is finite number that is not to be exceeded. My point is Huerter opens up the offense by spreading the defense which allows more shots.

Ellis at peak scoring allows the defense to double team someone.

Huerter at peak scoring eliminates the double team on Sabonis, Fox, and Derozan.

When he gets his shot back of course.

Last edited 4 days ago by ShaneKC
RobHessing
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July 8, 2024 1:35 pm
Reply to  ShaneKC

Huerter has shot 34% from deep from the 23 playoffs through last season. The rest of the roster has shot 37% from the floor during that time. Now, the Huerter from prior to the playoffs was converting at a 40% clip. That Huerter would be a benefit. We have not seen that Huerter since the 2022-23 playoffs.

Based on that, I’m going with the word “if” instead of “when” as it pertains to Huerter.

ShaneKC
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July 8, 2024 1:38 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Yes, if is the correct way to look at it.

Hobby916
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July 8, 2024 3:00 pm
Reply to  ShaneKC

Keon Ellis shot 41.7% on 2.9 attempts a game. Kevin Huerter does shoot a higher volume of 3s, so there is some additional gravity that he has for defenses. That was mainly due to the high amount of DHO with Sabonis.

Huerter is a movement shooter, Ellis is a spot-up shooter. Huerter does best when running off screens or in the DHO. They are both good shooters, just different types of shooters.

ShaneKC
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July 8, 2024 9:30 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

Do you think Ellis can put up the numbers Huerter has in the past?

Just curious where you think he is headed. I’ve great if he can.

Jman1949
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July 8, 2024 11:54 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Seems like Fox is already on board with the signing:

Chris Haynes: Sources: Sacramento Kings star De’Aaron Fox played a pivotal role by joining today’s meeting to help recruit DeMar DeRozan. The two are ecstatic about partnering together on the court.2 days ago – via Twitter ChrisBHaynes

Hippity_Hop_Barbershop
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July 8, 2024 1:59 pm
Reply to  Jman1949

This is great to read.

ShaneKC
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July 8, 2024 1:11 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Derozan should eliminate the majority of ISO Fox during the last ten minutes of the game. If ISO Fox exists with Derozan and Sabonis on the floor then Fox needs to look within himself.

RikSmits
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July 8, 2024 10:21 am

Mike Brown has his work cut out for him, both for offensive schemes and defensive schemes.

And Monte needs to find a good, long rebounder/ rimprotector to address the more immediate needs.

keith_kar
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July 8, 2024 10:47 am

I would think Demar expects to be a starter. And what about Monk? Does he start along side Fox and slide Demar to a forward spot?

There’s still a lot of moving pieces. We’ll have to see what we can get if we trade Huerter, to balance out this roster..

Hobby916
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July 8, 2024 10:53 am
Reply to  keith_kar

I think Ellis has to be the starter. The defense dramatically improved in March and April when he started, like 4th best in the league during that time. Starting or not, Ellis should be near 30mpg for this team to compete defensively.

Jack
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July 8, 2024 12:55 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

I think 30 is a little high but maybe not. IMO shoud be out their in the 4th.

Jack
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July 8, 2024 12:56 pm
Reply to  Jack

Also it depends on the flow of the game and who the other team has out there.

ShaneKC
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July 8, 2024 1:18 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

When Ellis starts Monk, Derozan, or Keegan will have to sit.

Is the emotional connection to Ellis so strong that obvious lack of scoring in the lineup is not considered?

I know this will cause a great hatred for me by saying this. So…once again….Ellis is an average player that the Kings were lucky to find. He isn’t bad at basketball.

RobHessing
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July 8, 2024 1:36 pm
Reply to  ShaneKC

Monk did not start one game last year.

ShaneKC
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July 8, 2024 1:40 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

There is talk about him wanting to start and commenters trying to manipulate him into the starting lineups. If Ellis starts Monk doesn’t. I also think that if you look at the numbers Monk should clearly start before Ellis does.

RobHessing
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July 8, 2024 1:46 pm
Reply to  ShaneKC

Talk? Discounted. I have not seen anything from Monk.

Commenters?: Discounted. I have not seen anything from Mike Brown.

Depends on the numbers – Monk was actually wildly inefficient down the stretch of the season prior to his injury. No doubt, he is the better player. But as a plug-in with Fox, DeRozan, Murray and Sabonis, Ellis may be the better fit – he certainly was by a wide margin defensively by any measurable statistics.

Manu Ginobli was better than every shooting guard that started in front of him during his prime, but Manu is what the Spurs needed off the bench, and he was on the floor for the close of games, especially when the Spurs needed O more than D. And this is the Ellis / Monk dynamic. Ellis can flourish in this starting lineup, but he cannot replicate what Monk does off the bench. Ellis starts, but Monk gets more minutes.

ShaneKC
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July 8, 2024 1:57 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

I appreciate you discounting every single one of my observations. Conversation with people who are open minded and considerate of others thoughts and ideas is generally useful.

Manu played behind Tony Parker. Different situation.

Many people have talked about Monk starting. I might listen more than some.

RobHessing
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July 8, 2024 2:08 pm
Reply to  ShaneKC

I’m not discounting your observation. I am discounting “talk” and “commenters” that are 3rd party (or worse) and have no weight or sway when it comes to Malik Monk and whether or not he is going to start for the Kings.

And Manu did not play behind Tony Parker. He came off the bench for Michael Finley, Bruce Brown, Roger Mason, Keith Bogans, etc. It was extremely rare for Parker to come out when Manu came in in the 1st quarter. And the standard was for both of them to be on the floor at the end of the game. That is not me discounting your observation. That is me countering it based on memory, followed by confirmation by looking at basketball reference.com.

ShaneKC
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July 8, 2024 2:39 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

You talk here as a commenter. Those are the people talking and the comments I was referring to.

I won’t discount your opinion. What context you apply to my observations to fit your internet sleuthing is up to you.

I truly do enjoy the vast majority of the conversations here. I am new to this group. Some people clearly prefer to keep it to the same few people they agree with.

Last edited 4 days ago by ShaneKC
Hobby916
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July 8, 2024 2:52 pm
Reply to  ShaneKC

The only thing I have heard about Monk wanting to start was at his exit interview when he mentioned it. He also said that he is willing to do whatever is best for the team. I think most players want the title “NBA Starter”, so saying that is kind of expected.

ShaneKC
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July 8, 2024 2:56 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

Yes, we agree, Monk said he would like to start. Other commenters here have also inserted him into the fantasy starting line ups when he signed the deal.

It is ok. We can all get along. I don’t think Monk will start. I was trying to have a conversation that recognized other people’s opinion that he should start. I also think that Monk is clearly a better player than Ellis.

Shall I impale myself on my sword or walk into the wilderness never to return while the cool kids of the Kings Herald stone me?

RobHessing
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July 8, 2024 2:59 pm
Reply to  ShaneKC

Or simply understand that it is not personal when someone does not agree with your opinion, no more so than it is when someone agrees with it?

ShaneKC
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July 8, 2024 3:01 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

It isn’t personal. My point was clearly understood. Thanks.

Hobby916
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July 8, 2024 3:08 pm
Reply to  ShaneKC

Sure, people here have included Monk in starting lineups. They have done the same for Trey Lyles over Harrison Barnes. Sasha Vezenkov over Harrison Barnes.

Commenters like to theory craft and opine for lineup changes on this site. Usually with some good points, and at times a little off-base.

ShaneKC
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July 8, 2024 3:12 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

Exactly. That is what I was talking about. I appreciate your open mind and candor. People have put Jordan Ford in the starting line up.

I think the Monk vs. Ellis as a starter is an interesting thing to look at.

Maybe Ellis is a better sixth man because he is a defensive player on a team full of offense first players?

Maybe Monk is better starter because he can score and put pressure on defense?

Conversation worth having in my opinion.

Hobby916
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July 8, 2024 3:16 pm
Reply to  ShaneKC

I say the opposite. Starter have 4 scorers, so Ellis starting makes sense. Bench is not very offensive, so Monk is needed to balance the scoring. Either way, they all play together at times, so it doesn’t matter much.

ShaneKC
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July 8, 2024 3:24 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

Very true. I brought it up because I think it is an interesting and valid variation.

Clearly any question about Ellis, real or assumed, is not allowed.

So far you are the only person capable of this type of discussion. Appreciate your willingness to do so.

Last edited 4 days ago by ShaneKC
andy_sims
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July 8, 2024 7:11 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

And realistically, if Ellis’ not scoring at the rate Monk does feels like a problem, then the guy converting threes at 41% can mitigate your concerns simply by taking more shots.

Ellis is Doug Christie. He can get you twenty, but is content to work within the offense, which has a couple of All-NBA guys in it. I’d guess the defensive numbers with Monk starting at SG would look a great deal like they did when Huerter was starting.

Let Ellis continue to start with DeRozan at SF. If it stops working, you try something else, but if you look at the numbers, or just go by what you’ve seen, Ellis makes a difference, that no other guards have come close to generating.

andy_sims
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July 8, 2024 7:04 pm
Reply to  ShaneKC

Come on, Rob. Brown should really be basing more of his personnel decisions based on what fantasy GMs think.

RobHessing
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July 8, 2024 2:53 pm
Reply to  ShaneKC

You talk here as a commenter.

And if you want to give those comments weight, great. I’m going with the fact that Mike Brown started Ellis 11 times when Monk was an option, and that he never started Monk (even when Fox was out), and that Brown has stated in the past how important and unique Monk is when it comes what he brings off the bench, and that it cannot be replicated by anyone else on the roster. Meanwhile, the Kings were 9-2 in those 11 games. Brown loves defensive effort, and Ellis gives that in a big way. For all of those reasons, I lean Ellis over Monk as a starting option. And as I often note – as a commenter – I know nothing.

I don’t understand the rest of your comment. I apologize if I have offended you in any way.

Last edited 4 days ago by RobHessing
ShaneKC
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July 8, 2024 2:57 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

You are talking as a commenter on a public forum. Per your standards this should be discounted.

I will still respect you though.

If you are an NBA GM and you had to pick Ellis or Monk who do you pick?

The drama that follows any discussion of Ellis being less than a god of basketball is dramatic here.

Last edited 4 days ago by ShaneKC
RobHessing
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July 8, 2024 2:59 pm
Reply to  ShaneKC

It should absolutely be discounted. I know nothing.

And you don’t know me, so respecting me is not really on the table. Respecting my opinion is another matter, since it is on display here. Respect that or not at your discretion and pleasure.

Last edited 4 days ago by RobHessing
ShaneKC
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July 8, 2024 3:04 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Go on. Get it out. Feel free. This is your safe place.

RobHessing
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July 8, 2024 3:12 pm
Reply to  ShaneKC

Yeah, tapping out on this, as I’m sure that it is boring the ever living shit out of the folks that came here to talk Kings basketball and not measure internet genitalia.

Go Kings.

Hobby916
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July 8, 2024 3:14 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Go put some pants on!!!

ShaneKC
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July 8, 2024 3:14 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

You are measuring. It makes sense now.

I will not discount your measurements but don’t try to claim the centimeters are inches.

Last edited 4 days ago by ShaneKC
TheGrantNapear
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July 8, 2024 5:11 pm
Reply to  ShaneKC

ShaneKC saying things most around here are afraid to say. Big ups to you.

ShaneKC
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July 8, 2024 5:59 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

I enjoy the conversation. I see a lot of basketball and a lot of different teams. I guess my perspective is different. I am a basketball fan that would enjoy seeing this team go from entertainment to contender.

andy_sims
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July 8, 2024 7:13 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

Right, because not enough of us here are talking about genitalia.

I mean, I do what I can.

Maximus
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July 8, 2024 2:44 pm
Reply to  ShaneKC

I also think that if you look at the numbers Monk should clearly start before Ellis does.

I’d like to know what numbers you are referring to.

ShaneKC
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July 8, 2024 2:52 pm
Reply to  Maximus

All of them.

Now you will come back and have a very specific manipulation of stats to try to “prove me wrong”. Saying Ellis is average and that Monk is a better player is clearly dangerous here.

I understand. I am ok with my own opinions and not being cool.

Hobby916
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July 8, 2024 3:04 pm
Reply to  ShaneKC

Overall, Keon Ellis is an average NBA player. I haven’t seen anyone say he was an all-star level player. For the group of players on the current roster, Ellis fits in as very good player because he is unique. He plays defense at a prime position and shoots the 3 well. The rest of his game is just okay, but those two attributes I listed make him so important to the Kings.

RobHessing
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July 8, 2024 3:08 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

I’ll add that he is an insane value to contract, and you need a couple of those to offset the deals at the top of your payroll.

ShaneKC
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July 8, 2024 3:09 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Please continue.

ShaneKC
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July 8, 2024 3:08 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

Yes we agree.

Why is talking about Ellis such a sensitive subject here?

Hobby916
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July 8, 2024 3:13 pm
Reply to  ShaneKC

There was a commenter who kept jokingly saying that Keon was the G-League player that was going to the Hall of Fame, basically taking any praise for Ellis out of context.

Also, Keon was undrafted and made his way through the Stockton Kings to the big show, worked his ass off, and Sacramento fans seems to have a place in their hearts for a guy like that.

ShaneKC
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July 8, 2024 3:19 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

I know all about Ellis and his journey. A great use of the G League and he is an average player. More than most that come out of that process.

I am not knocking the guy. There are better players and one day the Kings may replace him with a better player. Reality.

Maybe he gets better?

Maybe to make a playoff run they need someone other than Ellis?

BuiltToSpill
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July 8, 2024 7:30 pm
Reply to  ShaneKC

That very well could be. Or it could be that they replace Ellis with a player who is conventionally known to be a better player but is a worse fit, leading to more losses. Those things are so hard to know.

FWIW, I agree with you that Ellis is average at the moment. But his fit seems to be really great with the Kings, for some of the reasons mentioned above – excellent net rating, lack of need to control the ball translating into great shot decisions, ability to switch on defense. His strengths are things the Kings have badly needed for a long time. At his contract, I would be hard-pressed to do anything other than increase his minutes.

Last edited 4 days ago by BuiltToSpill
andy_sims
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July 8, 2024 7:16 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

Funny how that person seems to have disappeared at the same time ShaneKC became painfully ubiquitous.

BuiltToSpill
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July 9, 2024 10:31 am
Reply to  andy_sims

That other person also claimed to be from KC and writes very similarly, needing to respond to absolutely every comment with the final word. Hmm…

Maximus
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July 8, 2024 3:09 pm
Reply to  ShaneKC

What’s “all of them?”

I mean Ellis is 41.7 3PT% and Monk is 35 3PT% so it is not all of them. And Ellis is a significantly better defender.

Well clearly it is not all of them.

ShaneKC
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July 8, 2024 3:13 pm
Reply to  Maximus

As expected.

Maximus
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July 8, 2024 3:18 pm
Reply to  ShaneKC

Lol. That’s why I asked what numbers you used so we can try to make sense of it.

Instead you gave me “all of them”.

Or you can just give me one stat and we can discuss about it.

ShaneKC
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July 8, 2024 3:22 pm
Reply to  Maximus

If you had to pick one player who would you take?

Ellis?

Monk?

Every player has a single stat that makes them better than other players.

The cool kids appreciate your participation. You belong.

Maximus
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July 8, 2024 3:30 pm
Reply to  ShaneKC

Nah man. I am a stat nerd. I am not cool.

I can see the argument why Monk should start but he does not have to. For the balance of the roster.

But he could close games depending on certain situations.

ShaneKC
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July 8, 2024 3:36 pm
Reply to  Maximus

They are both similar players if Ellis continues to develop as he has. Which is why I think the conversation about which could start is interesting.

An NBA sixth man is either Ellis style or Monk style.

Maximus
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July 8, 2024 4:42 pm
Reply to  ShaneKC

No they are different types of players. Ellis’ ceiling is about Kentavious-Cauldwell Pope.

If you understand why the Orlando Magic, who had been rumored to go after Monk in free agency, chose to pay KCP 22mil/year, then you know why Keon Ellis is valuable.

Maybe Keon Ellis will develop into KCP. Maybe not. We will see.

ShaneKC
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July 8, 2024 6:01 pm
Reply to  Maximus

That is an interesting connection. Haven’t thought of those two as being similar.

Hobby916
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July 8, 2024 2:50 pm
Reply to  ShaneKC

The Kings staggered ball handling/playmaking last season by having 2 of Fox/Monk/Sabonis on the court almost every game. I expect that to similar this season by adding DeRozan in to that group.

Ellis fits in well (as an average player) because he doesn’t demand the ball, nor does he need to get his shots to be effective. He provides spacing with his 42% Spot-up from 3 and his stellar defense. Every team needs a 3-and-D guy in the starting unit when there are other high usage players starting as well.

I suspect that the guard rotation will look something like Fox/Ellis, Monk/Ellis, Fox/Monk, etc. They did that same type of thing last season.

Ellis had a net rating of 5.5, while Monk was 0.1. Offensive Rating was nearly the same, but Ellis was much better defensively. End of the day, it is about scoring more than you give you up, and I think that is where Ellis comes in to play on this team, as currently constructed.

ShaneKC
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July 8, 2024 3:06 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

Are you saying Ellis will score more than Monk?

I don’t think either one should start but if one had to choose Monk is the clear choice for me.

Last edited 4 days ago by ShaneKC
Hobby916
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July 8, 2024 3:10 pm
Reply to  ShaneKC

No. Monk will always average more Points than Ellis. The TEAM performed better when Ellis was on the court.

ShaneKC
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July 8, 2024 3:30 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

If the team performed better when Ellis was on the court he should play more than Monk. I am all for it if that works out to be reality.

Hobby916
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July 8, 2024 7:11 pm
Reply to  ShaneKC

It’s all about the synergy that a 5 man unit has. Monk is needed for his play style, and Ellis for his.

DCKing
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July 8, 2024 4:37 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

Great point! Ellis has much better value for the contract and does what very few players do well– play great defense. Yes, Monk is the more coveted player, but he is inefficient and has a good amount of turnovers. I think Ellis makes pretty good decisions and should start, unless Monk really gets mad, as Ellis is likely ok finding his role in any way possible.

Maximus
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July 8, 2024 3:12 pm
Reply to  ShaneKC

No, Monk would score more.

But the opponent SG would score significantly less when Ellis is in instead of Monk.

ShaneKC
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July 8, 2024 3:32 pm
Reply to  Maximus

I mean Ellis is 41.7 3PT% and Monk is 35 3PT% so it is not all of them”

Flip a coin I guess?

Maximus
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July 8, 2024 4:36 pm
Reply to  ShaneKC

Um, maybe you don’t know how to analyze stats.

ShaneKC
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July 8, 2024 10:27 pm
Reply to  Maximus

Those were the stats you used to say that Ellis would score more. Now you say Monk would score morel.

Flip a coin.

BuiltToSpill
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July 9, 2024 8:03 am
Reply to  ShaneKC

Monk will take more shots, therefore he will probably score more.

ShaneKC
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July 9, 2024 8:17 am
Reply to  BuiltToSpill

Good defense. You helped a buddy out with math.

BuiltToSpill
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July 9, 2024 1:48 pm
Reply to  ShaneKC

Monk attempts almost twice as many shots per 36 minutes as Keon (16.1 vs 8.5) but Ellis’s FG% (.460 vs .433), 2P% (.559 vs .514), and 3P% (.422 vs .355) are all better. Monk has a much better FT% (.844 vs.714).

Additionally, Keon rebounds slightly better per 36 (4.5 vs 4.1) while Monk’s assists are better (4.7 vs 3.1). Ellis is also better with steals (1.9 vs 0.9), blocks (1.0 vs 0.5) and turnovers (1.3 vs 2.6) while fouling quite a bit more (4.2 vs 2.6).

We really need to take Keon’s numbers with a grain of salt, given how much less time he’s been in the league. That said, right now the pros for Keon look like this:

Pros:
FG%
2P%
3P%
Rebounds
Steals
Blocks
Turnovers

For Monk, the pros are:
FT%
Assists
Fouls

In short, Keon (after only 73 games, mind you) shoots a better percentage and his defensive stats are much better. Plus, he doesn’t demand the ball, so he plays within the flow of the offense.

Monk is a playmaker who hits his free throws and takes a lot of shots.

I don’t have any emotion over Keon whatsoever. Just looking at the numbers per 36, I can’t even imagine why Brown would entertain plugging Monk into the starting lineup. He’s the guy who gets the second lineup involved – something Keon just doesn’t do at the same level. As far as end of game, I’ll take the high usage player who hits his free throws.

DCKing
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July 8, 2024 4:32 pm
Reply to  ShaneKC

With no additional moves via trade or FA, then I think Ellis comes in for Fox or DD. Ellis needs to be the 1-3 options off the bench (minutes at each position would help him reach 25-30 a game) unless we get a big man to start.

andy_sims
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July 8, 2024 7:02 pm
Reply to  ShaneKC

Well, that’s Monk, obviously.

DCKing
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July 8, 2024 4:29 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

For sure or we get a second (not as good option) player, like Stewart or Zach Collins (I doubt SA would trade him now, but Monte should have tried). A guy who deflects passes and gets steals (Ellis) might help a bit more than a shot blocker, but we need both either way.

RikSmits
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July 8, 2024 10:53 am
Reply to  keith_kar

As Adamsite pointed out, you are exchanging a low usage guy (Barnes) for a high usage guy (DeMar), so I don’t see how you’re gonna find balance if you’ll add Monk to the mix.

Last edited 4 days ago by RikSmits
Jack
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July 8, 2024 1:00 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

IMO Monk needs to be that 6th man. Look what he did last year and the year before that. He brings a whole lot different game to the name” backup”. I would also IMO be there in the 4th. quarter.

BuiltToSpill
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July 8, 2024 7:41 pm
Reply to  Jack

Yeah, I like him for the energy and playmaking he brings off the bench. I know he would like to start but he’s very needed to run the 2nd team. Plus, he gets plenty of crunch time play.

ShaneKC
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July 8, 2024 1:20 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Not having a blatantly obvious starting five is a sign the Kings are moving towards the ranks of the better NBA teams.

9sac8
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July 8, 2024 2:28 pm
Reply to  keith_kar

That’s a tough one. I don’t know if Malik resigns if he’s not starting. Or maybe he’s accepted the Lou Williams role. I think DDR plays the 3, which moves Keegan to the 4. Now, if we somehow get a quality starting PF, then that creates a problem because SOMEBODY has to come off the bench. And it won’t be Fox, DDR, KM, or Domas.

I think a good backup PF/C works, but dammit MM needs to get on it.

Last edited 4 days ago by 9sac8
UpgradedToQuestionable
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July 8, 2024 3:30 pm
Reply to  9sac8

Just my opinion.

Putting money to the side – I don’t believe that any of the other possible landing spots for Malik Monk were offering a starting SG role for him.

And how has MM excelled? He was 2nd in Sixth Man of the Year Award voting because he is a darn good 6th man. Maybe let him play to his strength, and maybe he knows that.

9sac8
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July 8, 2024 4:21 pm

Opinion accepted my friend. Me personally, I’m open to all options that makes us a true contender. Last chip was 1956 I believe???

We are well overdue.

andy_sims
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July 8, 2024 10:51 am

Very thorough breakdown of the pros and, well, if not cons, then maybe not-pros?

If Sabonis’ improvement from three is real, and he can take & make more of them per game, that would certainly alleviate the problem of too many Kings needing to operate in the paint.

One of Mike Brown’s goals should be to try to limit Deebo’s minutes to something like 33 per game, if at all possible. The man is durable, but ideally, he’s not among the leaders in minutes per game. If a solid backup SF or PF can be found, Keegan should be able to slide down to SF when DeRozan is resting.

No summer league threads, but I was able to watch most of three games so far. Small sample size disclaimer in effect, but Keon’s defense is crazy good, and I like that he’s creating his own shot more often. I still start him at shooting guard with DeRozan at the three.

Adonis Arms, already a hall-of-famer going by name, sure looks like a guy who could be developed into an NBA player. Aggressive getting to the rim on offense and for boards, and a very encouraging ability to keep the ball moving and make good passes.

Antoine Davis can shoot the ass off the ball. It’s a shame that he’s only 6’1″ but if he joins Stockton and can rain down threes in the neighborhood of forty percent, he’ll be a hard man to keep down.

And Mason Jones? He came to play! He looks assertive without being greedy, and has been in everyone’s face on defense. Speaking to that, the players on both Sacramento squads appear to have been told that defense is highly valued, and they have taken that to heart. If my memory serves, the Kings 1 squad has given up just 109 points in two games, which is pretty impressive.

(After hearing about the travel schedule for China’s team, it’s possible that they were playing as the most jet-lagged squad in the history of the sport, but kudos to the Kings team for getting the kind of result you’d hope for against a team like that at 101-50.)

Boogie Ellis (small guard alert #655) is looking like a player worth investing in. Ordinarily, I’m opposed to having too many players with the same names (Joneses & Ellises galore), but there may be some exceptions.

Isaiah Crawford is looking like a smart signing, and Lual-Acuil looks to be a hyper-athletic rim-runner and rebounder. If the latter can be taught to shoot with more consistency, he could be stashable, possibly.

Always hard to say if there are any NBA rotation guys in the mix, but if nothing else, I like the two groups, and the way they’ve played the game so far.

jlandweh
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July 8, 2024 11:05 am
Reply to  andy_sims

All great points – still early but always great to watch some ball.

I agree that Boogie Ellis looks very intriguing in that Jordan Ford-esque development role. 3rd PG 2-Way kind of kid. He’s looked comfortable in his drives, defense, and shot. His leadership also kind of jumps off the screen. Could’ve been another developmental steal.

I’d add to your list that Isaac Jones has looked interesting as a stretch 4 with some length and energy. Another 2-way guy to stash and develop. He’s not ready yet, but seems to fit. Maybe a future roster spot replacement after the Lyles contract.

Both are definitely fun teams to root for and maybe some Neil Diamonds in the Rough.

andy_sims
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July 8, 2024 12:13 pm
Reply to  jlandweh

You know, it’s interesting about Jordan Ford…

This is in no way meant to imply a hard comparison, or even that Ford is at the same athletic level, but Ford clearly spent a lot of time watching Steph Curry play ball.

His moves to make space for his shot, and ability to improvise at the rim just echo things that Curry does. Ford is a fun watch, whether or not he ever gets to the NBA.

ShaneKC
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July 8, 2024 1:23 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Curry changed the game. The majority of young players and coaches at the lower levels have been copying his game and the Warriors style of play for obvious reasons.

Jman1949
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July 8, 2024 11:42 am
Reply to  andy_sims

The bits and pieces of games that I watched has me jonesing for more—especially more of Mason Jones. Mason’s new physique seems to have unleashed a lot more energy on the court, putting him ahead of Colby in the Jones sweepstakes.

andy_sims
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July 8, 2024 12:05 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

P.S. I found a summer league thread.

jwalker1395
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July 8, 2024 12:05 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

The only guy in Summer League that popped as an obvious NBA player was Keon. Which is a good thing, since he’s probably our starting SG. He actually showed some 3-level scoring which was quite surprising and intriguing. He really might be a lot better than I expected him to be this season, and I already felt I was expecting a lot for a guy who only has 20 games of good basketball under his belt.

Everyone else had some flashes but ehhh. Flashes are better than nothing, but I’m not going to bet any of these guys ever move beyond the G-League at this moment in time. You did a good job of touching on everyone’s relative strengths.

Colby Jones has been a disappointment thus far. As a guy I was high on last draft, and who has had a year of seasoning so far, he didn’t dominate lesser talent like I’d hoped. I believe part of this is that he’s an extremely unselfish, do-the-little-things, connective player and the Summer League is a lot of guys trying to get theirs to impress scouts. It’s not conducive to his playstyle. Still, he defends well, can grab and go, and constantly makes good choices. There’s an outline of a versatile player there, but he needs to fill it in with more substance – particularly being able to score enough and shoot the 3 well enough that teams need to respect him on that end. His passing isn’t as useful if teams can always anticipate that’s what he will do, and his driving isn’t useful if he isn’t enough of a shooting threat to open lanes, and doesn’t have a tight enough handle to execute, anyway. Ballhandling and shooting are certainly teachable skills to an extent, so I’m not giving up on him if those are his swing traits. But if he were going to develop them, I would’ve thought he’d be further along after a year in the NBA.

andy_sims
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July 8, 2024 12:09 pm
Reply to  jwalker1395

I do apologize if I suggested that any of the players other than Keon was an obvious NBA player. I meant to convey that there were some who could eventually play in the NBA, not that any of them were already at that level.

jwalker1395
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July 8, 2024 12:18 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

I understood what you were saying. I also forgot to mention that Mason Jones actually does look like he might be an NBA player.

Last edited 4 days ago by Jacob Walker
SlamsonsRollerskates
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July 8, 2024 12:24 pm
Reply to  jwalker1395

I was at the game last night. I think you’re right in saying his play style isn’t conducive to what Summer League is. They’re playing a formalized version of pick-up basketball right now so it’s nice to see dominance but really you just don’t want to see a guy getting embarrassed. I wish he would have been in attack mode more, but at the end of the day these games are valuable reps and this is an important part of his development process. I don’t remember Keon dominating last year during Summer League and as it turns out he might be a starting guard for us.

NorCalKingsFan
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July 9, 2024 10:59 am
Reply to  jwalker1395

I think one of the most impressive things that Keon has done while playing in the SL so far is how often he is putting people in the right position.

He is constantly telling other players where to be on offense in order to get the play going; sometimes he isn’t even in the play while directing it. He took on the yoke of leadership and he’s helping his SL teammates show what they can do.

Kosta
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July 8, 2024 3:41 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Adonis Arms is absolutely one of the best names in human history, not just in athletics.

jlandweh
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July 8, 2024 11:11 am

Great fit offensively…suspect fit defensively. Hopefully there are more moves to come because this team is likely still a 5-6 seed in the West. They definitely improved their talent level and huge upgrade over Barnes. It was a win of a night for sure.

I think we’re all seeing the same positional needs – possible starting PF, Backup Rim Protecting C, and Defensive Minded Bench Wing.

With Carter out, does that limit trading Huerter? I am not sure we can get Collins coming back with just Huerter salary-wise.

Obviously we all have talked about Markannen, Collins, Bey or Kuzma…but here are some interesting names that haven’t discussed. What do you think? Would any of these fit?

Huerter for Robert Williams and Matisse Thybulle
Signing Precious Achiuwa, Isaac Okoro, Covington, T.J. Warren

What other names would you be interested in other than the most talked about to fill out the roster with our exemptions?

RobHessing
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July 8, 2024 11:41 am
Reply to  jlandweh

I will note one thing as it pertains to the defense. DeRozan for Barnes does not hurt the defense, and the defense was more than cromulent after Ellis entered the starting lineup – I think that defensive stats over that haul were very encouraging (beware the small sample size, however). DeRozan does not solve the “New Orleans Conundrum,” however, so to your point, there is still work to be done.

If the Kings do nothing else but have improved by even 2 points per game, they will have moved from 16th in point differential to 7th. That’s 50 win territory, and yes, that probably translates into a 5-6 seed in the brutal West. But that avoids the play-in, and then it comes down to playoff matchups. Also, it buys you time to the trade deadline to see how this group works and to (hopefully) adjust accordingly at that time.

I’d love to see Huerter go for Stewart or Collins or some such, but failing at that, Huerter does have some value to this roster as bench guard / small forward (matchup specific).

Also, barring an injury exception for Carter (meaning that he misses the year), I will be very surprised if the Kings add contract beyond the vet minimum at this point, given their proximity to the 1st apron.

andy_sims
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July 8, 2024 12:19 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

I can’t help but smile about the concern that Sacramento doesn’t have enough guards on the roster if Huerter leaves, particularly after reading so much to the contrary last week.

We’ve lost two in trades, although, in reality, only one, considering DeRozan is more than capable at the position. I’m hopeful that DDR will spend the majority of his time at SF, but depth on the perimeter doesn’t feel like a particularly urgent concern.

As ever, you add talent wherever you can find it.

RobHessing
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July 8, 2024 12:49 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

To your point:

Fox / Monk / Ellis / McLaughln. These are the guys that can handle PG, especially when you take into consideration that Sabonis and DeRozan are on the floor (the number of times that Sabonis rebounds, brings the ball up and initiates is both insane and under-appreciated).

Ellis / Monk / DeRozan / Murray / Jones. This would be your complement of rostered players that could serve at the 2 sans Huerter. This does not include Devin Carter.

To your point, the guard position is no more than the 3rd largest depth concern on the roster, depending on how you feel about Alex Len. Talent at the 4 and depth at the 3 seem to be more pressing concerns to me, and another big body wouldn’t hurt, either.

jwalker1395
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July 8, 2024 12:57 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

I would like another vet minimum C on the roster before training camp, which I feel confident will get done. Right now we can’t afford Sabonis nor Len to miss a minute of time, and that just doesn’t seem feasible.

Hobby916
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July 8, 2024 1:01 pm
Reply to  jwalker1395

Huerter for Isaiah Stewart would solve the PF/C issue. Thinking about Huerter more, it seems like he will be the odd man out.

jwalker1395
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July 8, 2024 1:08 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

I disagree. To me, Huerter will become expendable if Devin Carter proves that he’s an NBA wing when he returns from injury. Otherwise, I see Huerter getting about 15-20 mpg at the 2/3 spot. Him and Lyles look like the 7th and 8th men in the rotation because of their positional versatility and shooting. I think he’ll actually play an extremely valuable role this season.

Hobby916
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July 8, 2024 2:21 pm
Reply to  jwalker1395

He might be valuable, he might also be the guy that needs to go. The options for a good PF/C on the market are thin at best. Going in to the season with Lyles as the only PF is scary to me. It is going to be up to the staff to decide if they want to play small with Huerter, or bigger with a PF.

jwalker1395
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July 8, 2024 2:27 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

We certainly still need a long, athletic forward. And Huerter+Lyles are the only contracts that will bring back a guy like that. Still, I believe the two of them are excellent depth pieces for this roster, and so I’d be hesitant to ship out both unless the upgrade at the forward position was extremely obvious, particularly on the defensive end (John Collins, Jonathan Isaac, DFS). DeMar makes me much less interested in a guy like Kuzma, since Kuzma’s main appeal was his secondary scoring and tertiary playmaking, which is what DeMar is here for.

Hobby916
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July 8, 2024 2:34 pm
Reply to  jwalker1395

What works, but is probably unlikey to happen, is Huerter + Lyles for Beef Stew + Fontecchio. It even saves the Kings roughly $2m on the cap, opening up more options for Paul Reed, etc.

I doubt that happens, but I also doubted that DeRozan would be a King at the start of free agency.

Last edited 4 days ago by Josh Hobson
jwalker1395
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July 8, 2024 2:54 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

Whatever the deal is, I’ll feel more comfortable making one if Carter or Colby prove by the trade deadline that they’ll be able to replace Huerter’s production in the rotation. Otherwise, we get our upgrade over Lyles and leave a gaping hole behind Ellis/DeRozan at the 2/3. For now, I just wanna get a look at what this team is like right now before we take another swing.

DCKing
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July 8, 2024 4:12 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

The big if is Lyles is in a position of need. I might want to throw in Colby Jones there for Stewart and Font. This is how we stay out of the tax range and get better.

DCKing
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July 8, 2024 4:10 pm
Reply to  jwalker1395

At $16 million with average defense in a position that we don’t need, a lot of GMS would move him for a better defender at the position of need– 4/5. He costs a lot for his production of 10-15 minutes and psychologically will likely not be able to handle a bench role. He has to go if you want to crack the top 5 in the West, as he’s our only trade chip. Please move him fast before John and Zach Collins, Stewart, and Achiuwa are not possibilities.

Jack
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July 8, 2024 1:17 pm
Reply to  jwalker1395

If not Reed then Precious.

jwalker1395
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July 8, 2024 1:31 pm
Reply to  Jack

I’ve liked Reed for a while now. He’d be a great depth 4/5.

DCKing
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July 8, 2024 4:13 pm
Reply to  Jack

Reed for a good deal, but we may need to give up Colby Jones and a second for Precious (he might be restricted FA).

ShaneKC
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July 8, 2024 1:26 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

I think the need for a true four has been obvious for at least two years now.

jwalker1395
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July 8, 2024 12:26 pm