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Chainmail: Answering your questions about the Sacramento Kings

We're talking trade value, Halburton's ceiling, Bagley's future, and much, much more!

Welcome back to Chainmail! Will is out due to mysterious reasons (too many Oreo cookies consumed in one sitting with only almond milk as his drink), so I'll be rolling solo this week. We had several good questions (as always), but before we jump in, we want to thank our sponsor for the mailbag, Carter Imports! Carter Imports is a Sacramento-based company that imports some of the very best Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Cretan Thyme Honey available in the world today. There has never been a better time to support one of our own than right now!

Now, let's jump right in!

From MaybeNextYear:

Do you think Marvin Bagley is viewed as a positive trade asset around the league? If not, what does he need to do in order to become one?

Tim: It's probably one of those classic scenarios in which "it only takes one". If you were to survey the league as of this moment, Bagley's trade value is extremely low, maybe worth a couple of second rounders, a similarly struggling young player, or a late, late, late, late first round pick on draft night. However, all it takes is one team or one GM to truly believe in Bagley to boost that trade value tremendously. He's played better as of late, although still not exactly at a high level, so maybe somebody get excited. All of that being said, unless he's a key part of a more complex deal, the Kings probably have no choice but to hang onto him and hope he turns his season around.

From RandyBreuersNeckHair:

How soon will this become Haliburton's team and not Fox's?

Tim: This is an interesting concept that I think stems from so many years of having only one or two high-quality players at a time. For most competitors, the team isn't one player's or another's. Look at the 2002 Kings. Whose team was it? Some would say Webber, others would say Bibby, and a few might even say Peja or Divac. Looking at today's teams, you've got partners like Lillard and McCollum, LeBron and Davis, formerly Simmons and Embiid, and probably a dozen other examples. The Kings don't need this team to become Fox's or Haliburton's; they just need both of those players to work together well enough to make this team a contender.

From Adamsite:

If Harrison Barnes continues to play at his current high level do the Kings keep him on his declining deal for another year or look to move him and cash in while they can?

Tim: Assuming that a team comes in with an offer that includes little to no long-term salary and a decent young player or a pick, I would deal Barnes in a heartbeat. He's playing at his absolute ceiling right now, and I don't foresee that level of contribution continuing over multiple seasons. Strike while the iron is hot, and it won't get much hotter than Barnes right now.

One team that I would be calling is the Boston Celtics. They have a massive Traded Player Exception, worth around $28 million, which would allow them to take in Barnes for essentially no salary. Boston is dealing with the hard cap as well, but sending out a young player's salary (Aaron Nesmith anyone????) should make up that difference. The league needs two-way wings, and Barnes certainly meets that criteria.

From TyrekeFan:

Kings bias aside, where would you rank Tyrese Haliburton in the Rookie of the Year race right now?

Tim: Personally, I think Haliburton has been the best rookie among an extremely strong class. From a national perspective, LaMelo Ball probably sits ahead of him because of his slightly better counting numbers, especially his rebounding, even though Hali has been the more efficient scorer and the better defender. To put it simply, I wouldn't trade Haliburton for any other rookie, including Ball. That's good enough for me.

From Peja:

I know it is still too early to call, but what do you believe the ceiling is for Tyrese Haliburton?

Tim: A hell of a lot higher than we all thought when he was drafted. I remember chatting with a couple of other TKH guys after the draft and deciding that Hali was probably going to max out at a super-role player, rather than any sort of star. Haliburton is playing at a super-role player level less than a dozen games into his NBA career. Where does that put his ceiling? Whatever the ceiling is for an elite catch-and-shoot three-point shooter who can run both guard spots, scores efficiently from anywhere on the floor, and is already a quality perimeter defender. It would not shock me if Haliburton appeared in more All-Star games than Fox by the end of their individual careers.

From 916ickness:

If you had to buy one Kings jersey and it couldn’t be Fox or Haliburton, who would it be?

Tim: Easily Richaun Holmes. He plays hard, has a good attitude, and his contract is one of the most valuable non-rookie, non-max deals in the league. I hope the Kings can lock him up long-term this summer. And no, they can't extend him.

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andy_sims
January 14, 2021 10:13 am

Why do you think that Lose Walton is incapable of wearing his mask correctly, when his assistants and head coaches of other teams seem to manage it effortlessly? Does it speak to a larger problem of him feeling that the rules don’t apply to him, or is it simply an issue that to do so is just a bit too complex for him.

90% of the time he’s on camera, he’s flouting the protocols. It’s absolutely enraging.

AmateurNerd
January 14, 2021 10:38 am
Reply to  andy_sims

Stupid is as stupid does.

MidtownMike
January 14, 2021 1:43 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

I get sooooo mad, I just want to burst!!!

Hozr
January 14, 2021 4:30 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

By my eye Walton looks like he’s been more diligent about correctly wearing his mask over the last couple of games. Bobby Jackson, another flagrantly bad mask wearer has been a lot better. I’ve noticed that the players have been more diligent lately as well. I wonder if the league has come down on them recently.

Carl
January 14, 2021 5:02 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Walton is passive-aggressively trying to prove a point. It’s a shame that some folks don’t care about getting someone else’s Mom, grandpa, etc. sick and the potentially life threatening consequences that has.

Last edited 1 month ago by Carl
keith_kar
January 15, 2021 5:59 am
Reply to  andy_sims

You can’t be serious, lol

Dirkula
January 15, 2021 6:51 am
Reply to  andy_sims

Seems like the perfect candidate for wearing a face shield rather than a mask, but maybe he hasn’t checked the tape to see that those are an option

3AFA9034-C95B-47C1-9FFC-77629FB90296.jpeg
TheGrantNapear
January 15, 2021 6:53 am
Reply to  andy_sims

mask police on patrol

andy_sims
January 15, 2021 7:09 am
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

Grim Reaper on patrol

But what’s 4,000 dead per day?

Otis
January 15, 2021 9:52 am
Reply to  andy_sims

That’s other people though. Duh.

Hozr
January 15, 2021 11:42 am
Reply to  andy_sims

A good start?

Too soon?

AmateurNerd
January 15, 2021 10:27 am
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

If someone walked around in public without pants or underwear and people started complaining, would you make some snarky comment about “pants police on patrol”? No, you wouldn’t, because wearing pants and underwear in public is just common decency. Wearing a mask is, these days, also common decency. Grow up.

SMF-PDXConnection
January 14, 2021 10:21 am

My streak of having questions answered has been broken!

This really is something I look forward to each week.

Kosta
January 14, 2021 11:55 am

Next time….

Q: Why did you not answer SMF-PDXConnection’s question???

L-Train3.1
January 15, 2021 3:41 am
Reply to  Kosta

You are an up vote, rec gathering machine!

AmateurNerd
January 14, 2021 10:40 am

Totally on board with trading Barnes at the first good opportunity. He is definitely at his ceiling (I didn’t even think he had a ceiling this high before the season started). A win-now team, like Boston, could/should be very interested.

BestHyperboleEver
January 14, 2021 11:30 am
Reply to  AmateurNerd

I was thinking a “Win Soon” team, or a team desperate to win soon may work. Boston may not be in such a hurry since their best players are young and locked up for the foreseeable future. They may not want to fill their cap sheet for the next two seasons with someone like Barnes (who also happens to play roughly the same position as their best player.). I was thinking about a team like MIN. Here’s my reasoning:

  1. With Towns and Russell on-board, they’re going to be desperate to start winning.
  2. With the new lottery odds, even if they don’t win another game this season, the still have a less than 50% chance they end up in the top 3 and keep their pick. We’re early enough in the season that I would expect they’d rather take their chances on going for a play-in spot than have a 50% chance they tank AND still lose their pick.
  3. You could easily argue that they have a Barnes-shaped hole in their roster.
  4. There’s a chance that, given the good possibility of losing their pick this year, they may (MAY) attribute more value to a guy like Bagley as a high potential young player that is also a theoretical fit with Towns.

Again, just talking it through, but I wonder if something like a Barnes + Bagley for Rubio + Culver + Vanderbilt + Future 1st may be an option.

Last edited 1 month ago by BestHyperboleEver
Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
January 14, 2021 11:36 am
Reply to  AmateurNerd

Part of me wonder is the rest of East is now in a “win-now” mode after Harden was dealt to Brooklyn. Boston might be wise to sit things out right now as they have youth and time on their side. It’s possible they may not be in as much a rush anymore.

Sure, they can fit Barnes or any other high priced player into that TPE, but that also counts against their cap and tax. If they want to win now, they might be wise to take on a large expiring deal into that TPE, or even multiple smaller expirings.

ForKingsandCountry
January 14, 2021 12:35 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Are the Nets even the favorite in the East? Is Kyrie actually going to play basketball again? I’m not sure I see anything to suggest that the Celtics aren’t the best team in the Eastern Conference right now.

BestHyperboleEver
January 14, 2021 12:43 pm

I don’t think there’s much beyond their percentage point advantage in W% to suggest the Celtics are the best in the East. By most measures the Bucks and Nets have been significantly better. And the Pacers and 76ers have been right alongside the Celtics. Maybe Kemba, or some moves, will push the Celtics higher, but as of now, they’re firmly in the pace behind the Bucks and Nets.

ForKingsandCountry
January 14, 2021 12:48 pm

Sure, but my larger point is that I don’t really believe the Nets trading for Harden is going to move the Celtics off of the idea that they are a contender. I don’t see any reason they shouldn’t view themselves that way. I am very skeptical that the Nets as currently constructed are really going to be a top tier contender or any more of a contender than any of the teams you just listed.

Last edited 1 month ago by ForKingsandCountry
BestHyperboleEver
January 14, 2021 1:04 pm

Agreed. Personally, I think any team with a decent chance of reaching the second round of the playoffs should see themselves as a contender. As for the Nets, there are obviously big questions about their fit, ability to coalesce, and how many games they even get out of their stars, but they probably have more high-end talent than any other team in the NBA. I fully expect them to implode to some degree, but I think they’re clearly a top tier contender. Heck, they could literally never play all 3 of their stars at the same time and still have more talent on the court at any given time than 80% of the teams in the NBA.

Last edited 1 month ago by BestHyperboleEver
ForKingsandCountry
January 14, 2021 1:09 pm

Definitely no argument about the top tier talent. I think the Kyrie piece of this is really important because if he’s as checked out as it seems like he is at the moment I don’t know where just Harden and KD are going to get you. I am amazed by how good KD looks but whether or not he can hold up for a full season remains to be seen. So I fully expect them to be good but in terms of the entire league I really get the sense that the Lakers are in a tier by themselves and then there are about 6 or 7 teams in the second tier.

Otis
January 14, 2021 1:41 pm

Harden and KD alone get you a long way. I think even without Irving, they might be the favorites in the East.

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
January 14, 2021 1:57 pm
Reply to  Otis

I just wonder about their depth. Dinwiddie isn’t coming back this season and Jarret Allen is going to be hard to replace and was recently giving them over 30 minutes a game. DeAndre Jordan is going to struggle to give them 25 minutes consistently. I still think then need some big man depth. Maybe send them Whiteside for a 2nd rounder?

Last edited 1 month ago by Adamsite
Otis
January 14, 2021 2:04 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Yeah, I think they still have time to address some of that – but let’s be honest, the Lakers didn’t have a whole heck of a lot of talent behind AD and LeBron last season.

Having two of the top five players in the league on your roster can take you a long ways.

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
January 14, 2021 2:51 pm
Reply to  Otis

True, but AD and Lebron play exceptional defense. I can’t say the same for Durant and Harden. As their roster is currently constructed they are going to have a hard time getting rebounds.

Meanwhile, the Cavs have Allen, Drummond, and McGee. One of McGee or Drummond have to be on the move before season’s end.

Otis
January 14, 2021 3:00 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I think AD is a bit overrated defensively, and KD is actually a bit underrated. But sure, I think that matters – and it’s why I wouldn’t rate them higher than the Lakers.

But I think those three guys bring enough to get through the East.

Last edited 1 month ago by Otis
BestHyperboleEver
January 14, 2021 3:16 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I haven’t watched him this year much, but prior to this season Durant absolutely played exceptional defense.

But ultimately, sure, they have obvious holes. The question is if they have enough firepower to overcome it. I mean, IF Irving, Harden and Durant are all on the floor, there is nobody in the league that can stop them. You’re talking about two of the absolute best, most efficient high usage scorers in NBA history. And that’s without even talking about Kyrie, who is also a ridiculously efficient creator and scorer. It’s a team that may give up 130 a game. But could just as easily put up 140. Then again, it’s also a team that could complete implode in the next week.

andy_sims
January 14, 2021 3:23 pm
Reply to  Otis

Can you imagine what a sucker you’d feel like if you hired a guy that showed up whenever he felt like it, and when he did bother coming in, he irritated the shit out of everyone?

He’s one hell of a player during those increasingly short stretches when he’s not injured, but if there’s a way for Brooklyn to void his contract for misconduct, they really ought to look into it.

Marty
January 14, 2021 10:15 pm
Reply to  Otis

Y’all sleeping on the Sixers. Without their two Covid losses they’d likely have 11 wins. Curry, Maxey, and Milton have made all the difference.

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
January 15, 2021 7:57 am
Reply to  Marty

Do you think Thybulle is more available now, since he has dropped in the rotation? I’ve still got my fingers crossed for a Buddy for Thybulle package.

Marty
January 15, 2021 9:37 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Yes I do, but his shooting woes continue. I have no idea what the value is for an elite defender with below average shooting. I don’t see the Sixers needing Buddy though, but I do see the need for Haliburton. 🤪

With each passing day they like Maxey and Milton more and more.

The Bradley Beal rumors are bubbling up in Philly right now. I’d rather have him than Harden.

Otis
January 15, 2021 10:18 am
Reply to  Marty

It’s interesting, his college stats (and last year’s stats) seem to indicate he’s a guy who could improve on the shooting side. 36% from three, close to 80% from the line.

But his senior year was a big dip from outside, last year was ok, and this year has been pretty bad. Not sure what to make of it, but I haven’t really seen him play enough to know if it’s shot mechanics…

Marty
January 15, 2021 10:50 am
Reply to  Otis

If there was ever a guy worth hoping for COUGH development, it’s him.

Hinkie took a chance on Covington, who did indeed develop, but did he transform? Is he a guy you absolutely fear taking that last second three? No. He did get paid though, but he didn’t transform.

I like Thybulle a lot but the Sixers need for Buddy has dried up IMHO, as Maxey and Milton have passed Thybulle on the “don’t you dare trade him list”. I do think he’s available, I would just be cautious overvaluing him as a fan. Personally I think the best thing for him is to stay right where he is. It would be incredibly rare to see two guys like Simmons and Thybulle who grew up playing together in another country continue to play together for their second team.

Hamlet1989
January 15, 2021 7:52 am
Reply to  AmateurNerd

Barnes’ best position is 4 at this point in his career. Tatum plays 4, but Tatum can be as effective at 3. Brown plays 2. Boston could be a good fit, and even bringing him off the bench could be worth Barnes’ money for a contender. I’m not sure it “gets them over the hump,’ but it may “move the needle” especially this Covid season when depth is more important than ever. Barnes provides depth where every team needs it. The Bucks makes the same kind of sense, and he can fit into any playoff roster. No questions about his ability to mesh with other playoff mentalities.
The Kings should look to sell high. His contract is less valuable to a rebuilding team, and that lowers Monte’s leverage going forward. Teams know Sacramento needs to offload his salary. Milwaukie was willing to take him as part of a package and that’s probably how he’ll be traded eventually.

Hippity_Hop_Barbershop
January 14, 2021 11:11 am

Does the Harden trade give us a better shot at the #8?

kings4ever
January 14, 2021 11:28 am

Yes. Once we fire the coach 😉

andy_sims
January 14, 2021 11:28 am

I expect that the result is that Houston will begin to move up in the standings. If I had to guess, I’d give the new configuration favorable odds of making the playoffs, but with PJ Tucker likely to be moved, there are still a lot of unknowns. The Rockets could be a really fun team once everyone gets comfortable.

But in short, they will definitely finish with a better record than Sacramento.

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
January 14, 2021 11:38 am
Reply to  andy_sims

PJ Tucker to Boston makes a lot of sense for Boston. Ainge has assets to make it happen if he really wants to.

andy_sims
February 5, 2021 5:21 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Kevin Durant to Sacramento makes a lot of sense for Sacramento.

kings4ever
January 14, 2021 11:26 am

I would have no interest in trading Harrison Barnes. Let’s become a good to great team by trading away our good player, is that the plan? Do you know how rare it is to have players who can defend on the interior and perimeter? Versatile defenders with some offensive punch is the name of the game, acquire as many of these guys as you can and you get to the “promised land”

This was the intrigue and potential of Woodward in my mind and he was a total flop in preseason. He did not have the mobility to defend beyond 10-15 feet from the basket.

Now if a team wants to blow us away with an offer we cannot refuse, then we listen but I want Harrison Barnes on this team, and all other Kings fans should too after a decade plus of total ineptitude at the position before Ron Artest.

Randy’s question contains a hypothetical presumption, though will say that the start to Haliburtons career has exceeded Fox. But who turns into the better player is not the relevant question when they are both integral to the future. So the question is irrelevant. It is not one or the other, it is both.

Otis
January 14, 2021 11:28 am

I’m not the only one who knows that Harrison Barnes still has a long term contract with many, many dollars on it, right?

Adding that deal to an already massive salary base doesn’t sound very Ainge-ish to me. I mean, next season, they have about 90 million in salary in just Tatum, Jaylen and Kemba.

Absorbing 20 million more for Barnes (besides the 22 million this year and the 18 in 22-23) without sending much salary out makes no sense to me.

kings4ever
January 14, 2021 11:37 am
Reply to  Otis

Agree. And it is not just about salary, but Tatum, Brown and Barnes are similar type players to a varying degree. Barnes is not a need for the Celtics unless they were to send us Brown or Tatum, and I am doubtful Ainge is super eager or interested to do that.

What is with this impulse to trade players when they are good??!

Lets trade CoJoSlo and Bjelica if they are any takers (suckers), not the guys with actual game!

Otis
January 14, 2021 11:48 am
Reply to  kings4ever

So your philosophy is sell low, buy high?

Barnes really isn’t good (relative to most NBA players). I’d absolutely love to see Boston absorb him with their TPE, even giving relatively little back, since it would free up cap space longer term.

I’m just saying it’s not very realistic.

The only reason this is even being discussed is Barnes’ recent high level of play, which is both an aberration to his career, and unlikely to fool a guy like Danny Ainge.

kings4ever
January 14, 2021 12:14 pm
Reply to  Otis

My philosphy is keep good to very good players. Build a core that can advance deep into the playoffs. That is my philosophy. Barnes was hobbled last year, and he struggled. He is healthy now.

My philosophy is build a rotation of versatile defenders, and Barnes fits that mold. Do you disagree? He can defend in the paint and near the three point, that is rare commodity.

And your assertion that “Barnes isn’t good (relative to most NBA players) is rather odd. What are you basing that on? I am sure you are familiar with the wings that have come and gone through Sacramento. It has not been pretty.

That shoud lead us to appreciate the competence and efficacy after guys like Justin Jackson and many others I do not even want to dare to remember. It is not easy to find guys who play inside and out, I cannot emphasize that enough.

I don’t think Ainge would be fooled by Barnes. I just dont think he has a genuine interest when Tatum and Brown are younger are probably more skilled. That is not a slight on Barnes because both are pretty good.

I don’t think Barnes recent play is an aberration, he is realizing his potential and his level of play is sustainable for 3-4 years.

Otis
January 14, 2021 12:30 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

And your assertion that “Barnes isn’t good (relative to most NBA players) is rather odd. What are you basing that on? I am sure you are familiar with the wings that have come and gone through Sacramento. It has not been pretty.

We’ve had worse players and wings, but very few who made the type of money he does.

I think he passes the eye test for many, and he’s certainly played well this season. But it’s not difficult to look up his numbers compared to his career (a long career, this isn’t a young guy for an NBA player) and see that what he’s done so far this year is most likely small sample size theater.

Nothing is impossible, but I’m curious how many mediocre players approaching 30 years old with 19,000 career minutes under their belts suddenly make the leap?

For reference, he was rated 245th in the league by RPM last season (in what was a relatively decent year for him statistically), 188th the year before and 343rd in 17-18. This man has not historically been an upper-level talent in the NBA.

RORDOG
January 14, 2021 12:34 pm
Reply to  Otis

Rudy Gay had that one pretty good year in Sac (14-15) at the age of 28. He wasn’t able to sustain that level though in subsequent seasons.

Otis
January 14, 2021 12:39 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

Yeah, I was thinking about Rudy, a guy who’s been pretty solid (even since 14-15). But he became a better asset when he got off that big contract.

And I’d like Harrison Barnes much better at 10 to 12 million than 18 to 22…

BestHyperboleEver
January 14, 2021 12:59 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

It’s worth pointing out that Gay was pretty significantly better than Barnes on balance. If Barnes keeps up this pace it will be the best season of his career. By quick All-ins, it would be roughly equivalent to Gay’s 7th best season through the same age. Better only than Gay’s rookie season and his 3rd (age 22) season.

kings4ever
January 14, 2021 2:31 pm

Rudy was “significantly better” than Barnes?

At his best, and Barnes at his worst, I dont think so. I saw every game Gay played as a King. Let’s not romanticize his tenure. Gay had that midgame shot, it was nice, he had that high release point, but his overall effectiveness was about on par.

We are talking about two players who were on the wrong side of wins more than not, and that was because they have limitations not widely divergent from their strengths.

I am not a staunch defender of Barnes. I swear! But the best Barnes has to offer is not appreciably different than the best of Gay. Rudy was the better scorer but overall the gap is narrowed by Barnes being the more physical defender. It is not clear cut, and in fact I would give Barnes the edge as the better player.

Gay did an impressive job of recovering from the Achilles, I will defintely grant him that.

BestHyperboleEver
January 14, 2021 2:46 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

Gay was also a significantly better ball-handler which is the single most important skill a player can have. He was also a better defender. Barnes really isn’t a great defender. His greatest ability as a defender is to be equally average at defending 2-3 positions. Barnes is a slightly more versatile defender spending more time defending bigs, but Gay was more effective defending 3s and 4s. Gay was also a better rebounder despite spending more time further from the basket.

Gay wasn’t a super star. He was a solid role player/3rd option miscast as a star. But Barnes, thus far, hasn’t come especially close to matching that.

Otis
January 14, 2021 2:57 pm

I’m a bit amused looking at RAPTOR, that they value the next five years of Gay and Barnes similarly – considering Rudy probably won’t be around more than another season or two.

BestHyperboleEver
January 14, 2021 3:49 pm
Reply to  Otis

In general, fans have a MUCH higher opinion of Barnes’ defense than algorithms like RAPTOR. And, of course, when doing projections, they don’t tend to care much about 12 game samples.

kings4ever
January 14, 2021 3:19 pm

Hmmm…. Gay was a good ball handler? You are responding to someone who saw every game Rudy played as a King, just to remind you. I saw the guy play more than I care to remember.

To qualify as a good ball handler, you would have to be willing to maintain your dribble under duress, right? Because if you do not possess superior handles you want to pass someone who is more adept, do you agree?

A “significantly ball handler” draws the defense and creates, he welcomes the pressure so he can punish the opponent for their excessive attention.

Gay picked up his dribble. If he did not then he would qualify as a “point forward”. Gay was and is not a point forward anymore than Barnes is a point forward so lets not ascribe attributes to either player they do not possess.

Where Gay had the advantage over Barnes at their respective best is he had the go-to rise and shot over the defender. It was a thing of beuty. Gay was very good. He definitely had the more reliable go-to scoring move.

But let’s not play revisionist history and pretend Gay was razzle dazzle with the rock bc if that were true Gay woud have been a legitimate 1-2 option on an elite team instead of a sketchy vagaobound.

Gay was not multideminsional a scorer – shot creator anymore than Barnes. His ball handling is an attribute in the same way Fox is commendable as a rebounder.

It is just not a thing so don’t try to make it a thing.

BestHyperboleEver
January 14, 2021 3:42 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

I’m not trying to make anything “a thing.” We’re comparing Gay and Barnes. Compared to Barnes, Gay was a significantly better ball-handler and passer. At no point did I say anything that could be interpreted as “razzle dazzle” or “point forward.” Gay was a player you could reasonably use as a secondary or tertiary ball-handler. Barnes is not. I’m glad you watched every game Rudy played as a King. I would guess a large percentage of the people here did. Or at least close to it. I did as well. You’re in a room of superfans obsessive enough to be here. Watching the games doesn’t actually lend you any special authority.

kings4ever
January 14, 2021 4:00 pm

I am not saying I have special authority but you and others are ascribing quality to Gay as a ballhandler and passer that frankly amounts to squat.

No one is thinking of Rudy in the present or past and thinking “wow what a nifty passer or set-up man” as if he ethced his legacy in stone by dropping dimes.

No one, and I mean no one, of serious observer of the NBA, is valuing Rudy Gay as a passer and ball-handler. It is a non-starter and non-issue. So please kindly do me a favor and do not try to act like it is an issue. It is nothing.

You can say Rudy is better than Barnes. Thats a legitimate point. And I would concur to the point that Rudy had a much better go-to move as a high to mid post scorer who could rise above any defender.

But when you start comparing them as ball handlers, it is just a trivial and irrelevant point that detracts from what is relevant.

If you want to be a superior observer and analyst of the NBA, you need to separate the wheat from the chaff. That is what I do, and that is what make me a badass in this arena. 😉

BestHyperboleEver
January 14, 2021 5:23 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

Okay.

Hamlet1989
January 15, 2021 7:21 am

I’ve got to agree with him here. Never did I see Gay as comfortable with the ball in his hands as Barnes has been lately. Neither is a 3 anymore. Barnes is getting much better at the 4. I’m not saying Boston should trade for him but he’s trending up, and I don’t necessarily think the team that ends up with him is “buying low.”

kings4ever
January 14, 2021 2:19 pm
Reply to  Otis

He doesn’t need to make “a leap”, he needs to sustain his performance so far. I don’t doubt the stats you cite, I have had my issues with Barnes too. He’s been too rigid in his moves, lacking in creativity and shooting touch. I have seen the limitations as well as anyone.

We needed a leader to emerge last year and he failed. He was hobbled and he was simply not good. We needed him and he sucked. I am not his cheerleader but I see how important it is to have versatile defenders on a team currently near last in the NBA in stopping opponents. He is part of the solution not the problem.

Barnes is more mobile than last year, I saw that obviously in preseason and said so. Why should that not be sustainable? Otherwise you are basically saying the player will probably get injured again and we should trade him before the next injury befalls him.

This perspective would basically justify trading any player includng Curry or Giannis.

Now if you contend he was NOT injured last year and has been equally healthy now and happens to be over-performing relative to last year, that is your preogative. Maybe that is true. But I don’t think so. I dont think he was fully healthy then, I think he is healthy now, and his play reflects that.

Barnes is not playing better because he is over-achieving relative to base level. He is performing relative to his true ability because he’s not hindered by nagging injury. I think this is the most probable scenario. I cannot say with 100% certainty, but 80-90%.

Otis
January 14, 2021 2:24 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

So he was hobbled all of last season, but played in every game and ended up top-25 in minutes played in the entire NBA? He didn’t take one game off, even though he was injured all season? This feels like a reinvention of history.

And again, can you name someone who has played as long as Barnes and then made the type of statistical leap we’re seeing this season?

Barnes has had hot stretches before. Good chance he’s just having one to start this particular NBA season.

kings4ever
January 14, 2021 2:55 pm
Reply to  Otis

That is a good point but I do not see Barnes playing beyond what he is capable of. He shot 41% from 3s when we acquired him over 28 games and now he is shooting 41% from 3s. There can be variance from deep, hot streaks not sustainabe. But his accuracy from long range so far has been achieved previously.

He is shooting an incredible 56% FGs from 2s vs his career of 48%. This does lend credence to your argument that his performance is an anomaly and he will revert to the norm.

But why might this not be the case? Because Barnes is (1) healthy and in better shape and more experienced than ever (2) benefitting from two great set up men in Hali and Fox (3) discerning in his shot selection (4) entering his prime which will likely last 3-4 more years.

What I know is what I see without a bias because I have riupped this guy previously as being an apathetic robot-like player. I see Barnes came to camp more fluid and mobie and that has carried over to today.

Could he regress? Sure and we could all regress in whatever avenue of life we find ourselves in. In fact, regression is probably inevitable. Where I would be relenting in your perspective if he was torching the nets from deep, then I would say he is bound to cool off, but thats not the case.

I do not see any reason his performance is not sustainable. When Barnes with Mavs towards the end, he was ignored while Luka did his thing. With the Warriors, Klay and Curry took center stage. I don’t think what Barnes is doing now is so inordinate, so lofty behind his standard level of play, it feels sustainable.

He’s not setting the world on fire, he’s just playing the game closer to who he is.

BestHyperboleEver
January 14, 2021 3:22 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

NBA players, on average, peak around 26. Then decline slowly to around 30. Then, usually, decline more quickly after that. Obviously, there are outliers. But, as in most aspects of life, you generally don’t want to count on someone being an outlier.

Hopefully Barnes has made a late career leap. That would be great for all parties.

andy_sims
January 14, 2021 3:29 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

…I do not see Barnes playing beyond what he is capable of.

Exactly how would he, or anyone, for that matter, do such a thing?

676436.jpg
kings4ever
January 14, 2021 3:43 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

LOL, the point is that there are fans saying that Barnes is playing beyond his norm, and he is bound to come crashing down, and perform at a level below his contract value.

I would tend to agree if he was lighting it up from deep, on a hot streak from 3 unlikely to persist, but he has shot 41% before. He also has good to brilliant set-up men in Fox and Haliburton.

And he would have one more in Kyle Guy if our coach was not sh*t for brains.

Why is what Barnes is doing now such an anomaly? It is not. He is not playing so great, so “out of this world”, he is just healthy and spry and comfortable in his role.

So let’s “sell high” before it all comes crashing down??! That is like finding a gold nugget in the mud and muck and throwing back for donkey sh*t.

Barnes is a good to very good player. Hes the one of the few things Vlade did right, and fans want to give that away? Cmon fam wake up.

kingsforaday
January 15, 2021 6:35 am
Reply to  kings4ever

Wake up

Tin foil hat confirmed.

BestHyperboleEver
January 14, 2021 2:35 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

But what about the more than 15,000 mediocre NBA minutes he played before his alleged nagging injury last season? You have to admit, his previous 19000 minutes should probably carry more weight when determining his true talent level than the 400 minutes so far this year.

Is it possible that Barnes made a leap in his age 28 season? Sure. But I would count on it and, were I a GM, I certainly wouldn’t build my team building strategy around that being the case.

kings4ever
January 14, 2021 3:26 pm

So what do you think over the first 12 games is unsustainable? I am curious. Where is the fall off going to occur?

I don’t think anything Barnes has done so far he canot continue to do. I don’t even think he has been spectacular.

Hes been lively and spry. Thats not playing beyond ones limits. Thats playing to the level you prepped yourself for.

Like I said before, if he was lights out from deep, then the fall off could be anticipated. But thats not the case.

BestHyperboleEver
January 14, 2021 4:06 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

Career TS% – 54.6
Career high prior to this season – 57.4
2020-21 – 63.0

Career 3pt% – 37.6
Career high prior to this season – 40.5 (6 years ago)
2020-21 – 41.5

Career AST% – 8.0
Career high prior to this season – 9.9
2020-21 – 13.0

Hopefully, this is his new normal, but those are BIG jumps over his normal production. And not just his production last season as a King. He’s played A LOT of minutes in the NBA. We have a nice big sample to measure him by.

kings4ever
January 14, 2021 4:32 pm

You are right, lets see if it is sustainable. What is unsustainable typically is a lofty three point accuracy, a hot streak likely to end. Why I think Barnes will sustain this level is :

(1) newfound health and fitness, nagging injuries behind him
(2) experience
(3) superior set up men in Fox and Haliburton
(4) one more shot creator when Guy added over CoJoSlo

Barnes can pick his spots. He’s not asked to do more than play his game, and he’s not asked to make more 3s than he has made before. Hes really in an ideal situation, not obligated to carry offensive load.

I do not see falloff barring injury. I see Barnes as a predictable of a performer as we have. It is not like asking Guy or Hield or Bjelica to go 6-9 on three.

What Barnes needs to do and can do is not asking a lot. And if he fails to meet these “new” standards, I will be the first to call him out.

I actually would anticipate Barnes to play even better than he has so far, the nature of new highs is more new highs.

RORDOG
January 14, 2021 5:08 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

This is just blowing my mind:

Hes really in an ideal situation, not obligated to carry offensive load.

the Kings are a more ideal situation for Barnes to thrive than a team with Curry, Klay and Draymond?

Bill2455
January 14, 2021 12:51 pm

Eight games at home…and only four on the road; and in 12th in the standings. Not much to look forward to over the next few years.

Gregoryl
January 14, 2021 1:31 pm
Reply to  Bill2455

Honest question: With empty arenas, does homecourt advantage matter as much this year?

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
January 14, 2021 1:38 pm
Reply to  Gregoryl

I heard a commentator last night (I can’t recall which game) say that road teams have won more games so far this season than home teams.

BestHyperboleEver
January 14, 2021 1:46 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

It’s a small enough sample, that could easily be chalked up to scheduling. It’s possible that worse teams have played more home games so far. We know the Kings have played 8 at home and only 4 away. I have no doubt that home court is probably less of an advantage (due both to lack of fans and reduced travel for away teams), but the difference probably won’t end up be THAT big.

Roaddog
January 14, 2021 1:07 pm

Future chain mail question: can we get a “hater” badge, given to people who downvote enough comments?

RORDOG
January 14, 2021 1:09 pm
Reply to  Roaddog

comment image

Otis
January 14, 2021 1:42 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

We need to get you a “tough guy” badge.

RORDOG
January 14, 2021 1:44 pm
Reply to  Otis

comment image

ZillersCat
January 15, 2021 6:35 am
Reply to  Roaddog

One might call it a stabbie?

ZillersCat
January 15, 2021 11:02 am
Reply to  Roaddog

Oooh .. Next round of T-Shirts
comment image

jwalker1395
January 14, 2021 1:11 pm

Trading Barnes is tough because when I look around the league, all the teams in ‘win now’ mode already have good forwards. Hence why they are in ‘win now’ mode. Sixers, Milwaukee, LAC, etc. There are other contenders out there that could use him like Dallas, Boston, Nuggets, etc. but those teams also can afford to wait a couple years, too. The only teams I see that may be able to swing something is either the Blazers, Heat or maybe the Pacers where they are just-not-quite-good-enough and yet the window of opportunity is closing. Those teams I could see us dealing Barnes for a Trent Jr., Achiuwa, or Turner. Everywhere else I either don’t see a demand for Barnes or assets worth dealing him for.

SelecaoKOJ
January 14, 2021 8:30 pm
Reply to  jwalker1395

Oh Man. I love Gary Trent. If there is a way to get him, Do it.

Dirkula
January 15, 2021 7:17 am
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

We did “do it” only to have a Vlade piss it away….

Jun 28, 2018 — The Portland Trail Blazers traded two future second round picks to the Sacramento Kings for the draft rights to Gary Trent Jr. at No. 37

Compound this with the Doncic miss and it’s truly impressive the amount of talent Vlade passed on

Last edited 1 month ago by Dirkula
Gregoryl
January 14, 2021 1:33 pm

If only some team would hire Vlade…:

However, all it takes is one team or one GM to truly believe in Bagley to boost that trade value tremendously.

eddie41
January 14, 2021 3:18 pm

You didn’t see Lefors out there, did you?

BeTheBall
January 14, 2021 4:22 pm

It wouldn’t surprise me if Haliburton makes his first ASG before Fox makes his,

SelecaoKOJ
January 14, 2021 8:32 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

I am not sure Fox will ever make an All Star Team. Reasons:

  1. Western conference is loaded with great guards
  2. Until we see some consistent Mamba Mentality against top flight competition
  3. If team continues to stay under .500
rockbottom
January 15, 2021 6:38 am
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

The lack of Mamba Mentality is a clear issue to me ! He is a great athlete with an improving game but just not tough enough ! Just do not see the Paul, Stockton, Payton, Kidd, Lowry, type tenacity and intensity ! Still young so there is time and reason to hope but not going to hold my breath for a personality change !

andy_sims
January 15, 2021 7:13 am
Reply to  rockbottom

I wonder how you might fare in comparison to some of the greatest people to ever ply your own particular vocation?

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
January 15, 2021 8:02 am
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

Agreed, If CJ McCollum hasn’t made an All-Star team, Fox has a ways to go.

Henry
January 15, 2021 8:37 am

Whose team was it? Some would say Webber, others would say Bibby, and a few might even say Peja or Divac.

Perhaps this was the problem?

Looking at today’s teams, you’ve got partners like Lillard and McCollum, LeBron and Davis, formerly Simmons and Embiid

In all those examples there is clear leader.

My $0.02 – it’s a moot question when the team is still this bad. Once you’re looking at deep playoff runs, then it becomes a relevant question.

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