Welcome back to Chainmail, where the questions always get answered, and the Kings continue to mystify. Here are some things that happened in Kings Land this past week:
- The Kings signed project big man Damian Jones to a multi-year contract
- The Kings also signed project big man Chimezie Metu to a multi-year contract
- Sacramento beat Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks! TWICE! Take that, Vlade haters!
- Sacramento did not beat Utah
- Chimezie Metu got hurt
- Harrison Barnes got hurt
- De'Aron Fox got hurt
- Tyrese Haliburton got hurt
- The Kings are 3-2 without Fox in the lineup over the last few days, a 49-win pace!
- Marvin Bagley returned from injury, putting up 11 points and 4 boards against the Lakers before dominating the Mavericks with 23 points, 9 boards, and 3 assists on Sunday evening.
- Luke Walton still has a job
- The Kings have fallen to 9th place in the lottery
The Kings had a busy week, so get to asking so we can get to answering!
Question: If Bagley keep playing like this, would Pistons trade S. Bey for “this Bagley” ?
I just wish McNair would not be fooled by “this Bagley”…….he is still the same Bagley that we all know.
yeah…I mean I would love nothing more than for Bagley to become a great player, but if we get a good player or pick in return I still make the trade. Bagley won’t be cheap next year either
Bagley may not end up being the Bagley we saw last night, every night. But there’s no question his performance improved over time this season (prior to the injury).
So not sure it’s about “being fooled” so much as it’s about holding onto a guy and seeing if that gradual improvement continues.
The Bagley we saw last night was electric. Of course the NBA saw that. Can we at least get glimpses of that kind of performance on a nightly basis? We all hope.
The biggest risk of retaining a guy like Bagley is he has the injury label on him now. I would love for the Kings to hold onto him, but it seems like he’s one injury away from losing any kind of reasonable value.
I’m glad I’m not the one making these decisions.
You’re correct, its a very tough call which is why you gather more data on him by playing him and keeping him for one more year. The risk is not keeping him because he’s not bringing back anything significant, the risk is letting him go and looking like fools again if he blossoms into a really good player.
This is the exact same thing we said at the beginning of this season. There seems to be a high degree of recency bias here. Let’s not forget that Bagley’s defensive IQ (after three years in the league) is about as bad as Haliburton’s offensive IQ is good.
I also disagree with the idea that Bagley is worth nothing. I don’t see any reason he can’t be dealt for a first or second year player averaging 8-10 points per game who looks like a probable rotation player and potential starter.
This isn’t directed at you, but if we’re going to hold Bagley for one more year, Buddy’s value is too low to trade, we like Barnes too much, and so on, does anyone beside Vivek really think going into next season with the same roster and expecting a different result is actually going to work?
I think there’s a vast difference between Bagley and Buddy/Barnes, who are cap space problematic and, well, not young.
We’re all one injury away from losing any kind of reasonable value. This is indisputable.
We should see Bagley with a competent coach next year and then make the trade decision at the deadline…unless we get a legit offer in the offseason, but no way we sell for pennies on the dollar this offseason.
Yeah, this makes the most sense.
Next year’s coach may very well be sitting on the bench next to Luke this season.
I don’t know if it’s just a coincidence but next year’s coach could also be named Luke
In what will be the 15th straight year of missing the playoffs, the Kings have landed a top 5 pick just 5 times: Tyreke Evans at #4, DMC at #5, Thomas Robinson at #5, Fox at #5, and Bagley at #2. That also means the Kings have cracked the top 3 just once in 15 years, and that was because of lottery luck.
Why is it the Kings can’t break the lottery purgatory curse and what will come first for the Kings, another top 5 pick or the playoffs?
The reason why the curse can’t be broken is because even when fortune smiles on us, we do dumb shit.
Having said that, Marvin looked amazing in Dallas. If he could finish the year strong, that would be very encouraging. It looks like his time away was utilized pretty well, and that he’s been working on his right hand. Him being able to be consistent and productive would be a terrific boost going into ’21-’22.
Yeah, we don’t have a luck problem. We have a decision making problem!
Very true, although in all fairness, there is something of a luck problem.
Bit andy if we didn’t have bad luck we might not have any luck at all
It is 100% a decision making and scouting issue. There have been plenty of teams that have drafted below the Kings that have found talent that’s launched them into the playoffs.
So is this a failure to identify talent? Is our scouting department that bad? Does the team not have enough scouts? The franchise has missed on draft picks through 3 different GM’s. That tells me it’s more than just bad GM pick problem and more of an organizational issue.
Start with the decision making of selecting the GM that made those draft selections. And selecting a serious of questionable “advisors” who act outside the chain of command of the GM.
That has been sub par for the prior two executives, so we are all hoping that Monty is the break in that trend!
I mean, there are going to be misses for any GM, I don’t know that you can tar these guys simply based on that metric. Of course, you have to look at the good/bad percentages, and factor in draft position, and other considerations, such as, did you take the obvious choice when your turn came up? Fox is a good example here, a great pick, and even though there were some very good players taken after, Fox was easily the most highly regarded option.
The Haliburton selection can be looked at the same way to some degree, although with Fox, the guys who were selected ahead of him were all more coveted, and the draft order was predictable. Figuring Sacramento drafts somewhere between seven and twelve in 2021, there are just too many potential scenarios to really know who might be available when the Kings are up.
When you look at a GM who can grab a Peja at 14, Hedo at 16, Gerald Wallace at 25, and Kevin Martin at 26, then you’re talking about someone who has real vision. None of those guys were on anybody’s radar as first-rounders, if at all. The draft is always a crapshoot, but some are better at it than others, and it isn’t just about luck.
That’s the thing that kind of irks me. IMO, The Kings really haven’t stuck gold in the draft. The best two picks of the Vivek era are Fox and Hali and both of those guys landed in their laps and were the obvious pick. That have been no reaches that turned out positive. That is 8 drafts, with some having more than one first rounder. I’d argue that last pick that surpassed expectations was Petire’s pick in Isaiah Thomas.
For the many mistakes Petrie made in drafts, there were arguably players that exceeded expectations like Peja, Wallace, Turk, Williams, Martin, IT.
It seems to me that Petrie batted close to .500 while the Vivek era is below .200
Starting at the end, I’m not clear why you’re comparing an owner and a GM in regard to draft selections. They aren’t really analogous, and suggests that GMs working under Ranadive did not make those decisions.
But again, with the Haliburton choice, a lot of people (myself included) thought he might go top five, and I was sure he’d not drop past eight. With a gigantic assumption that I wasn’t alone in that guess, at least four GMs passed up on this “obvious” pick. To me, that separates it from the Fox selection, in that both Kings’ fans and the people whose job it is to know such things had Fox at five, while there was far less consensus about Haliburton with the “experts.” Kings’ fans were pretty on-board with Haliburton at that point, if I recall.
I too was big on the Haliburton train, I was hoping to trade up into the top 5 to get him. I had him at #2 on my board behind Edwards. To be fair, I also had Ball much much lower. So to take Hali and #12 was basically a no brainer for me. If McNair had passed on him then I would kick a few puppies by now.
yes there are going to be draft misses but the Kings have a walk in closet of misses. That along will horrible free agent signings and poor trading. The combination of those 3 is a lethal dose of long term losing.
You know who else had a walk-in closet of misses?
yeah but if I mention his name my comment gets deleted. Dedmon, Hill, etc.
Not sure who the third GM you’re referring to is, but the last two were terrible. And I would absolutely listen to an argument that Vlade was the worst general manager in the history of American professional sports.
The Ultimate Irony, the Kings get a GM who has luck in the draft and but who does everything else wrong, ie not understanding the value of pick swaps or not drafting potentially generational talented players
Are you talking about the hockey Kings? Because if this refers to McNair, I’ll need some help squaring it with things that are known.
Whatever you think of McNair, it seems like this offseason is particularly important to evaluating him. He’ll have had two offseasons and a trade deadline by the time next season rolls around. It may be too early to expect the team to improve, but it absolutely isn’t too early to expect something more than incremental change.
I was talking about Vlade, and is luck moving up in the lottery
Playoffs come first. I see the team dealing for either an aging star, or one at the end of a contract who will leave in a year. That player will get the team to the playoffs.
There won’t be long term success, but this fan base would be ecstatic to be above average for a year, even if it means multiple more years of being terrible.
What is the trade market going to be like for Buddy this summer?
Reason number #84 I’m asking this question:
Sacramento still managed to pull out the narrow victory though, and Kings forward Harrison Barnes saluted the team’s effort with a post on Instagram afterwards. When Hield replied with the 100 emoji, a fan called him out for being so a during the game.
Yup and dem checks still coming in, Hield replied.
And Hield was right. People want to talk shit after a bad game, and then he went out and shot sixty percent from distance on ten attempts. In this “terrible” season that he’s having, he’s still at 39.3% from three.
In his position, I’d probably not respond, but regardless of what your take is on his season, it remains true that living well is the best revenge.
Having his worst shooting season since coming to Sacramento + doesn’t play defense + telling young players that putting the team’s success ahead of starting is a “media answer”? All this for only $63,000,000 for the next 3 years??
I’m not sure how an answer that sounds like “I get paid no matter how bad I am” is a good one.
It was a snarky answer to a snarky question. The fan was being a dick and Buddy paid them back in kind.
I can’t really wait a week for an answer: What’s the diagnosis for Haliburton’s knee, and what’s the projected time frame for his return. Is he likely done for the year, regardless of the actual severity of the injury?
Kinda weird that the day is mostly over, and I’ve still not heard anything.
Yeah, it’s becoming more concerning.
Not the typical limb position for an ACL. From the mechanism of injury, I have a bad feeling it’s a PCL injury. Tough injury, long recovery for an elite athlete.
Hope I’m wrong.
Brian, I watched the tape five or six times. I was worried it might be a complete rupture of the patella. It’s hard to see the location of the knee cap under Tyrese’s compression pants, but it looked like after he got up and started to walk unsupported toward the locker room that the knee cap was tracking correctly. Hard to tell from just a visual on a tape taken from a distance. Hope he is ok. PRP as soon as they can administer it.
Typically injuries to the extensor mechanism (Quad/patellar tendon ruptures, some patella fractures) occur with some amount of knee flexion and robust contraction of the quad musculature. We call this an eccentric mechanism.
Here is straight hyperextension. A patellar dislocation is possible, but this doesn’t quite fit what we see in the video and my gut says that’s not it. Patella can definitely dislocate, and spontaneously move back into place. Even if back in place, that’s a potential problem as you likely had some ligament fail to dislocate in the first place.
Anyways in watching the video, I worry for a multiligamentous knee injury – whether that is a simple
sprain or a higher grade sprain including complete rupture. Also possible is some sort of injury to the gastrocnemius muscle
What moves do we need to see from Monte that show that he, not Vivek, is the decision-maker?
Can you explain how you could reasonably differentiate between the two? Or are we going with something like, good move = McNair, bad move = Ranadive?
My guess is that it’ll play more like, good move = dumb luck, bad move = McNair is an idiot and Ranadive is meddling.
There’s just so much grey out there, and so little effort to discern it.
All I can go off of has been Monte’s interviews when hired, where he firmly said his goal was to create financial flexibility and gather assets. He did not do that at the trade deadline, and I don’t believe that was b/c there were no trade partners out there. That makes me think there was Vivek meddling going on.
If he doesn’t fire Luke, doesn’t create financial flexibility, and doesn’t gather assets this summer, than we know who is steering the ship.
Ah, you took it as that McNair would create financial flexibility in one season. I’m not sure that such a thing was possible without just giving away assets. Perhaps summer will see some positive movement in that regard.
It’s reasonable to expect McNair would do one thing to create financial flexibility in one season, since it’s his stated goal. The only thing he’s done as far as that goes is take on Delon Wright next season for an increase in $6 million in salary. That seems today like a fair to good move, but it’s the opposite of creating flexibility.
Also, I give no credit for creating flexibility during the season (by turning down Tony Snell from Atlanta, for example), because they didn’t do anything with it. I’m here to root for a basketball team, not to root for ownership to max out their cash considerations.
We’ll see how McNair does in the offseason. I expect Buddy and/or Bagley will be moved for less salary, and then he’ll at least have moved in the direction of flexibility.
I’d like to see moves that actually improve the team. We’ll see how that goes.
He forces a Vivek sale? : )
The only 2 question that matter right now:
Is Hali okay?
When does Walton pack up his office?
And as an extension of these excellent questions, does Walton have any chance of retaining his job? With so many injuries, if the Kings close strong, as they seem to be all of a sudden?
As long as we’re here, can you toss out some realistic head coach candidates that you feel would be interesting to McNair? First opportunity, or retread?
I know, I know…
One of the best and worst things about this franchise is that you can’t ever rule out anything. Mostly worst, but, sure.
Since we do not know how the ping pong balls will fall, let’s exclude the draft for now. What would be your top 3 priorities of the off season if you are McNair?
One of these has to be to move the worst veteran defensive players on the team.
Your spouse is making you choose between two holiday parties and you must attend one. Each party is three hours long and will include group photos. Which one do you choose to attend?
a. Spouse’s office is full of GSW season ticket holders who all live and grew up in Sacramento. They are gathering at the bosses house to watch a 90 minute look back film about the GSW most recent runs, and GSW attire is mandatory.
b. Spouse’s boss is president of the Sacramento Area Lakers Fan Club, and he’s rented the paddlewheel in old sac for a three hour Lakers River cruise to throw down and celebrate the Lakers franchise. A Lakers booze cruise.
I pick (a) every day of the week. No part of the Ws success has ever come at the Kings expense. Compare that with 2002.
I can’t stand the Lakers and their fans. It’s not even in the same ballpark as I am indifferent to the Ws recent success as it has zero impact on my Kings fandom. In fact, a small part of me was happy that another historically down-trodden Nor Cal team climbed out out of the muck and dominated the league for a while. Much rather have that than either of the So Cal teams winning rings.
This is 100% the correct answer.
but. it’s. a. boat.
It’s a “three-hour tour” and Gilligan and the Skipper are replaced with these guys:
Give me your Kings projected win totals for this season (end) under the following coaches:
Monte McNair wins the SuperLotto, and quits his job to live on a yacht near some tax shelter tropical island. Vivek decides to run a fan contest to determine who will be the next GM. Here are the contest rules:
Is Fox a superstar?
Me waiting for the responses:
(But seriously, this is a joke. What ever you do, DO NOT ANSWER THIS QUESTION!)
Fox is a superstar by 2010 standards. Unfortunately, the league’s new standard for superstardom is essentially 30-8-5. Stat inflation has gotten crazy during the Moneyball/Stephification era of the NBA (and Fox certainly doesn’t have any wins that’d overcome this gap).
But even in 2010, your team needed to be good for you to be considered a superstar.
Yeah exactly. Which is why despite his exceptional stats and score-on-demand ability, it just simply doesn’t make up for the fact that if he was truly a Top 10 player in the league the Kings wouldn’t suck so god damn much. Not to say the Kings’ situation is his fault, just that the LeBrons, Stephs, and KDs of the world will still drag your shitty franchise into the playoffs year after year.
I guess LeBron misplaced his superstar status that one year when Luke was his coach. And Anthony Davis was not a superstar during his tenure in New Orleans.
I don’t know that AD is a superstar but that hot take aside, AD led a mediocre Pelicans’ team (Reke was his Robin!) to the playoffs in his third year and again during the Boogie year, so that’s a pretty bad example to make your point! 😉
I don’t know that AD is a superstar either, but my impression is the media treated him that way. The thought I expressed was in response to jwalker’s criteria of still drag your shitty franchise into the playoffs year after year. Reaching the playoffs in two non-consecutive years out of seven does not see to meet that criteria.
I agree, just pointing out that AD accomplished more team success in NO than has Fox here.
What is the percentage that Luke Walton gets fired? Hopefully 100% but I have grown to never assume anything anymore.
In the case that Luke Walton is fired-who would be on YOUR short list of Head Coaches? Why would these candidates be on your list? How would they facilitate the growth of Fox and Haliburton?
This is the best question. This year we failed to trade out from under our biggest contracts, failed to establish any concept of Bagley as a viable NBA starter, failed to make the playoffs (and more importantly, failed to subsequently tank for a top pick), and this all essentially leaves us in a near-identical situation as last year except swap in Hali for Bogi. The amount of progress that failed to be made during a year that was mostly a throw-away for this team is infuriating since it would’ve been a great time to position ourselves to catch-up with the rest of the league. The last thing that could be done to somewhat put us on track to be relevant would be to ~FINALLY~ fire Walton, who never should’ve been an NBA coach in the first place, much less granted a second job without any interview process to replace a far superior coach. The prospect of hiring an upstart assistant, or G-League/NCAA coach to foster our new generation of young players is the only thing that could inspire some level of confidence in the direction of this team.
But alas…these are the Kings we’re talking about. So who’s ready for that Walton extension this summer????
McNair touted the desire for flexibility. Have they actually gained any flexibility since he’s joined? It seems the Kings are operating right at the cap line with a bulk of salary tied up in Fox, Hield, and Barnes. Leaving the kings with the MLE next year. They could presumably use early bird rights on Holmes as well. But there doesn’t seem to be a lot of the desired flexibility for next year and they’ve actually gone backwards a bit in that department.
I’m guessing what happened is that the team decided Barnes was playing to the level of his contract and decided to keep him, and that Hield didn’t have any trade value so they were forced to keep him.
Would firing Luke Walton this late into the season help or hurt this team’s lottery odds?
The Spurs hold the 10th spot on a 3 game losing streak 4.5 games ahead of the Kangz. Their remaining games: @Utah, @Utah, @Sac, @Portland, Milwaukee, @Brooklyn, @NYK, Phoenix, and Phoenix. That’s ugly. It’s likely they only finish 2-7… or even 1-8.
Meanwhile, the ol’ Sacramento Roller Coasters have won 5 of 8 and finish with @OKC, @Indiana, San Antonio, OKC, OKC, @Memphis, @Memphis and Utah. OKC will make sure to lose all three. If we win the SA game and one in Memphis, we will finish in a tie with San Antonio.
Now, fuck New Orleans for a second. And I assume we will not get the lottery luck to land in the top 5. Sooooo, I guess my question is what the hell do I do with my hands now?
It doesn’t matter ..
Kings end up with the 8th pick in the draft. The Kings trade the pick, Buddy Hield and Marvin Bagley for Pascal Siakam. Who says no?
Kings…Maybe, that’s a lot to give up for a guy I’m not sure is top flight
I’d love to get Siakam, although I’d also make some inquiries about Capela. He’s a better version of Holmes, and his contract is about the top of what Holmes’ next deal is likely to look like, and has two years on it past this season. You give up some offensive proficiency, but get better defensively, and he’ll get his fifteen points per game without ever having his number called. Capela running pick & rolls with Fox and Haliburton would be ridiculous.
Capela will be 27 in a couple of weeks, which also works for the timeline of our young hotshots. Siakim has three more years, but they’re pretty pricey. If Atlanta takes Bagley & Hield it balances out for the next year or two, but they may see Bagley as redundant with Collins in place, but maybe also as insurance, since Collins is looking at jumbo moola this summer.
I am, admittedly, all over the place here.
I’d inquire about Capela, too, but I can’t see him being available. I can squint and see a path forward with Siakam. That’s a reason I brought him up.
I’m inclined to agree with you about the probabilities. At the same time, Toronto has seen what happens when you bring in a superstar to play with Siakam, and might feel that they can still get one under contract. On the other hand, Lowry is on the tail end of his career, and won’t likely be back, so maybe they pull the pin on the grenade and collect assets.
If Marvin can remain healthy, Hield and he would be a nice return for them, although I’ll bet they’d want a first-rounder. I’m not sure I’d be willing to go that far, barring some big acquisition in Sacramento that would likely take the Kings out of the lottery. And we all know how likely that is, unfortunately.
If I can keep the pick and just trade Buddy + Marvin, I’d so do that!
I don’t right now. That being said, ask me again at season’s end after we see if headband Bagley can remain consistent the rest of the way.
The Kings would be insane to turn that deal down. Dimes into dollars. Buddy is an above average three point shooter who basically gives you nothing else. Bagley maybe gets to the point where he’s a fairly efficient scorer who struggles to pass and play in the team concept and is also a bad defender. Siakam is young and a legit third player on a good team. He’s also a plus defender while ridding yourself of the two worst defenders on the team. I don’t know how to quantify the defensive shift from Bagley/Buddy to Siakam, but it’s big.
Dollar dollar bills y’all
Dude is getting PAID
The 6-10 spots of this year’s draft horrifies me because it seems like there are 20 guys you could make an argument to pick in that range, and yet only a couple of them will end up justifying the pick. It would make sense to use the 8th pick as a trade chip, but it’s gonna suck really hard if we do and then 4 years later James Bouknight is the best offensive wing in the league.
Question: What do you think it would take for the Kings and Team Bagley to mend the relationship and move forward into the future together?
8 More games similar to this last one. Your point I think is well taken, a Bagley like we have seen sporadically on a consistent basis would be huge for the fate of the Kings going forward. I remember when the copy cat cry on this blog was Bagley’s right hand. We don’t hear that anymore and I never thought that was an issue. My biggest concern for Bagley right now is that he’s not enough of a space eater inside and he seems to be moved out of position too easily. I’m hoping a really good offseason strength conditioning program will help will that. He also needs to improve on defense no doubt but the tools and desire seem to be there so that is likely to come along IMO. I think the real wild card for him is his perimeter game. If that continues to develop, I really like his chances because that will make his ability to attack the basket even better which is a strength for him right now. One last thing, he has really could moves attacking the basket and his post up moves are compete