Articles | Game Recap

Kings 110, Grizzlies 124: The Kangz are back

Just an embarrassing showing by the Kings.

The Sacramento Kings embarrassed themselves Sunday night. Perhaps they were focused on getting home to their Valentine's Day plans, or perhaps the Memphis Grizzlies are simply that much better. Whatever the reason, the Grizzlies walked all over the Kings en route to a 124-110 victory.

The Kings were led by De'Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton, two of the only Kings who bothered to show up. Fox didn't even have a great game, shooting just 1-8 from 3, but still finished with 23 points and 9 assists. He's at that level where even his not-so-good games are pretty good. Haliburton finished with 22 points and did everything he could to keep the Kings in the game during a disastrous third quarter.

Richaun Holmes (13 points) and Cory Joseph (16 points) were the only other Kings to score in double figures. Harrison Barnes and Buddy Hield were both no-shows.

The Grizzlies had seven players score in double figures, led by 25 points from Jonas Valanciunas.

The Kings don't have much time to dwell on this loss as they play the Brooklyn Nets tomorrow. Oh boy, that should be swell.

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Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
February 14, 2021 9:46 pm

Tank you very much!comment image

SelecaoKOJ
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February 14, 2021 9:50 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

LOL!

Kings_Life_Sentence_86
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February 14, 2021 9:46 pm

Kangz are back in town!

Klam
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February 14, 2021 9:48 pm

Happy Valentine’s Day Kangz fans.
comment image?itemid=4939487

Kosta
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February 14, 2021 10:47 pm
Reply to  Klam

“I TANK TANK TANK YOU”comment image

kingsforaday
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February 14, 2021 9:50 pm

For anyone that needs to bookmark this again:

http://www.tankathon.com

Also, I cant quite figure out Buddy Hield’s continued nose dive this season. He’s been worse in almost all measurable categories this season aside from some improved passing. Maybe Covid’s got him in the dumps.

Kings_Life_Sentence_86
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February 14, 2021 9:52 pm
Reply to  kingsforaday

I was watching a replay of game highlights from 2 years ago (don’t ask why), and Buddy was clearly quicker and more agile back then. I didn’t realize it until comparing him to 2019.

TheGrantNapear
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February 14, 2021 9:57 pm

He looks chubby, like he’s carrying a good ten pounds more than he should be.

Convoy
February 14, 2021 9:59 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

He’s also gotten 3 years older in the last 2 years

Kangz_Landing
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February 14, 2021 10:02 pm
Reply to  Convoy

We don’t know that for sure. He’s probably 38.

Klam
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February 15, 2021 12:22 am
Reply to  Kangz_Landing

Ha!

Last edited 1 year ago by Klam
rockbottom
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February 15, 2021 6:35 am

He has gotten heavier and slower ! Seems even his open shots are less open ! The good news is his handle is the same shitshow just slower !

BestHyperboleEver
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February 15, 2021 11:30 am
Reply to  rockbottom

He has gotten heavier and slower !

Me too, Buddy. Me too.

RichRite88
February 14, 2021 9:50 pm

It’s like Buddy, Bjelica, Cojo, Whiteside, GR3, and Bagley make many plays that dont contribute to winning. Missing shots are one thing. But the same stupid mistakes every game because of low bbiq is killing this team. For every nice play it’s surrounded by bone headed decisions. It’s so frustrating, I hope McNair brings in higher bbiq players during this rebuild. Hali is great start!

GFunkClassic
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February 14, 2021 9:53 pm
Reply to  RichRite88

Bagleys lack of BBIQ main reason we lost this game

CastlePeak
February 14, 2021 11:03 pm
Reply to  GFunkClassic

Bagley did not play tonight.

BestHyperboleEver
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February 14, 2021 11:31 pm
Reply to  CastlePeak

I’m pretty sure that was the €œjoke.€

rockbottom
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February 15, 2021 6:37 am
Reply to  GFunkClassic

Bags biggest issue is he is as soft as mush !

oshima9
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February 14, 2021 10:10 pm
Reply to  RichRite88

This is pretty much it, and it really shows up on the defensive end.

krswin
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February 15, 2021 10:30 am
Reply to  RichRite88

Too funny. this comment turned into a bag on bagley comment from a game he didnt even play in. LOL.

PlayoffModeT
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February 14, 2021 9:51 pm

HB on his off days, Buddy this season, and Holmes guarding these bigger guys is tough to watch.

keith_kar
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February 15, 2021 8:25 am
Reply to  PlayoffModeT

Barnes is presently into one of his extended, multi-game disappearing acts.

eddie41
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February 14, 2021 9:53 pm

Maybe Luke Walton should change his diet. I mean, he could be allergic to gluten, and that wouldn’t be very good.

Klam
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February 14, 2021 9:54 pm

OT: Hoping this isn’t serious for Giles.

Kosta
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February 15, 2021 12:44 am
Reply to  Klam

I hate this world.

RikSmits
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February 15, 2021 2:32 am
Reply to  Kosta

Haters gonna … keep living in this world. Whacha gonna do?

Kosta
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February 15, 2021 9:50 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Guess I’ll just go play miniature golf. 😛
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RikSmits
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February 15, 2021 10:11 am
Reply to  Kosta
Last edited 1 year ago by RikSmits
Kangz_Landing
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February 15, 2021 10:27 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Idk what’s happening here but color me intrigued

TheGrantNapear
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February 14, 2021 9:55 pm

the tank is back on track 👍

Adamsite
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February 14, 2021 9:57 pm

That Memphis team is everything the Kings should be striving for. They are young, well coached, have a clean cap sheet and have nowhere to go but up. When Jackson Jr. and Winslow return to that rotation… look out.

Speaking of coaching, check out Memphis’ head coach’s history. Taylor Jenkins has little basketball history. I’m not sure he even played competitively. The dude has a business degree from a private university. He then started as an intern just 13 years ago for the Spurs at the age of 23. He moved his way up the ranks of the G-League before becoming an assistant under Budenholzer 7 years ago. He is now 36 and is in his 2nd year as the head coach of an NBA team. INCREDIBLE.

Klam
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February 14, 2021 9:59 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I think ever since the Kings missed the playoffs in 2007, every team that has been bad has had some kind of upswing while we continue to be stuck in the mud.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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February 14, 2021 10:07 pm
Reply to  Klam

Dude, the Lakers won a title with Kobe, Odom, Fisher, Gasol, and Walton in 2010. They then tanked and got a bunch of high picks, then moved those picks for AD and signed Lebron. They’ve now won another title.

That has all happened since the Kings last made the playoffs.

If a team can win it all, then stink it up for a number of years, then rebuild for another title before your team can even sniff the playoffs, you may have a problem.

Klam
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February 14, 2021 10:12 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Ha! We technically have an “NBA Champion” head coach!

ForKingsandCountry
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February 15, 2021 8:50 am
Reply to  Adamsite

If you really go through the whole league, almost every single team has been good, tanked and been good again over the Kings stretch of not making the playoffs. Literally almost every single team in the NBA. One of the only ones who hadn’t was the Suns but they are definitely going to make it this year barring a second half collapse.

Klam
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February 15, 2021 10:49 am

Heck, the Cleveland Browns made the postseason before the Kings!

Kangz_Landing
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February 14, 2021 10:00 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Need a new head coach? Look no further than Kenny Atkinson.

Built the foundation for a superteam and made D-Russell an All-Star.

Kosta
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February 14, 2021 10:50 pm
Reply to  Kangz_Landing

Hell, I’d settle for Stan Atkinson.

PlayoffModeT
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February 14, 2021 10:03 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

His resume sounds similar to Nick Nurse’s too. I hope our coach comes in the offseason.

GFunkClassic
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February 14, 2021 10:31 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

He was the captain of his varsity basketball team. I honestly don’t think it’s possible to make it to that level or even the college level without at least making the varsity team in High School.

Inthestarz
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February 14, 2021 9:57 pm

Haliburton’s no show against Orlando started the negative momentum

Kangz_Landing
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February 14, 2021 9:58 pm

How about those two Valanciunas plays at the end?

Am I supposed to be mad that no one threw hands? Or was it whatever it’s just the garbage time stuff?

And letting JV crap on you, then Tillman yammed on you, and don’t forget Vucevic yammed on you too at the end of the last game. The lack of heart and fight is obvious.

Luke is a flop. Emotionless team for an emotionless coach. Don’t let me fall for that fool’s gold again please Kings community. This defense and this personnel will not win. Help keep me in the lottery mindset. Thanks y’all.

Last edited 1 year ago by Kangz_Landing
Amonk81
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February 14, 2021 11:07 pm
Reply to  Kangz_Landing

Unfortunately, until Vivek backs the fuck off or leaves the Kings will be a foundation of shit. The Organization is horribly run. For Christ’s sake, Walton is still the fucking coach. Rumors of medaling with new GM. On and on.

This is what depresses me. There is no where to go until that piece o shit owner figures it out…if….

€”-And my love of Haliburton almost makes me forget and believe.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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February 14, 2021 10:01 pm

Not so fun fact:

Grizz have Dillon Brooks under contract for the next 2 season at an average of $12M per year. He’s just 25.

The Kings have Buddy Hield under contract for the next 3 years for an average of $20M per year. He’s already 28.

Kangz_Landing
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February 14, 2021 10:07 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Imagine Buddy off the bench. That contract would hurt a tad bit less, as crazy as it seems.

BabalooMagoo
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February 15, 2021 7:20 am
Reply to  Kangz_Landing

Fox, Haliburton, Barnes, Bjelica & Holmes start. Hield, Whiteside, Bagley et al off the bench.

PlayoffModeT
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February 14, 2021 10:08 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I liked how hard Dillon played even though he was annoying me. Corey Joseph making just as much as him is ugly.

Barnes is still inconsistent even in his best season and Buddy is really bad right now. We just need talent. Imagine giving Holmes 15-18M and he is still the same.. We will be stuck forever in the lottery.

oshima9
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February 14, 2021 10:21 pm
Reply to  PlayoffModeT

I suggested that the Kings get Brooks in return in response to a comment about an imaginary trade, and I was laughed at.

BestHyperboleEver
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February 14, 2021 11:36 pm
Reply to  oshima9

Well, yeah. Brooks is terrible. He’s got a 47TS%, plays terrible defense, and is barely above water on ast:to. And he wouldn’t get the advantage of playing against the Kings.

SPTSJUNKIE
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February 15, 2021 1:00 am
Reply to  Adamsite

And the Griz are paying Kyle Anderson $9-10M per season the next two years to be younger and as impactful as Harrison Barnes who is making $19M per season the next two years.

Again, not a knock on Barnes who is a good basketball player and person. But just overpaid compared to comparable players. Not really the end of the world if you have cap space or are a contender trying to get over the top, but just an inefficient use of cap space.

BestHyperboleEver
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February 15, 2021 8:47 am
Reply to  SPTSJUNKIE

Jackson, Morant, Bane, Tillman is also one heck of a 3-year draft haul IMO. I really think targeting productive high BBIQ upperclassmen later in the 1st and 2nd is a smart approach.

Kingsguru21
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February 15, 2021 8:56 am

I’m hoping Woodard or Ramsey ends up on a list of ours at some point.

BestHyperboleEver
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February 15, 2021 9:14 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Aren’t we all.

Kingsguru21
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February 15, 2021 9:43 am

Well, you are if you’re a Kings fan BHE. LOL

BestHyperboleEver
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February 15, 2021 12:54 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

comment image

JoeNoSay
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February 15, 2021 9:59 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I hope that isn’t the “I wish we had re-signed them instead of…” list

Kingsguru21
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February 15, 2021 5:48 pm
Reply to  JoeNoSay

I try to not think about that sort of stuff honestly.

SPTSJUNKIE
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February 15, 2021 10:28 am

Agreed – you know I love my high IQ, high skill players :).

Obviously way too early to judge this year’s draft, but given Tillman’s pedigree and performance so far, there is certainly some pressure on our 2nd round picks to work out.

Kingsguru21
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February 15, 2021 8:53 am
Reply to  SPTSJUNKIE

Here’s my problem. How are the Kings going to improve on their dollar to contract value? It’s not just as simple as replacing Barnes, it’s also replacing that production which isn’t going to be as simple as it seems.

I know it seems like I’m defending the decision (which I’m not really), but I do think Barnes has more value than just his production on the court (for better or worse). Opening up cap space is easy, but having value you can at least depend on has some value even if tangibly speaking isn’t going to show up on something like a dollar to value contract list.

FWIW, I think McNair will probably look at the kind of players we are talking about Memphis has now. It just will take a few years to remove SOME of the sins of Vlade Divac and his attitudes towards team building.

SPTSJUNKIE
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February 15, 2021 10:38 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Fair enough. I don’t think we have to trade Barnes for scrap. I just think that we are paying a pretty high amount for a role player. And while he is arguably earning his contract so far this year, I am not sure if that continues and think could probably replace his role and 90% of his production much cheaper.

I think most savvy teams build cheap and flexible (adding some bad contracts in exchange for assets) and preserve flexibility. Then sometimes take on some less efficient contracts when they are on the cusp and ready to go “all in.”

I mean, all summary stats are flawed for the NBA, so by no means would I argue they prove anything definitive. But pick any of them and Barnes is a pretty middling SF/PF. RPM for example currently puts him as the #21 SF. That’s not bad. That’s a starter. But it doesn’t really justify $22M either.

We could probably get 80% of his value for a fraction of the cost. So if we can trade him for multiple assets to a contender who is willing to sacrifice some asset efficiency to content, that’s a big win. If Boston is really willing to make a good offer (always a big if with Ainge), we can get assets and if they use their trade exemption, we can shed the contract and get cap space as well.

Kingsguru21
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February 15, 2021 5:51 pm
Reply to  SPTSJUNKIE

We could probably get 80% of his value for a fraction of the cost.

I don’t expect you to show your work because that would be unreasonable, but this is the entire premise that frankly, any way I wish to slice it, seems untenable.

I think the only thing that fixes the sins of this clusterfuck Vlade built is time. And I don’t think the only value Barnes has is on the court. And it’s not like the Kings are anywhere near the luxury tax. The only thing dumping Barnes does, IMO, is save ownership money.

ForKingsandCountry
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February 15, 2021 8:53 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Buddy is overpaid and not very good but Dillon Brooks is terrible. He’s one of the worst rotation players in the NBA.

oshima9
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February 14, 2021 10:20 pm

It looks like a complete rebuild is in order. I like Barnes, but there’s no point to having him here on his salary. Hield looks like he is never going to play with any kind of consistency.

Just compare the Kings to other teams. Who are the Kings top 3 players? And how well do they compare to the top 3 players on other teams? It is a pretty sobering thing to do.

MidtownMike
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February 14, 2021 11:18 pm
Reply to  oshima9

We need to go all in on John Collins. ATL doesn’t want to pay him max so we can give them decent return instead of him pulling a bogi on them.

Bagley and lotto protected first could get it done

MidtownMike
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February 15, 2021 12:52 am
Reply to  MidtownMike

Going into next year with a core of fox, hali and Collins gives hope.

Add to it anything we could get for barnes, buddy etc at least we would have a competent shot at “big 3” to build around

Kangz_Landing
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February 14, 2021 10:27 pm

Btw, watch us beat Brooklyn 142-140.

“Something to build on” – Doug, Kayte, Kyle, Mark, Luke

Dirkula
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February 14, 2021 10:33 pm

Tonight was a stark reminder that no matter how many games this team wins, it’s a fluke. They flat out stink and a push for the playoffs is a pipe dream. Trade the vets, get what you can, and hit the reset button

SPTSJUNKIE
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February 15, 2021 1:09 am
Reply to  Dirkula

Not necessarily a different conclusion, but I would just argue that this is the fate of mid-level teams. An average team in aggregate will look average.

But that means for any short period of time (i.e., 10-20 games) they can look amazing. The team is fully health, shots are falling, etc. And they can go 8-2. And fans get hypes and we overrate our roster and role players.

But at some point the team normalizes and injuries hit and shots stop going in and the team goes 2-8. And the fans get depressed and we underrate our roster and role players.

This is all normal. And this is what we are and it’s fine. We are an average team. We look great for a few games and awful for a few games. We have some promising young players, but are better off trading players like Barnes for assets and building around our core than pushing any material amount of chips into the pot to try to bluff and win an average hand.

RikSmits
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February 15, 2021 2:39 am
Reply to  SPTSJUNKIE

No. We are not an average team. We are a bad team and have been a bad team for an unprecedented amount of time.

Some people will forego the tank and aim for just being average for one season so we can break the play-off drought, even at the expense of getting significantly better long-term. And likely the owner agrees with pursuing these short-term goals.

Can I blame him for that? Yes.

Is he’s supported in that by the GM and his special advisor on all kinds of stuff including Bball. I don’t know.

SPTSJUNKIE
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February 15, 2021 9:41 am
Reply to  RikSmits

No. We are not an average team. We are a bad team and have been a bad team for an unprecedented amount of time.

I nearly typed slightly below average or mediocre. But we’ve been the 11th and 13th worst teams the last two seasons despite playing in the harder conference. If we were in the East, we would arguably have been a playoff team the last two seasons. I’d say that puts us pretty close to average, but won’t quibble if someone wants to argue below average.

Larger point is that really bad teams (think our 17 win season) lose pretty consistently with a good occasional game.

Mediocre or teams anywhere around average will have streaks that make fans think they have turned a corner. Almost any 35-45 win team has a stretch in their season where they go 10-5 and look fantastic. Problem is, they predictably go through a similar stretch where they go 5-10 or worse.

Any Kings fan should recognize this patter. How many times have we heard people even trying to say Vlade deserves to keep his job because we started hot 2 years ago or had the one stretch in February before the shutdown where we played well. But that’s not turning a corner, that is just the expectation for a mediocre team.

Dirkula
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February 15, 2021 6:53 am
Reply to  SPTSJUNKIE

€œBut at some point the team normalizes and injuries hit€

Thats my issue, Klam.
I’m tired of normal KANGZ year after year, but I do appreciate your take, and the subtle jab at injuries hit Marvin.
I hope Monte hits the phones sooner than later

KingsSince85
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February 15, 2021 11:28 am
Reply to  SPTSJUNKIE

Excellent post. I agree that we’re an average team… But an average team with a less than average coach, which probably makes us a less than average team.

reydarly
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February 14, 2021 10:34 pm

The only good news is our franchise backcourt of Fox/Haliburton showed up. I’m over the up and down hope. Let’s make some trades and better our chances for Cade/Mobley/Kuminga. Our fanbase is owed at least one good fleece job on the trade market for our suffering right?

Kangz_Landing
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February 14, 2021 11:15 pm
Reply to  reydarly

We won the #2 pick for our suffering and screwed it up. The NBA ain’t giving us another one.

reydarly
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February 14, 2021 11:23 pm
Reply to  Kangz_Landing

We actually won the #3 (it got swapped with philly) and #2 pick in consecutive years. We have had so much bad ownership and poorly ran front offices. Its sickening. Whenever we have a good coach like Malone or Joerger, this team showed so much promise. And when that promise started showing, the front office started meddling more, leading to good coaches walking.

Marty
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February 14, 2021 11:28 pm
Reply to  reydarly

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Amonk81
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February 14, 2021 11:32 pm
Reply to  reydarly

Agree 100. As I stated earlier, we are screwed w Vivek running the show.

it is sickening, gross/egotistical behavior from ownership. It’s not hard to have a good team if you give a shit about winning.

SPTSJUNKIE
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February 15, 2021 1:18 am
Reply to  Kangz_Landing

Good news. We don’t need that.

Top teams in the NBA:

Jazz
Lakers
Clippers
76ers
Suns
Bucks
Nets
Blazers
Pacers
Spurs

Total organic top 3 pick taken in the last decade between all of those teams?

6

And among championship teams from the last decade?

4 (Ball, Ingram, and Russell for the Lakers, Duncan for the Spurs)

Most winning teams have built organically. Made smart decision and / or then robbed other bad teams of their stars. Sure, some like the Lakers have the advantage of LA and are not replicable for us. But the Raptors, Warriors, and Mavs are right up our alley.

Last edited 1 year ago by SPTSJUNKIE
RikSmits
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February 15, 2021 2:46 am
Reply to  SPTSJUNKIE

As much as I like to believe in smart decisions with low picks and trades as a good strategy to build a team (and I do, to am extent), it also requires a significant amount of luck.

Were the Bucks smart in picking Gianis? Sure. But how lucky were they that no other organization infromt of them picked him?

The higher you pick, the more choice you have and the more you control your own destiny.

Kangz_Landing
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February 15, 2021 9:02 am
Reply to  RikSmits

The Bucks also took Thon Maker #10 and I’ve been to a Bucks thread after the Bogi trade and they are pissed off about their missed draft picks when building around Giannis.

It was undoubtedly luck that they took Giannis, he was an athletic freak from overseas, that is about as big a gamble as there is.

Anyway our team will be in mid lottery hell for the foreseeable future with our roster construction so I’ll say that the Kings need a proven coach who brings a proven developmental staff. Because we are the unluckiest team in the league, we are not hitting on a superstar mid lottery.

BestHyperboleEver
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February 15, 2021 9:05 am
Reply to  Kangz_Landing

I’m not sure you can call a team that just into the top 3 in two of the past 4 drafts (including one that put us in line for a generational star) unlucky. The Kings haven’t been unlucky. We’ve been incompetent. There’s a BIG difference.

ForKingsandCountry
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February 15, 2021 9:07 am

Yeah a couple weeks ago I made the case we’ve been one of the luckiest teams in the league over the last 5 years. Bad management will always trump luck.

Kangz_Landing
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February 15, 2021 9:46 am

Even though we’ve got top 3 picks, luck is still a factor in selecting rookies.

Anyone can say how did Vlade miss on the youngest Euro MVP in history in hindsight, but the Suns and the Hawks also passed on him, because Luka has been the only overseas superstar drafted in the top 10 since I can remember. He’s a once in a generation Euro star. When the odds are that low and history proves failure, that’s a lucky pick.

Coming off a 39 win season? Marvin getting hurt with a fluke thumb injury? Then the foot? Bad luck. Fox getting hurt too.

Drafting a rim running defensive center who didn’t want to settle into his role and earn 7 figures a year? Willie is the only center I can remember who hasn’t accepted a rim running role. That’s gotta be bad luck.

Further back, we picked McLemore and T-Rob, two of the “safest picks” and consensus top 7 mocked picks by all analysts in those drafts. The fact that no other team could develop them either supports that whether we were competent or not we were unlucky on two busts. Other teams were gonna draft them too guaranteed.

Projected #1 lottery pick in 08? Fell to #4.

6 other teams passed on Steph too, who knew he would be a small school generational talent and change the league. That’s unlucky.

How did we get the most meddling owner in the league? If you can’t explain it away, then I just say we’re unlucky.

No doubt we’ve had bad management, but we’ve been unlucky too.

BestHyperboleEver
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February 15, 2021 1:20 pm
Reply to  Kangz_Landing

He’s a once in a generation Euro star. When the odds are that low and history proves failure, that’s a lucky pick.

The Suns took the other reasonable top guy in what was seen as a two player draft. The Hawks decided they were willing to take Young and a pick instead of Doncic. Those two teams made reasonable decisions that, to a lesser degree than Doncic obviously, have worked out for them. And the history of Euro players has nothing to do with Doncic. There has never been a Euro with his combination of age, success, pedigree and visibility. He was no more, and arguably less, of a risk than drafting a US college player. Considering the level of competition he had succeeded against, one could argue he was less of a risk than LeBron, though obviously LeBron had the athletic freak advantage. There’s no reason to discredit other teams’ good decisions as luck. And, of course, other teams bad enough to be picking that high not making the optimal choice doesn’t excuse the Kings not making the obvious choice.

Coming off a 39 win season? Marvin getting hurt with a fluke thumb injury? Then the foot? Bad luck. Fox getting hurt too.

That’s just the normal injury issues most teams deal with during a season. As has been pointed out many, many times the Kings didn’t deal with meaningfully more or more significant injuries than other teams. Again, not bad luck.

Drafting a rim running defensive center who didn’t want to settle into his role and earn 7 figures a year? Willie is the only center I can remember who hasn’t accepted a rim running role. That’s gotta be bad luck.

They chose him. His personality was part of his scouting report. They made a mistake. Again, that’s not bad luck. That’s a bad choice.

Further back, we picked McLemore and T-Rob, two of the €œsafest picks€ and consensus top 7 mocked picks by all analysts in those drafts. The fact that no other team could develop them either supports that whether we were competent or not we were unlucky on two busts. Other teams were gonna draft them too guaranteed.

Again, making poor choices doesn’t mean you’re unlucky. They were both “falling knives.” Other teams above the Kings saw something the Kings didn’t.

Projected #1 lottery pick in 08? Fell to #4.

This is really the only thing on the list that could actually be considered unlucky rather than the direct result of a decision made by the Kings. Of course, the worst teams not getting the top pick happens all the time. Since 2010, the team with the worst record has only gotten the top pick like 3 times. So, yes, unlucky. But hardly “Woe is me” lucky.

6 other teams passed on Steph too, who knew he would be a small school generational talent and change the league. That’s unlucky.

Again again, they CHOSE not to select Steph when they had the chance. That isn’t unlucky. That’s a mistake in evaluation.

You could include Cousins meningitis. Though that wouldn’t have been a big deal if it hadn’t led to a horrific decision that didn’t need to be made. You could include Evans health. I’d say that was unlucky. But, again, part of the game that pretty much all franchises have dealt this.

The problem with calling poor decisions “unlucky” is it gives bad decision makers a pass, and discredits good decision makers. If you take that approach then no team ever gets credit or blame for their outcomes. Ultimately, unsuccessful people/teams LOVE to give way too much credit to luck, while successful people/teams LOVE to give way too little.

SPTSJUNKIE
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February 15, 2021 9:04 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Were the Bucks smart in picking Gianis? Sure. But how lucky were they that no other organization infromt of them picked him?

The higher you pick, the more choice you have and the more you control your own destiny.

I mean sure, that much is obvious, but it ignores two factors.

First, that this type of talent being present is the norm and not some type of a fluke. Of all the current playoff teams, only the 76ers, Hornets, and Suns have gotten any of their top players from their own top 3 picks. And the Lakers at least traded their top 3 picks for AD, though they are obviously a special case. More teams either struck later draft gold like the Nuggets, Jazz, Raptors, and Bucks or via great trades / signings like the Celtics, Heat (ok, not a current playoff team yet, but made the finals last year), Pacers, and Clippers.

And part of that is because even if you strike gold in the lottery, you give yourself a very narrow window to build your team back up and keep your star if you strip your team of all talent in order to land him. Yes, some GMs have essentially started with teams that had no talent or had a freak accident like the Thunder or Spurs with Duncan. But there are just as many teams like the Pelicans with AD or Wizards with Wall where they completely squander their time there or even cases like LeBron’s first run with the Cavs or D12 with the Magic where their elite talent in a weak East still led to some success, but frankly they minimized their talent and their overall accomplishments with them were underwhelming.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’d love for us to get lucky in the lottery and get the #1 pick. Nowhere in my post did I suggest high picks were bad and we are better off getting unlucky. But if McNair and his staff are good, then we don’t need to land a top pick to become an elite team (or to win a ring). We just need to use our picks and assets well like virtually every winning and championship team.

RikSmits
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February 15, 2021 10:25 am
Reply to  SPTSJUNKIE

So, we should have held on to Xavier Tillman?

SPTSJUNKIE
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February 15, 2021 10:40 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Looks that way so far, but obviously too early to say.

Kangz_Landing
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February 15, 2021 8:48 am
Reply to  SPTSJUNKIE

I was only referring to Luka. The NBA gifted us Luka and we blew it.

I’m sure you knew that, and yes lower picks can also bring success but only if you have a great staff and organization. I’d rather have Luka with a bad staff than low picks and a great staff because having Luka will make a great coach want to bring his great staff here!

The Raptors hit one jackpot with a disgruntled Kawhi, other than that they’ve had a ceiling. The Warriors are the creme de la creme because they hit on 2 superstars. The Mavs are only here because we’re dumb.

I think the low pick model you are looking for is the PG Pacers. He was the only top 10 pick on those Pacers teams. In terms of building through the draft and acquiring vets along the way,, that will never happen again in my mind. That was a masterpiece in team building. Imagine if they didn’t trade Kawhi for George Hill.

BestHyperboleEver
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February 15, 2021 9:02 am
Reply to  Kangz_Landing

I think the larger point is that even with the top pick, an organization needs to string together a bunch of good-to-great decisions in order to be successful. Obviously drafting an elite player makes things a lot easier and can cover for more mistakes and that’s easier to do at the top of the draft. But it is t a requirement.

And, of course, I’d be perfectly fine with the Kings developing the Non-Kawhi Raptors ceiling.

SPTSJUNKIE
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February 15, 2021 9:31 am

Bingo. Nothing would be better than having a great front office and getting lucky in the lottery in a year where there is an elite #1 talent. I would love to follow the Spurs model with Tim Duncan. Yes, please let us have a Pop-Buford quality FO and the luck / willingness to fold in a clear down year to get a generational player.

But most teams with top picks are in fact bad teams that are devoid of talent and have very bad GMs. Many drafts do not have a clear cut generational player and many of those bad GMs cannot be trusted to make good decisions (see Divac, Vlade). Even when they do stumble backwards into a good pick, they can very often blow it or cap out with a low ceiling like the Pelicans with CP3 and AD.

Meanwhile the vast majority of elite or even championship teams were build with very smart front offices using their assets really well.

The Jazz drafted Gobert at 27 and traded Tres Lyles to get the #13 pick to draft Mitchell.

The Warriors drafted Curry at 7 and then Klay 11 and Green at 35. Then they traded Monte Ellis (a 2nd round pick) for Bogut.

The Nuggets drafted Jokic at 41 and then Murray at #7.

The Raptors drafted DeRozan at 9 and traded him for Leonard, while trading a future first (#12) for Lowry and drafting Siakam (#27) and signing VanVleet.

The Pacers drafted Paul George at #10 and traded him for Oladipo and Sabonis. Then signed Brogdon and drafted Turner at #11.

The Heat drafted Bam at #14, Herro at 13, signed Duncan Robinson, and drafted Josh Richardson at #40 and traded him for Jimmy Butler.

The Bucks drafted Giannis at #15 and drafted Brandon Jennings at #10 and then traded him for Middleton. They signed Greg Monroe and then traded him and a protected first for Bledsoe, who they flipped with future picks for Holiday.

Our own GM came from a team that was one CP3 hamstring away from a championship and they rebuilt their team after Yao’s and Mcgrady’s injuries killed their team and tanked their trade value never drafting higher than #12. They drafted Landry at #31 and traded him to us for KMart who they flipped with draft picks they acquired from scrap to get Harden. Then they got CP3 for Beverly (signed FA), Harrell (drafted #32), Sam Dekker (#18 pick), Lou Williams (acquired for a late first), and a future first. And drafted Capella #25.

This is more than I planned on writing and the list goes on. So yes, on lottery night I will cheer for us to get lucky and get the #1 pick. But if we have good management (still TBD) we don’t need it. Elite teams building with top picks is not the norm. Even setting aside situations like the Lakers or Nets that we could never emulate given our market, the majority of elite teams are build far more organically and via asset efficiency and smart maneuvers.

Teams like the KD-Westbrook-Harden Thunder and Process 76ers are more the exception than the rule.

Kangz_Landing
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February 15, 2021 10:04 am

Yup, I’ve said it many times. I’d be happy with just being the Blazers.

Knowing that were not winning a title every year but golly the team does sure make it interesting

BestHyperboleEver
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February 15, 2021 8:54 am
Reply to  SPTSJUNKIE

Yeah, I’m not really a fan of the outright tank. Especially with the new lottery odds.

SPTSJUNKIE
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February 15, 2021 9:34 am

Agreed. The older I have gotten and more I have studied winning teams – gutting your team of all talent to tank is typically not a smart move. Most savvy GMs build up their talent base and stockpile assets while trying to acquire star talent.

Now, in a lost season, waving the white flag and running out more of your rookies and testing some G-League players the final 10-20 games of the season and letting some of your vets and proven youngsters rest and avoid injury I think is still a savvy move.

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February 15, 2021 10:06 am