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What happened to the plan?

Sacramento's inability to commit to a plan has once again hurt them.

Five weeks ago, Sam Amick and Jason Jones of The Athletic published the details of Monte McNair’s plans for the Sacramento Kings. To put a long, well-detailed report as simply as possible, the Kings weren't planning on winning for at least a year. Instead, financial flexibility was viewed as a priority, both for the sake of Vivek Ranadive's pocketbook and due to the bloated cap sheet that Vlade Divac left in his wake. A postseason push also wasn't going to happen, as a top-tier pick in the stacked 2021 NBA Draft was viewed as the ultimate prize. Even thought they would never admit it, the Kings were lowkey tanking.

To kick off the offseason, Monte McNair followed his plan to a tee. In a non-winning move, he allowed restricted free agent Bogdan Bogdanovic, arguably Sacramento's second-best player from the year prior, to walk to the Atlanta Hawks for absolutely nothing after a failed trade with the Milwaukee Bucks. In coordination with that decision, the Kings also refused to spend any cash in free agency. They didn't utilize their standard mid-level exception, a spending tool of up to 3 years, $30 million, that would have enabled them to snag a quality contributor, and they also ignored the rest of free agency, signing the dredges of the open market like Glen Robinson III and Hassan Whiteside to veteran minimums at the last possible moment. The Kings were designed to lose.

Under those circumstances, retaining Luke Walton for a season made at least a little bit of sense. He’s a bad coach and would cost more victories than an average leader, such as Alvin Gentry. And the plan worked. As of March 5th, the date of Amick's piece, the Kings had posted a record of 14-22, they were on pace for 28 wins, and their run of winning six of seven games in late January and early February was destroyed by a nine-game losing streak immediately thereafter.

The only thing missing was a prioritization of fringe young talent over bench veterans, but overall, everything seemed to be going smoothly. Sacramento was tied for 6th in the lottery, De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton were looking like future All-Stars, and some of the overpaid veterans had even recouped some of their value heading into the trade deadline. A top-five or six pick, plus the assets added from a Harrison Barnes or Richaun Holmes or a Buddy Hield trade would have launched the Kings even further along Monte McNair's multi-year roadmap.

So what happened to the plan?

Unfortunately, the Kings won a few games against average, bad, and injured teams, and the organization somehow convinced themselves that this roster, the team posting one of the worst defenses in NBA history, a team that was never designed to win, could win.

Monte McNair added long-term salary at the deadline, and he actually spent a few minor assets rather than gathering them. The Kings hung onto the majorly ballooned salaries of Buddy Hield and Harrison Barnes, while also not adding any significant talent for any sort of run. Delon Wright is certainly a better player than Cory Joseph, but Wright is also nothing more than a solid backup point guard, not nearly enough of a difference-maker to convert a bad team to good, or even average.

The results of those moves, and non-moves, have been as predictable as a Kings performance against a bad team. Since the trade deadline, Sacramento has posted a record of 2-7, tied for the third-worst mark in the league, and they've fallen four games out of the last spot in the play-in tournament. The playoffs aren't going to happen, nor were the ever going to happen for this roster and this coaching staff.

And yet, the Kings still haven't changed the plan, or better said, they haven't returned to their original idea of a gap year. Despite losing seven consecutive games, Sacramento sure as hell isn't tanking - they're just awful. Teams that aren't trying to win, teams like the Houston Rockets and the Oklahoma City Thunder, follow a tried-and-true game plan. They bench or trade their veterans, no matter how effective or ineffective they are on the court, and they focus their minutes and attention on the development of their young core, from future stars to potential role players to two-way guys and 10-day contracts who probably won't be in the league next season. It's an easy way to guarantee yourself a bunch of losses while also helping your future, not only through a high draft pick, but by also getting inexperienced players some floor time.

In a maddening exercise, the Kings have done the exact opposite of their much smarter counterparts. They're desperately trying to win, despite being mired in their second losing streak of seven or more games this season, despite sitting 10 games under .500, and despite being on track for just 29 victories this season. Any focus on player development has been completely suffocated by the ineptitude of Luke Walton, a lame-duck coach trying to save face amidst his fifth failed season as a head coach in this league. The bane of Sacramento has benched the likely Rookie of the Year in Tyrese Haliburton, one of the Kings two good young players, for the ghost of Moe Harkless, who has been plain bad for multiple years. Robert Woodard, Jahmi'us Ramsey, Kyle Guy, and Chris Silva are nothing more than travel companions for their teammates, while DaQuan Jeffries was recently cut.

Of course, the defense that’s often offered for such a failed change in plans is that the Kings can’t afford to try and lose because of De’Aaron Fox and his play this season. And yet, wasn’t that the plan just a few weeks ago? Isn’t that what the Oklahoma City Thunder are doing with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, a young, up-and-coming point guard right on Fox's level? Didn’t De’Aaron just sign a five-year maximum-scale rookie extension that proved the organization’s faith in his long-term future here? The Kings can lose with De’Aaron Fox. They could’ve lost with De’Aaron Fox all season long. They could've lost with De'Aaron Fox after shedding veterans for assets at the trade deadline. They could've lost with De'Aaron Fox by tanking hard over these last few weeks.

Want proof? Watch the last seven games, or really any part of the season.

And now the Kings once again find themselves in positional purgatory because they couldn't commit to, and execute, a plan. Because they weren't sellers at the deadline, they haven't lost enough games to get into that bottom-five range, and they'll also walk into the offseason in a worse cap position than they were in when Monte McNair took over. Conversely, management didn't make any real win-now moves, so the Kings also aren't good enough to hope for a playoff spot. They've chosen to continue to employ a bad head coach, a head coach who is instilling terrible habits into a losing squad, yet that bad head coach also isn't being directed to prioritize player development, or if he is, he's not being made to listen.

Unfortunately, the Kings can't salvage another wasted season in which no progress has been made in either direction. They didn't get younger or cheaper or gain any assets, and they also didn't win any games, but management can still salvage their plan, or at least part of it. Monte McNair needs to accept the reality that the team he built to lose is going to lose, and that the playoffs aren't happening. If he's going to keep Luke Walton on board as his fall man, Walton needs to be instructed to prioritize young players over veterans and meaningless wins, and if Walton is unwilling to do so, he can be shown the door 18 games earlier than expected. The priority at this point must be youth and the 2021 draft pick. Anything less should be considered nothing more than a continued failure on the part of Monte McNair. It's past time to get back to the plan.

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1951
April 13, 2021 12:50 pm

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Last edited 1 month ago by 1951
Hippity_Hop_Barbershop
April 13, 2021 12:55 pm

Meanwhile I drink.
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SMF-PDXConnection
April 13, 2021 1:01 pm

To borrow from my profession, this is the Kings:

Is This the World’s Worst Floor Plan?

This organization is so damn incompetent, in five years they turned a die-hard fan who flew to Toronto to see them to someone who watches the Blazers for actual basketball. Kudos, team.

Amonk81
April 13, 2021 5:35 pm

Perfectly put. As I’ve said on many occasions, this stinks of Vivek. Always has. In my opinion , it is obvious Vivek won’t give up control. Thus, the mixed message, consistent losing and ego runs amuck.

This team will continue to be atrocious until (or if) Vivek relinquishes control.

if Luke isn’t gone-this shows me Vivek will not allow McNair to try his way, it’s over and I’m out. Maybe billboard/fight, if I have any left.

This is the Washington Football Team, The Cleveland Clowns, The Knicks (until recently). The fact that Vivek has such a huge ego he can’t see (or doesn’t care) he’s destroyed this club is disgusting.

SierraSpartan
April 13, 2021 1:04 pm

There’s no real plan yet – they’re just planning to plan.

Planning.png
Marty
April 13, 2021 1:09 pm

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TheGrantNapear
April 13, 2021 2:29 pm
Reply to  Marty

There’s your plan

Greg
Admin
April 13, 2021 1:12 pm

I wish they had done more to commit one way or the other at the deadline, but I think it’s too early for us to say this has hurt them. After all, they’re losing games and improving their lottery odds with each game. McNair seems confident that he can get financial flexibility before free agency, and I think he can if he chooses to.

I don’t think what we’re seeing right now is what McNair thought this team would be at this point, but I’m not particularly concerned just yet as far as the team’s ability to still enter next season in a better place.

Peja
April 13, 2021 2:26 pm
Reply to  Greg

This is exactly where my mind is at right now.

RORDOG
April 13, 2021 1:13 pm

This isn’t accurate:

They didn’t utilize their standard mid-level exception

It is accurate that they didn’t fully utilize the exception, but the claim they didn’t utilize it at all is inaccurate. Woodard and Ramsey were signed using the mid level exception. Technically, they also used part of the MLE on Metu, but then converted the contract to the two-way.

I won’t really quibble with most of the rest of the article. I don’t really think “gap year” is synonymous with “tanking” though. I think this is actually a pretty solid definition of a gap year:

Unfortunately, the Kings can’t salvage another wasted season in which no progress has been made in either direction. They didn’t get younger or cheaper or gain any assets

I think they were content with getting a top 3 player in the draft, and now they’re just biding their time until the next big move becomes available. That’s different than saying they went into this season with a plan of landing a top 5 pick, then made a course correction at some point.

RORDOG
April 13, 2021 2:03 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

And just so we’re all on the same page this is “The Plan as Amick/Jones described it:

They would take the long view — two to four years — and this season would be what was widely referred to internally, sources say, as a “gap year.” De’Aaron Fox was the franchise centerpiece. Another top-tier draft pick would be there soon. They’d try to get Marvin Bagley III, the former No. 2 pick whose jersey may as well have read “Not Luka Doncic” during his first two seasons, back on track after all those injuries had slowed his start.

From there, with roster flexibility ruling the day and a reluctance to add any long-term money in the upcoming free agency period, everything was up for discussion. And while so many of the team’s long-suffering fans surely hoped they would end the league-long playoff drought which started midway through the George W. Bush era in 2006, a postseason push that would only harm the value of the coming year’s first-round draft pick would not be considered a priority.

I don’t see any of the subsequent moves (or lack thereof) as some huge departure from “The Plan.”

NorCalKingsFan
April 13, 2021 6:09 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

I don’t see much of a plan.

This is what I see when I read “the plan”:

They like Fox and want to build around him with pace.
Haliburton is a true glue-type player.
They hope Bagley won’t always suck.
They don’t want to bring in any future salary.
They want to get a high lottery pick.

That is not a plan, it’s a wish list. I see our reality as follows:

Fox is good. We lucked into Hali. Bagley actively hurts and negatively impacts this team the longer he is here. We added a small amount of future salary. We didn’t trade for a single draft asset. We aren’t purposefully tanking. We aren’t developing youth.

If they had a plan, they aren’t following it.

NorCalKingsFan
April 13, 2021 6:24 pm
Reply to  NorCalKingsFan

Since I don’t want to just complain:

In my opinion, this team can be saved with a few not-so-easy moves.

Because they brought in salary, buy-out Bagley THIS YEAR.
In the off-season before the draft, trade Buddy for whatever you can get, hopefully future picks.
Re-sign Holmes.
Find a way to draft Scottie Barnes.

By getting rid of Bagley and Buddy, we would be removing two of the worst defenders in the entire NBA from our starting lineup. How can you expect the other 3 starters to really put in a defensive effort every night when they know 2 of their “core” teammates won’t be guarding shit.

Scottie Barnes is larger defensive Hali who can’t really shoot much but he doesn’t really need to (yet). H. Barnes can move back to SF where he belongs (stretches at the 4 are fine). Holmes is the defensive anchor and rim-runner who can still keep pace with this team’s offense.

Game Plan: Run, Run, Run. Defend. Rebound. Rinse and repeat. Over the course of a game and a season, the buckets, defensive stops, and wins will increase the more the game-plan is followed. I can’t say enough how important it that this team was able to benefit from the fast pace when DJ was here, other teams were dead-tired at the end of our games we stole some games from them because of it.

We need to make that our identity: Play faster and harder than your opponent.

ArcoThunder
April 13, 2021 11:25 pm
Reply to  NorCalKingsFan

you speak truth

April 13, 2021 1:21 pm

Songs like The Plan clearly demonstrate that Buit to Spill was far superior to Modest Mouse

JackassCentral916
April 13, 2021 3:44 pm

Why do we have to rank them? Both GREAT bands, ones with different sounds.

But seriously, Modest Mouse is the better band.

April 13, 2021 4:43 pm

Everything will be quantified. It’s a cold, cold, world.

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
April 13, 2021 4:45 pm

I’ve seen them both multiple times and only care to see one of them again, and that is Built to Spill.

JackassCentral916
April 20, 2021 1:20 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Not gonna lie. The one time I’ve seen Modest Mouse live they were terrible. BTS seems like they’d be a fun show.

andy_sims
April 13, 2021 1:22 pm

In a tank year:

“Yes, they’re losing, but not in the best way!”

I’d also like to see the young players getting more time, but Walton is trying to save his job, and he’s trying to win games. The fact that he’s failing at those two things will make it a whole lot easier to dump him after this season than it would be if he was under orders to not put his best team on the floor. That is the single best move the franchise can take right now.

You also present a whole lot of assumptions about the trade deadline, such as the Kings not being sellers. I don’t expect that people actually believe that Barnes/Hield/Holmes weren’t available for equitable return. Why wouldn’t they be? The adults in charge knew good and well that this team wasn’t going to make the playoffs. There are legitimate arguments to be made that the org might have been better off doing nothing at the deadline, rather than make the moves that they did, but the ongoing narrative that the only reason Hield & Barnes remain is to facilitate a playoff push just doesn’t land for me.

And what a fanciful adjective to describe Hield & Barnes’ contracts as “ballooning!” In what sense are two contracts that decline in salary each year ballooning? I’ll grant you that balloons deflate as often as they inflate, but I’ve never heard it used to describe the former.

The final paragraph claiming that “no progress has been made in either direction” doesn’t explicitly tie itself to all of the assumptions that McNair biffed the deadline, so I’m going to disagree. Fox has made real strides, and he has a legitimate running mate in the back court, something that would have been impossible had Bogdan been re-signed at the overpay offered by Atlanta.

It’s a free country, but I don’t understand why you would put all of this effort into building a case on top of ephemeral, unverifiable information, when there are so many concrete issues on which to levy complaints.

Otis
April 13, 2021 1:31 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

The adults in charge knew good and well that this team wasn’t going to make the playoffs. 

I have absolutely no idea how you can state this with such certainty.

And this is a weird time to keep beating on that Bogdan drum, considering he’s playing quite well (up to 9th in the league in RPM among shooting guards).

RikSmits
April 13, 2021 1:55 pm
Reply to  Otis

It’s funny, because sims is quick to tell others not to make assumptions.

andy_sims
April 13, 2021 2:03 pm
Reply to  Otis

I guess I’ll do a poll, then:

Who thinks that the Kings were a playoff team on the morning of March 25? Whether yes or no, what are some of the reasons for your opinion?

And you’ll pardon me for not doing cartwheels over a guy that’s missed nearly half of his team’s games this year. Porzingis is generally pretty good, too, when he actually plays. Ironically, the pandemic forcing Bobo to not play games all summer is probably the best thing that could have happened for his chronic knee issues.

Otis
April 13, 2021 2:20 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

It’s not about whether you or I thought they were a playoff team, I’m pretty sure we both have known better since before the season started.

I just don’t know how you can state with such certainty that McNair and Company didn’t see the playoff/play-in as an achievable goal.

Last edited 1 month ago by Otis
andy_sims
April 13, 2021 3:52 pm
Reply to  Otis

You and I (more or less) are reasonable adults, and reached the same conclusion. It wasn’t a particularly difficult problem to solve, and speaking for myself, didn’t take very long to make the call. This isn’t a very good team, and even expanding the tournament to 20 teams wouldn’t be likely to affect the Kings’ possibility of being included. That’s where I was on the morning of 25 March, and found myself in the same place that evening.

If we are in fact reasonable laypersons, I’m asking, what chance would you say there is that the person most responsible for making that assessment reached a different conclusion? And if that number is non-zero, what factors would you say contributed to making it so?

All that we’re really allowed to do is speculate upon the available information. I’ve just not seen anything compelling that makes me think that what happened at the deadline was done in service of a playoff push.

Otis
April 13, 2021 4:06 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

I’m asking, what chance would you say there is that the person most responsible for making that assessment reached a different conclusion? And if that number is non-zero, what factors would you say contributed to making it so?

The factors I would take into consideration is that there have been a ton of terrible front offices in the NBA, and we’ve seen a few of those here. So I never assume they see things (even the obvious things) the way you or I do.

Am I crazy, or were there media reports as we got closer to the deadline that the Kings didn’t want to deal Richaun or Barnes to make a playoff push?

Now, that may have been a FO playing the media, but I don’t see how pushing that narrative and then having the team fall completely on their face does the franchise any good.

Carl
April 13, 2021 4:25 pm
Reply to  Otis

Am I crazy, or were there media reports as we got closer to the deadline that the Kings didn’t want to deal Richaun or Barnes to make a playoff push?

Yes.

andy_sims
April 13, 2021 4:28 pm
Reply to  Otis

Now, that may have been a FO playing the media, but I don’t see how pushing that narrative and then having the team fall completely on their face does the franchise any good.

That all seems self-evident. And again, if we see it, one would expect McNair to see it.

I don’t know who was making the noise about playoffs, but to my knowledge, none of it is attributable to McNair. Given that the previous front office was more leak than boat, it isn’t inconceivable that reporters are circulating their own narratives in lieu of actual solid information. The article here quoting Jason Anderson’s story that the “Kings were working on something big” had no sourcing, and unsurprisingly turned into nothing. The playoff nonsense has a similar feel.

Carl
April 13, 2021 4:52 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

to my knowledge, none of it is attributable to McNair.

.

it isn’t inconceivable that reporters are circulating their own narratives in lieu of actual solid information.

No disrespect, but that’s an awful lot of assumptions for someone who keeps challenging people to prove that there were specific deals for Harrison Barnes.

andy_sims
April 13, 2021 5:03 pm
Reply to  Carl

Well, that’s an easy one! Show me a quote where McNair said anything about the playoffs as a goal this season, and I will happily concede the point.

And I cited an example of a media member using unattributed sources to push a rope of a narrative about big doins afoot.

If there’s anything else about which you are unclear, please let me know.

Carl
April 13, 2021 5:08 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

To my knowledge, none of it isn’t attributable to McNair. Show me a quote where McNair said the playoffs are not a goal this season, and I will happily concede the point.

And I cited an example of a media member using unattributed sources to push a rope of a narrative about big doins afoot.

Multiple media members reported this. Were they all in on the big Kings narrative conspiracy? What was their motive? Tenths of a penny on ad clicks?

andy_sims
April 13, 2021 5:30 pm
Reply to  Carl

To my knowledge, none of it isn’t attributable to McNair.

When you’ve reached the point where you’re asking someone to prove a negative, you are officially all done.

NorCalKingsFan
April 13, 2021 6:37 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Show me a quote where McNair said anything about the playoffs as a goal this season, and I will happily concede the point.

Um…Carl took your quote and slightly adjusted it to mean the opposite.

He is pointing out that asking someone to disprove a negative is kind of your whole schtick when you get into arguments. I find your response to your own tactics quite amusing.

Otis
April 13, 2021 6:38 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

I’m so confused, we can’t assume anything without direct evidence? Then let’s just look at results – this team stinks, and it’s worse than it was when Vlade was running the show.

Fire McNair, I guess.

More seriously, I think your arguments are an appeal to authority, which seems really weird for a long-time Kings fan.

ArcoThunder
April 13, 2021 11:41 pm
Reply to  Otis

yes

ArcoThunder
April 13, 2021 11:39 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Introductory press conference, and every interview since …

“I want to get this team back into the playoffs and stay there consistently” = Monte

Amonk81
April 13, 2021 5:55 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

But a completely unreasonable adult is running/owning the team.

Otis
April 13, 2021 2:25 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

By the way, until this season, Bogdan had suited up for more games in the last three seasons than De’Aaron Fox.

Maybe that’s the guy we should have moved on from.

RORDOG
April 13, 2021 2:57 pm
Reply to  Otis

I don’t think I can ever get a good read on your opinion on Fox.

Otis
April 13, 2021 3:20 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

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rockbottom
April 13, 2021 4:18 pm
Reply to  Otis

Losing a very good player ( Bogi ) for nothing was a poor move ! He is terrific on a winner at present and sadly Cory has been much better in Detroit than the recent Value trades !

Amonk81
April 13, 2021 5:52 pm
Reply to  Otis

Exactly. Adults knew? Quite the opposite if one believes what Amick and others suggested about Vivek not wanting to give up Barnes or Hield. Seems like more evidence of this.

RikSmits
April 13, 2021 1:52 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

They really don’t need additional reasons for firing Luke Walton. They don’t need any reason, in fact.

andy_sims
April 13, 2021 1:57 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Or so you’d think.

Gregoryl
April 13, 2021 3:11 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

We will definitely know more after the summer about Monte’s ability to acquire assets and gain financial flexibility. One bad/good change from Vlade to Monte is that we have no idea what is happening behind the scenes, but I find it very hard to believe that an expiring deal and 1st or 2nd round pick couldn’t be had for Buddy or Harrison or Holmes….which means this org felt the play-in/playoff fantasy was real, and if so, is a major problem.

RORDOG
April 13, 2021 3:29 pm
Reply to  Gregoryl

We have no idea if there were any offers for Buddy. The plan may just be sign Holmes to a long-term deal. Barnes is a bit more tricky. We don’t know what was offered, but we do know (at least it was reported) that the front office had to be blown away by an offer. That could’ve been a miscalculation on their part, but I don’t think that means they had to be blown away due to Barnes’s ability to help them make the play-in this season. If the goal is to get things turned around in 2-4 years, then keeping Barnes past this last trade deadline could still fit that timeline.

Otis
April 13, 2021 3:35 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

Pretty much agree with this, although you could say that they may have missed a window of opportunity based on Barnes’ high level of play.

Although his contract becomes more acceptable in a deal after this season, he seems to be regressing to his historical level as a player (which is still pretty solid, to be fair).

nonstripedzebra
April 13, 2021 3:38 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

For that fact my verdict on Monte is suspended. Conceptually when intelligent national heads suggests their was interest in Barnes especially in a buyers market I admit Im making assumptions. And the marginal deals aren’t us veering off the road, and with unknowns of actual offers I suspect we can feel assured in a plan come summer. But they made active moves not to bottom out, said as much. Removed of the plausibility in a Hield Barnes trade that is the incorrect calculation.

RORDOG
April 13, 2021 10:05 pm

I honest don’t think intentionally bottoming out was ever a part of the plan. I also don’t think McNair has made any moves with the sole intention of making the playoffs this season. To me, it feels more like a season in which McNair kinda threw Walton into to the deep end, and said “sink or swim.”

KingsSince85
April 14, 2021 10:10 am
Reply to  RORDOG

…and make no mistake, Walton is Sinking!

Gregoryl
April 13, 2021 3:53 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

I think we are over-valuing Barnes for a few reasons: In 2-4 years, his contract is up and he is likely gone; for a guy who has championship pedigree and a decent NBA career, he has shown zero signs of a vet leader; and, based on his career so far, his peak value just passed at the trade deadline.

Otis
April 13, 2021 4:03 pm
Reply to  Gregoryl

I was surprised that so many reporters (not just local but national) saw Barnes as a trade commodity leading up to the deadline – I thought he was still significantly overpaid.

So I’m not sure I agree he’s passed his peak value. Although his play is regressing a bit, that contract seems more fair when you lop off this season.

Gregoryl
April 13, 2021 4:20 pm
Reply to  Otis

I think that much chatter locally and nationally meant there was some buzz out there abt HB. I’m not mad abt keeping HB, but we need to understand his ceiling. Not getting anything for Buddy was extremely disappointing. I would have been happy with the Fournier deal that Orlando got, and I think the Kings could have gotten something similar, just to get Buddy out of the locker room.

andy_sims
April 13, 2021 3:54 pm
Reply to  Gregoryl

Given the constraints McNair will be under due to cap mismanagement, we may not learn a lot about what a guy can do with one hand tied behind his back. Still, there will be smaller moves, and they may provide insight.

Gregoryl
April 13, 2021 4:16 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Agreed. I still place the majority of the current issues on Vlade, but a year to acquire assets and create financial freedom (his words) should yield a decent view on how Monte has done in following his plan.

Carl
April 13, 2021 4:30 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

This seems like excusing failure before it happens. His job is to improve the team. I don’t expect that to happen overnight, but the team should be making improvements.

That being said, I’m on the train that I think all their chips are on trading for a superstar, so I expect little or no meaningful improvement until that happens, if it ever does.

Basically, I think they’re going to occasionally shuffle pieces around waiting for a superstar deal.

Last edited 1 month ago by Carl
andy_sims
April 13, 2021 4:34 pm
Reply to  Carl

Explain to me like I’m stupid how McNair has wide open space in front of him, and has carte blanche to make all of the moves he feels would improve the team. And since the cap isn’t my strong suit, help me understand how the Kings aren’t largely bottled up at the moment.

Carl
April 13, 2021 5:03 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

comment image

McNair literally told Carmichael Dave that final sign off is his.

Teams deal players for less salary all the time. Detroit did that with the Kings at the deadline. There was smoke around Barnes, Bagley and Holmes at the deadline. I would guess they’d like to deal Buddy, who is probably untradeable for significantly less salary.

Monte only lets me listen to 75% of his calls, so no, I can’t prove every trade he had available to him.

andy_sims
April 13, 2021 5:31 pm
Reply to  Carl

Don’t need every, would settle for any,

RikSmits
April 13, 2021 9:21 pm
Reply to  Carl

If the plan is really to bring a (disgruntled) superstar in, I have to question the plan. You don’t know if one will be available and you have very few attractive assets to get a deal done.

RORDOG
April 14, 2021 9:00 am
Reply to  RikSmits

I think they’d at least be open to the possibility of trading for a player on a rookie contract before they’re up for their second deal. It seems like they kicked around that idea with Collins. Also, sometimes teams just decide to rebuild and sell off assets. With regards to the relative attractiveness of the Kings assets, the Kings have all their own FRPs. A Kings future first is one of the most valuable assets in the entire NBA.

Kingsguru21
April 14, 2021 9:19 am
Reply to  RORDOG

A Kings future first is one of the most valuable assets in the entire NBA.

This was one reason why Boston traded down in 2017 from the 1st to 3rd overall pick.

Kingsguru21
April 14, 2021 9:48 am
Reply to  RORDOG

A Kings future first is one of the most valuable assets in the entire NBA.

This is one reason Boston traded down in 2017. They thought the FRP in 2019 was worth something higher than what it ultimately became.

WizsSox
April 13, 2021 5:55 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

I agree with a lot of what Sims says in the thread. Just because Monte has not swung a huge deal or sold off everything for a complete tank job does not mean a plan isn’t being executed. One may not agree with that strategy but we as fans, base a ton on media reports which contain a wide spectrum of “facts” and agendas from agents, other front offices etc. I see small moves so far made to improve the bench for next year or try to attain possible young talent on the cheap. I see no major questionable long term deals thus far. Just because a home run hasn’t been hit yet, doesn’t mean Monte’s not possibly playing the game well. The fact is none of us know at this point.
Cant remember which member (Dirkula?), but they have routinely pointed out any number of good consistent current teams that have not tanked their way to respectability. That feels like the current plan – a Denver, Utah, Portland model seems the direction. In a world of instant takes though it makes it difficult for a depressed fan base like this to potentially wait for that. It’s much more complicated concept than the extremes of 1)tank or 2) go for it now. Those could be the right strategies…but doesn’t mean there isn’t a third one as well.

Last edited 1 month ago by WizsSox
ArcoThunder
April 13, 2021 11:52 pm
Reply to  WizsSox

the problem is that what we have seen of the plan so far is that it’s super shitty

WizsSox
April 14, 2021 8:08 am
Reply to  ArcoThunder

Ehhh….difference between team being super shitty and the plan being shitty.

April 14, 2021 11:17 am
Reply to  WizsSox

Agree with this. Many people want to give Monte McNair a failing grade after less than a year on the job. I just see it as an incomplete right now.

Patience is thin with this franchise for good reason, but I’m willing to give McNair the offseason to really start to shape this team into whatever his vision is before I really start laying judgement.

Otis
April 14, 2021 11:25 am

There should be patience…to an extent. The reality is, it doesn’t take years and years to make a team competitive anymore.

I mean, I’m nobody but I think McNair needs to show something this offseason before I’ll think he’s any better than guys like Pete D. or Vlade. Two guys, by the way, who should not have been afforded much patience.

nonstripedzebra
April 13, 2021 3:29 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

I agree with some points made. And I am not completely writing off McNair. But the larger point made in this article is undeniable.

Without a third possibly fourth star to pair with this core of Fox and Haliburton, a playoff appearance with us as a 5th seed is almost inconceivable in the next 4 years. Three showings as say an 8th 7th or 6th seed still by almost all indicators relies on a running mate, and makes Fox seek a more competitive situation come his third contract. And as currently constructed with or without Bogi, an 8th seed and out at best had a 20% chance, capping us out and having no real indicators we would be able to repeat that over multiple seasons.

We have four years to assure our franchise player, who is the best force in possible playoff births to stay in an undesirable market. For hopeful showings, low seed appearances or something hopefully greater.

Everything in this article stresses that cautionary fact and frankly the other tangential variables distract from that larger point that the franchise does not seem totally bought in to that awareness. The positives that have befallen us weren’t foreseen. Hield and Barnes were overpays by market standards when they agreed to their deals and have appeared tradable for possibly 4 months. The 2nd best player being picked at 12 last year wasn’t planned or likely. You have to maximize these truths or we are on course to being Davis and the Pelicans albeit with a lesser star. I would suggests its likely.

Last edited 1 month ago by nonstripedzebra
Gregoryl
April 13, 2021 1:25 pm

Thank you Tim. This article is the best summation of how stupid and inept this organiation is and the utter disaster that was this year’s trade deadline.

BeTheBall
April 13, 2021 11:00 pm
Reply to  Gregoryl

If you were to look at the 4 major leagues and their franchises, I don’t think you can find a historically worse franchise than the Kings. Meaning looking at the full picture, from inception through today.

ArcoThunder
April 14, 2021 12:06 am
Reply to  BeTheBall

thanks for the pep talk bro

AmateurNerd
April 13, 2021 2:00 pm

McNair looks to have a strategy of incremental improvement. The recent losing streak comes down to two things: 1) the team is still just not good enough to compete with the playoff-caliber teams; 2) Walton has no idea how to use the assets the roster does have, and as a result, the team is under-performing on a regular basis. Barnes is a legitimately good player. Hield is flawed, but an elite shooter when used properly. Fox is a borderline All-Star. Haliburton is an exceptional playmaker despite his age. Holmes is a beast in the paint. This team has pieces, and trading some of those pieces for more ping-pong balls and draft picks (which are a great unknown, though flashy) just wasn’t worth it for McNair. Would it shock us to find out that teams were just low-balling the Kings at the deadline, trying to get Barnes and Hield for pennies on the dollar because they assumed the Kings were going to go full-tank? I’d rather keep Barnes and Hield than lose them for mid- to late first round picks that, odds are, will never be anywhere near as good as Barnes or Hield already are. Tanking is attractive because it shows everyone you’re “serious” about rebuilding and encourages lots of hope and optimism about the future, but it is not a guarantee.
IMHO, the best thing the Kings can do to escape purgatory and become real contenders is fire Luke Walton and hire a solid, NBA-caliber coach. Like Dave Joerger. The next-best thing they can do is hit on this year’s draft pick–a solid starting-caliber talent would be a win. The third-best thing they can do bring in a couple high-caliber bench pieces that can play defense and be Swiss Army Knives on the floor. Wright is in this mold, but we need a few more like him.
Love it or hate it, McNair’s strategy does not involve tanking. Its success is TBD.

Gregoryl
April 13, 2021 3:13 pm
Reply to  AmateurNerd

Of all the players you mention above, none of them showed any ability to lead this season. This team has no internal voice to keep them in check. That’s a problem.

Roaddog
April 13, 2021 6:48 pm
Reply to  Gregoryl

So I can know what to look for, what do outward signs of leadership look like from a player?

BeTheBall
April 13, 2021 10:20 pm
Reply to  Gregoryl

Not to mention that Holmes, while a lot of things, is not what I’d consider a beast in the paint. Moderately favorable complementary player, but nowhere close to a beast.

AmateurNerd
April 15, 2021 10:35 am
Reply to  BeTheBall

Looking at his stats compared to his role on offense, he’s beasting, IMHO. Very few players in the league do more with less. He’s no All-Star, but he’s a genuine above-average talent at this point. Just my opinion, of course.

nonstripedzebra
April 13, 2021 2:03 pm

This piece is a nice summation of the casualties of poor process. Do I think this Front Office has made large blunders thus far, no. But there is a consequence of not maximizing your potential position at any given point.

Can the Kings potentially trade one of Hield and or Barnes in the offseason, possibly. That said the buzz and good graces they were talked at the deadline, let alone the number of buyers was an exception to the norm. As mentioned above a deadline deal would have also maximized a bottoming out goal and improved pick by all logic. The possibility in the Summer are likely marginal down grades on both potential returns and a worse pick.

And that demonstrates the larger problem. We aren’t in the same places of witnessing incompetence, but that in itself doesn’t make the inverse exceptional which iit frankly has to be. This team has a lot going against it inherently. Thats what makes hitting singles or trying to marginally indulge an 8th seed and out fantasy (what year is it BTW) at frankly the expense of the only other clear paths for assured improvements is what keeps us stagnated.

Maybe we get a steal in the draft or make great trades in the offseason but the process and priorities are inconsistent. Until thats proficient and not a variable its ultimately going to end up with future inevitable problems.

andy_sims
April 13, 2021 4:08 pm

If I recall correctly, the discussion of possible trade partners didn’t include any teams that would have been able to provide a lottery pick in return for Barnes, high or low. That certainly serves as a deterrent in handing Barnes over for a middling bit of hope. You don’t maximize your potential without getting something useful or potentially useful back.

My assumption is that McNair would like to have gotten one or both of those guys off of the payroll to give him more flexibility in the summer. I’ve not been able to find anything to suggest that he had the opportunity to get equitable return, and passed on it.

Carl
April 13, 2021 4:36 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

There’s no universe where you get a lottery pick for Harrison Barnes.

ArcoThunder
April 14, 2021 12:37 am
Reply to  andy_sims

I say this as someone who wanted to keep Barnes and TRADE BUDDY!! That said the point I am making I think is pretty basic but important in this conversation.

It was reported that multiple teams wanted barnes. Boston was the font runner and they have tons of draft capital and good young talent and a guy like marcus smart who this team desperately needs. Now, there is likely a respectable package that Danny Ainge proposed to Monte because according to the boston media if he didnt put an offer in for Barnes he should be fired, barnes IS THE PERFECT FIT. There is a ton of leverage there. if its a bullshit offer, guess what… the Kings can leak the offer and Ainge looks like an asshole. By alll reports, the negotiating line between Monte and Ainge was open

So, you take that respectable if not favorable offer from boston and try to get more. If and when they dont budge you call every single team in the league and say, “I am about to trade Barnes to Boston for this, this and this, can you beat it?” If they all say no or don’t present something you like better then the boston deal then you take the boston deal because it represents the highest value for one of your assets that is currently exceeding value unexpectedly.

In that scenario I just laid out, Monte would know with 100% certainty that he just received the highest return value for that player/asset (Barnes).

I think what some people take issue with (and I see that perspective) is that whatever the best deal available was for Barnes 2 weeks ago is the biggest return you’ll ever get for him. As I laid out above I think, the leverage and opportunity was seemingly there for Monte to take advantage of the situation. He did not.

cloudyeyes
April 13, 2021 2:14 pm

Vivek wants to win now.

The problem: This current team cannot win. At best, this current setup will make the playoffs but not compete for a championship at all.

The solution: Winning now is making big moves to bring in big talent, however futile that is. This involves blowing up the current team. The other longer route to bringing in big talent is through the draft, which (mostly) involves shutting down the season. Sure, we could pick up a gem in the end of the lottery like we did with Haliburton, but that’s rare and it’s better to have a higher pick.

What happened: Low budget pickups and band-aids to solidify our 8th through 12th spot in the draft because Vivek wants to “win now.” Yet, doing this commits to nothing. Maybe we can get lucky again in the lottery..

Gregoryl
April 13, 2021 3:15 pm
Reply to  cloudyeyes

“Vivek wants to win now.” If he thinks this is realistic with this team/coach, this is further evidence that he has no place anywhere near the running of a pro basketball team.

BeTheBall
April 13, 2021 10:25 pm
Reply to  cloudyeyes

I don’t think Vivek wants to win. He’s found the magic formula for the fans: make it look like you’re trying to do something, anything.

That’s all it takes to keep a great deal of people buying tickets. The rest do so because there’s not a whole lot of fall through spring entertainment in and around town.

Peja
April 13, 2021 2:24 pm

I wonder what the team would look like if the Bogdan trade with the bucks went through and if the Bagley for Bey trade went through? All of the sudden you could argue that McNair has made some great moves for young talent with some financial flexibility.

Victor Oladipo got traded for nothing, and with some good pieces hitting the buyout market, I wonder if McNair was getting low ball offers for Barnes?

I am not ready to jump on McNair just yet. There is a lot of information we do not know and a lot of guesses that we are making. Some things can happen in the off season that fit more to a plan. I agree that right now it feels like a franchise without a plan, but I am hoping that some things just got delayed based upon deals not being there.

Otis
April 13, 2021 2:28 pm
Reply to  Peja

I don’t know if you can give McNair any credit for not actually closing a few deals?

Regardless, I tend to agree – McNair should have a better market for both Hield and Barnes as their contracts get shorter.

But it’s interesting how Barnes went from such an allegedly hot trade commodity to getting low ball offers – with a side order of media reports that the Kings wanted to keep him around for a “playoff push”.

Peja
April 13, 2021 2:40 pm
Reply to  Otis

I agree that McNair does not deserve much credit, I was just pointing out how the conversation would change if those moves went through.

You bring up a good point about the media though. They did discuss a “playoff push” and before the deadline it sounded like they were mixed on selling or buying. It has all been pretty confusing to figure out. This FO is not leaking much information out to the public and maybe that is why we are getting mixed messages? Or it could be that history is repeating itself and we have a conflicted office up top.

andy_sims
April 13, 2021 4:11 pm
Reply to  Otis

To say that McNair wasn’t able to close deals is biased language that assumes that there were deals worth executing. I’m sure that he could have closed a deal sending Barnes to Boston for a low first-rounder and some organ donors, but I would imagine that it wouldn’t have helped his standing around here. Not with me, at any rate.

Otis
April 13, 2021 4:22 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

I was responding to Peja’s “what if” scenarios.

andy_sims
April 13, 2021 4:37 pm
Reply to  Otis

That’s what we do around here.

RikSmits
April 13, 2021 9:28 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Hell, yes! If you constantly have to complain about that, maybe a fan forum isn’t the right place for you? Go start a Only Kings Facts website, perhaps?

Gregoryl
April 13, 2021 4:26 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

“I’m sure that he could have closed a deal sending Barnes to Boston for a low first-rounder”…but thats what Monte said he would do, acquire assets and flexibility! You say it like its a crazy idea, but that is exactly what he said his goal was.

WizsSox
April 13, 2021 6:09 pm
Reply to  Gregoryl

Maybe there is flexibility in keeping Barnes on a descending contract while you don’t have an obvious replacement for him yet? Dealing him for the cap space and what seems like marginal assets at best is a quick way to inflexibility. I suddenly have $20 million and I have to spend it on someone to fill the hole I just created by trading Barnes. That’s how you get bad deals. Obviously he wouldn’t have to spend it that way but I bet a nickel the Kings Herald would be running free agency wing player threads with everyone figuring how to spend that money and replace Barnes. Can he play small forward once again becomes the new mantra.

Now if something comes along, maybe Monte feels confident he will quickly be able to move Barnes if necessary and pounce. I don’t know and none of us do. For now I have to assume the guy making and getting the calls knows more until proven wrong.

Also is a middling to late first, that much of an asset?

Last edited 1 month ago by WizsSox
Carl
April 13, 2021 4:38 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

To say that McNair wasn’t able to close deals is biased language that assumes that there were deals worth executing.

How long is this excuse good for?

andy_sims
April 13, 2021 5:08 pm
Reply to  Carl

Until someone offers any proof to the contrary. I’m growing old waiting for even a hint of an innuendo.

It’s easy to yell “white” after I’ve yelled “black!” The suggestion that, in one of the most rumor-laden environments, everyone is keeping their mouths shut about Kings machinations, for the first time ever? Come on.

RORDOG
April 13, 2021 5:40 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

They had agreement in principle with the Bucks. The problem is they agreed in principle 4 days before the start of free agency, and the deal ultimately fell through because the deal got leaked. McNair may not have been responsible for the leak, but he absolutely has some culpability in agreeing to the trade before the Bucks were legally allowed to make said trade. To me that’s an example of poor execution that helped prevent them from closing a deal.

Kingsguru21
April 14, 2021 11:01 am
Reply to  RORDOG

 he absolutely has some culpability in agreeing to the trade before the Bucks were legally allowed to make said trade.

Was he not supposed to agree in principle? Especially since he was trying to work out a deal with two other parties.

I get the ‘buck stops with him’ point, I just don’t see what exactly he could have done differently.

RORDOG
April 14, 2021 11:36 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I think he could’ve said “we’re exploring all our options, and we’ll let you know our decision closer to when free agency starts.” The Bucks could not sign Bogi outright, so they needed a sign and trade to make it happen. That gave McNair some leverage. There are risks in delaying agreement, obviously, but ultimately the timing is what killed the deal completely.

Kingsguru21
April 14, 2021 1:30 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

There are risks in delaying agreement, obviously, but ultimately the timing is what killed the deal completely.

I disagree. What killed the deal was that Atlanta offered more dollars than Milwaukee by a fair margin.

murraytant
April 14, 2021 5:03 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

agree
and I think that the Bucks may have killed the deal once they got the Holiday trade which resulted in no first round pick to add to the mix. The Holiday trade messed this up

Gregoryl
April 13, 2021 3:16 pm
Reply to  Peja

You take the low-ball offers and run. Clear the cap space, get a great draft pick, start over.

andy_sims
April 13, 2021 4:13 pm
Reply to  Gregoryl

Who offered a “great draft pick” in return for any of our players?

But while we’re here, I’d like to offer you $200 for your car.

Gregoryl
April 13, 2021 4:21 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Great draft pick by tanking…keep up Sims.

rockbottom
April 13, 2021 4:31 pm
Reply to  Gregoryl

Great draft pick can mean average player much of the time !

Gregoryl
April 13, 2021 4:34 pm
Reply to  rockbottom

Yep, lets keep chasing that play-in every year…

Carl
April 13, 2021 4:40 pm
Reply to  rockbottom

We haven’t had a team of average players in 15 years.

BeTheBall
April 13, 2021 10:32 pm
Reply to  Carl

And yet the fans remain.

They have no incentive to improve.

We’ll see what the post covid era brings, but I get the feeling that Vivek is playing the old Sterling game, but just not in the blatant “fuck you” way Donald did for two+ decades.

andy_sims
April 13, 2021 4:39 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

You haven’t really answered my question. And I wouldn’t wear myself out worrying that the Kings draft position is going to sink.

TheGrantNapear
April 13, 2021 2:25 pm

What Happened to the Plan?
VIVEK

02kingsfan
April 13, 2021 2:39 pm

That’s why I don’t believe for a second the narrative that Vivek is “too busy” working on other business ventures and doesn’t have time to meddle. McNair is not dumb and wanted to fire sale but his boss probably stepped in and said “let’s go for the play in because it’s like the playoff” hence the value buying approach at the deadline.

rockbottom
April 13, 2021 4:33 pm
Reply to  02kingsfan

Vivek has no other business at present ! Fully into building the Kings ! 😜

Carl
April 13, 2021 4:43 pm
Reply to  rockbottom

Vivek recently invested in WeWork, and which ran up a fake valuation on BS, and then crashed and burned when everyone realized it was a facade. Vivek seems to think he can re-hype it into (another) fake valuation and then cash out. He’s wrong.

Last edited 1 month ago by Carl
Falconsfury
April 13, 2021 3:00 pm

16 gap years and counting

ajonez81
April 13, 2021 3:02 pm

I agree with the article, I want some conviction, better start tanking hard.

Yakshi
April 13, 2021 3:11 pm

Kings fans need a sign.

Starting some rookies would make me feel like a decision had been made.

KingofNOthing
April 13, 2021 3:26 pm

Does anyone really take this team seriously. It was widely reported they were not gonna fire Luke cause they could not afford it. I mean we have a horrible coach and they will not do anything about it. This owner is just a joke. Period.

Carl
April 13, 2021 4:19 pm

I admit to never having read that article, because Smails doesn’t pay me enough to subscribe to the site. I posted on this a week ago or so, but I think the actual and only plan is to trade for a superstar, like Kyrie to Boston, Harden to Houston or Kawhi to Toronto.

I think that means:

  • This team is not building through the draft, so there will be no tanking. (McNair mentioned at one point that the team’s draft pick(s) are on the table for the right deal).
  • Only incremental moves will be made, and only if they get the team closer to the unicorn deal. We’re not going to see much meaningful movement. (“Staying flexible”)
  • Overpriced players may go (Hi Buddy) because those deals are in the way of a unicorn deal.
  • The team will shuffle around GLeague and role players trying to find the next Christian Wood. We’ll see a lot of movement of non-rotation players. (This is the Farhan Zaidi method, which has worked for the Giants to some degree).
  • There won’t be much in the way of significant free agent signings, as they get in the way of the unicorn deal. If Holmes can’t be had cheap (think Montrezl Harrell 2/18m) then he’s gone.
  • No one is safe, including Fox and Halliburton.

I also think short of jumping in the draft or getting really lucky with the pick, this team is going to tread water until the unicorn deal materializes.

You might see a guy like Barnes be moved for someone incrementally better, like Marcus Smart. But that’s not going to make the team meaningfully (35 wins -> playoff team) better. If it’s done, it’s because the team views the incoming assets as better to net a superstar down the road.

RORDOG
April 13, 2021 8:11 pm
Reply to  Carl

I think a starting lineup of Fox/Rese/Smart/Barnes/Holmes, plus Buddy/Wright off the bench could be a solid 7. Add in the 2021 pick, a 3&D guy on the MLE, and an affordable rim protector, and you got yourself a pretty deep 10-man rotation. They’d have to trade a future protected pick for Smart, but that is a feasible path to the playoffs next season IMO.

kingsforaday
April 13, 2021 8:51 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

Who are we trading for Smart in your scenario? Just a future protected 1st?

I’m not as optimistic that makes you a playoff team in the west. When you factor in health (with which we’ve been fortunate this year), I think that team is still fighting for the play-in, and an injury away from being basically the same bad team we’ve been watching this year.

murraytant
April 14, 2021 5:13 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

in all respect, that lineup is way too small. Barnes has been crushed playing the 4 spot without rest. Hence the trade for Harkless.
And, I know this is not a popular opinion, but I am not convinced that the top of next year’s draft is all that great. Cunningham + one of the others will be good and the rest only fair. There may be sneaky value after 5.
It usually takes me a year or so before I think the last move sucked but it took me a week to think that acquiring Wright , Harkless and TD was a negative move. I would have gone for pure future assets instead even at a loss. There is a round robin of auditions- Metu, Jones, TD, Wright and even Guy. Other teams like OKC have done a much better job with that strategy. The plan is like swinging at a pinata.

knox
April 13, 2021 4:21 pm

implying there was a plan in place originally might be giving this team too much credit

Ccc
Ccc
April 13, 2021 6:04 pm

Wait, there’s a plan?

murraytant
April 14, 2021 5:14 pm
Reply to  Ccc

either no or there are many plans which is the same as no

SelecaoKOJ
April 13, 2021 8:36 pm

If this team doesn’t make some radical changes in the summer, it’s deck chairs all over again. If they somehow resign Holmes, that would put Sac at the cap or over it.

I still don’t see a playoff team. Even at 7 or 8. This team is not a tweak or 2 away from being a playoff contender. No shooting, No spacing, no real bigs that can rebound. No defense. Most especially, no REAL Nasty killer on this team. Fox is putting up great numbers. But, the more I watch him, the more I am reminded why Westbrook is his favorite player. Even then, Westbrook was a triple double machine in his prime. That alone will get him in the HOF.

But, like Westbrook, I don’t see FOx making players around him better. I see Fox being an All Star. But, I don’t see a player that will actually lead and drive a team to the playoffs.

I see the CLips, Lakers, Dallas, Denver, Memphis, Dubs(Klay back), Utah, Suns and Portland.

Those 9 teams are better than Sac without a doubt. If the NBA continues this silly play in, Sac could be fighting for a 10 seed. (NEXt year)

Kings are doomed to be a 10-13 seed. Unless, some big moves are made in the offseason.

Last edited 1 month ago by SelecaoKOJ
Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
April 13, 2021 9:40 pm

/sticks head up

I’m going to go back to my new train of thought that there is no plan, at least from a basketball perspective. I’m growing more convinced that the Kings are just a money making operation for the ownership group and the on court performance is an afterthought.

Vivek has not approached the tax line once in the 8 years he has owned the team. He has not once committed to spending to win, including retaining righted assets. He cycles through GMs, coaches, and players to meet the bottom line. As long as he profits, everything else is secondary. How many coaches and players have been extended (pay raise) on their deals since he has taken over? By my count there have been just 3. DMC, Buddy, and Fox. 8 years and just 3 extensions of all Kings personnel.

The Kings currently sit at the 3rd lowest payroll for this season and have just enough guaranteed money next year to prevent them from spending big. It’s all part of THEIR plan.

I worked with and against enough companies who apply this model. Just spend enough money to remain relevant but never properly invest in the future to make yourselves prominent. Pocket now rather than later. The ownership group have vested interests elsewhere and the Kings are just the shiny toy they don’t want to depreciate. Vivek built a flashy arena, with the city of Sacramento’s help, and is now more concerned with remaining in the black with investment obligations and real estate.

As many of you know, I’ve been apart of this this blog and the past blog since long before the relocation saga and I had some info that reassured many of us on the Kings staying. I have that same info on my current theory of profit margins. It’s the same old story of the rich getting richer.

I may sound crazy, and I get that, but I just want us all to step back from the idea that not everyone in the Kings organization is more about winning than making a fat profit.

Sorry for my take in advance.

/ducks

SelecaoKOJ
April 13, 2021 10:09 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Truth!

RORDOG
April 13, 2021 10:28 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Maybe It’s the A’s fan in me, but I don’t think spending up to the salary cap each year is really an excuse for not making the playoffs though. I think a savvy GM could still make it work. If they somehow ever do become championship contenders, and still refused to go over the cap, then we got issues. Until then it seems kinda pointless to for a lottery team to operate over the cap. Like if they used the full standard MLE this season, then that probably wouldn’t have been the difference between being in the lottery and making the playoffs.

This offseason could be interesting though. The Kings have early bird rights on Davis and Holmes. Plus they can use the full standard MLE. That gives them the potential to go over the cap by a decent amount. If they choose not to use the early bird on Holmes, and don’t use the full MLE, then I could see how that could cause some drama. Fox is smart enough to realize that the team isn’t willing to spend to build around him. That’s the type of thing that can cause a player of Fox’s stature to start to look for an off ramp.

BeTheBall
April 13, 2021 10:38 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

Do we really know whether building around him is something that is a motivator for Fox, though?