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30Q: Mailbag Edition

You asked, we answered!

Welcome to the most ambitious crossover event in The Kings Herald history: 30Q and the mailbag????? Can it be done, they asked.  SHOULD it be done, they asked. When will it be done, Greg asked. Well, folks, it's here. We asked for Kings/NBA/site/anything related questions on Twitter, and you responded.

Let's jump right in!

From Fred Smith:

How many minutes per night can Sacramento conceivably trot out Fox-Haliburton-Mitchell-Barnes-Holmes?

Tim: This is me being nitpicky, but I think the lineup will actually be more of Fox-Mitchell-Haliburton-Barnes Holmes. That being said, the expectations for Mitchell after a really good Summer League performance are probably a bit high at this point, meaning I don't see that lineup getting as much action as everyone believes. I'll say 10 - 12 minutes per game.

Will: I might get to touch on this later or in a more in depth piece but I'm going to agree with Tim that at this point I think we're overvaluing what Davion Mitchell can bring to this team in Year 1. Yes, he's an older rookie and yes, there is a lot of talk about him being NBA ready but I'm incredibly skeptical on Mitchell having a Haliburton level rookie impact. Fox-Hali-Mitchell might be the three guard line-up of the future but at present, it gets bullied off the floor by most NBA teams. Outside of Davion needing time to adjust to his role in the NBA, I really don't think Haliburton is weighty enough to handle defending small forwards and while this whole line-up in general might be a dynamic offensive unit, it is cotton candy tough on the other end. The day will come where it could work in decently sized bouts but I'd be surprised if it logged 300 minutes this season, barring injury or tank efforts.

From SactownTony:

Why is Monty so willing to tie his reputation to Luke Walton?

Tim: For whatever reason, Luke Walton has established legitimate trust with Monte McNair, despite a half-decade career of losing, and losing badly. I don't know if they've simply developed good chemistry or if Monte thinks he needs a fall guy if things don't work out, but I don't believe these are ownership-driven decisions. Something to keep in mind as the Kings enter their second season under Monte with no significant changes since he took over - we wrecked Vlade for picking Walton once, and now McNair has picked him twice. Woof.

Will: I think it's simply a matter of McNair knowing that the team generally gets along with him and his rising superstar seems to have his back. It wouldn't surprise me if there was a bit of a mandate from above to explore every avenue of making it work before letting Walton go and with Walton absolutely fighting for his NBA future, those two things coalesce rather well together. Did Walton get a bit of a raw deal with COVID-19 cropping up when it did? Sure. But those excuses, if ever valid, have run out and I do see this as a make or break year for the guy. They felt this roster was good enough to compete for a playoff spot last year (they were wrong but...) and they've added depth and defense to the bench unit. If Walton can't improve on last year's record, McNair will probably be forced to look elsewhere.

From Chris Skidmor:

Has Marvin's handle improved? Can he go right/left less predictably than in year one?

Tim: Probably not.

Will: Outside of his three point shot showing some life, I cannot tell you one single solitary thing that Marvin does better now than when he came into the league. A lot of that can rightfully be explained away by the length and nature of his injuries. I don't even think his hip-hop has improved.

From John Francis:

If you had to choose only one condiment for the rest of your days, which would it be?

Tim: If it's one general condiment, it's hot sauce. If I have to choose a specific hot sauce, I'll probably roll with Valentina, although Cholulua and Siracha have a special place in my heart as well.

Will: BBQ sauce can get me through most things in need of a condiment and the variety of such can really give a lot of different looks for various meals.

From Steven Pearlstein:

If the Kings don't make the playoffs but finish .500, is that enough to keep Monte/Luke around?

Tim: For me, it's enough to keep Monte, but not Luke, because a .500 season almost certainly means that the Kings made a big trade, as I can't imagine Walton actually getting this roster to that point. There are good coaches out there. The Kings should go get one next summer.

Will: I actually do think that if the Kings win 41 games, both Monte and Luke will stick around for another season. This would allow the Kings to play out the final year of Walton's contract to see whether or not it was a fluke or if he's really finally caught onto something. Walton probably wouldn't like going into the final year without an extension on the table, but, hey that's what happens when you spend three years of goodwill on hoping you make the play-in game.

From Shar:

Day one starting five?

Tim: De'Aaron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton, Moe Harkless (BLEGH), Harrison Barnes, Richaun Holmes

Will: Barring injuries, I truly think we're going to see De'Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes, Tristan Thompson and Richaun Holmes as the starting five on opening night. It allows Mitchell to come off the bench with a steady hand and secondary playmaker in Haliburton and/or a shoot-first guy in Terrence Davis depending on match-ups, which allows Mitchell to focus on doing what he does best - hound the hell out of the ball. Thompson has started 87% of the games he's played in over the last three season and the idea that he'd help the worst rebounding team in the NBA on the boards will definitely be an easy selling point to fans.

Before you tar and feather me about that first thing, I don't think it'll be long before Haliburton starts and I do think he ends up playing more minutes in the long run than Buddy, but we have to remember: 1) they're still trying to show Buddy out for an eventual trade like last year and 2) they're coached by a bottom tier coach. This team is going to be super shifty when it comes to who starts and who plays all year long just to cover the big holes they have in their roster.

From Eric Sperlazza:

How many minutes can we expect from Jahmi'us Ramsey, and what should we "realistically" expect from him this season?

Tim: With the roster as it's currently constructed, I would be pretty shocked to see any Ramsey minutes, outside of garbage time or several injuries. Right now, the guards ahead of him are De'Aaron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield, Davion Mitchell, and Terence Davis, with Lou King and Moe Harkless potentially in the mix as well. I would realistically expect a lot of inactive appearances and DNP-CDs.

Will: Don't be surprised if Ramsey spends a ton of time starting for the Stockton Kings this season. There's just too many guards ahead of him right now and while he played really well in summer league, he isn't seeing much time on the main squad without some catastrophe or trade.

From Rice-on Tiller:

If everything went right, how high would the Kings rank defensively this year?

Tim: I'm not sure this roster can get much past average, but average would be a massive improvement over "worst in NBA history". I would also be a lot more confident if we had a quality backup wing and a different coaching staff. Side note: add Ben Simmons to this roster and my answer changes quite dramatically.

Will: If absolutely everything goes right for the Kings, I could see them sitting between 17-20th in the league on the defensive end of the floor. This isn't supposed to be an insult or some slap in the face to them, I just don't see where more than 10-13 teams suddenly drop off in defense or where and how exactly the Kings pick up more than those spots. Even if Simmons were to come over, Year 1 just isn't going to see anything more than the Kings going from terrible to "Hey! Not too shabby!"

From Erik Charles:

How long into the season until the annual "meddling" or "pressure from ownership" report comes out?'

Tim: Whenever the first controversial decision is made, whether that's a trade, a benching, or a signing. I'm guessing we're looking at a Christmas timeline.

Will: Well, after the press release that some relatively chatty minority owners have sold their stakes in the Kings, I might actually be slight optimistic that we can go through a prolonged trade rumor season or two without hearing much in that regard. That doesn't mean that Vivek isn't meddling, just that we aren't going to hear as much about it from grumpy rich guys.

From Drew:

What's the biggest difference between Monte McNair's tenure and Vlade Divac's? They seem super similar to me.

Tim: Vlade screwed up almost every decision that was his to make, outside of De'Aaron Fox. Monte has made some questionable calls, most notably keeping Walton around and tanking and then not tanking last season, but there have been no mistakes of epic proportions. He's also drafted well, assuming that Davion Mitchell works out, while Vlade blew every first round pick other than Fox. To put it simply, if Monte is fired in a year or two, we'll probably look back at his tenure as ineffective and not particularly memorable. Vlade was one of the worst GMs in NBA history.

Will: The team certainly seems similar to the one that Vlade left, I'll give you that. As to their tenures? Monte has been radio silent for much of it, where Vlade was compelled to go out and speak on every single thing that happened. Not saying one way or another is better, only that we've gotten the extremes of both ends of the spectrum in recent years. The biggest difference to me is just the lack of large shifts in the roster from year to year, though this is still only McNair's second season. A lot less money is being handed out too I'd say.

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jwalker1395
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September 25, 2021 10:45 am

Vlade found Fox, Barnes, Holmes, and Bogi. Those are our three best players, and would-be fourth best player if Monte didn’t let him go. I’ve been satisfied with Monte thus far for bringing in Hali and Mitchell, with some value-bin trades as well, but it’s funny how the core pieces are still Divac holdovers. Probably speaks more to the fact that Monte hasn’t taken a big swing yet. However, I’m damn certain Monte doesn’t pick Bagley over Luka and that’s about all that needs to be said as to why one has a job and the other doesn’t.

BestHyperboleEver
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September 25, 2021 11:42 am
Reply to  jwalker1395

Of course, those are the core pieces of a perpetual 30-ish win team.

AmateurNerd
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September 25, 2021 3:55 pm
Reply to  jwalker1395

The difference between the two is what Monte hasn’t done: hand out large contracts to mediocre, over-valued veterans that no other team would pay nearly as much for. Monte hasn’t fired his weapon yet. Vlade whipped out his black market Cold War Soviet pistol and shot himself in the foot every single year.

BigDrewbot
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September 27, 2021 10:39 am
Reply to  jwalker1395

that’s after 5 top 10 draft selections, 1 top 15 draft selection and the brilliant move of trading an unprotected 1st rounder for nothing that ended up being the 14th pick. And 9 second round picks (although to be fair, Pizza Guy might have been one of the best 2nd round picks in a long time)

TerzoM
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September 25, 2021 10:51 am

Where are the best mansions located for purchase by Ben Simmons?

TheGrantNapear
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September 25, 2021 12:26 pm
Reply to  TerzoM

Most of Sac is a dump. Rocklin/Roseville area and Folsom/El Dorado Hills are the only exceptions in my view.

Roaddog
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September 25, 2021 3:14 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

I can’t tell if this is a parody account or just terrible opinions

AmateurNerd
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September 25, 2021 3:56 pm
Reply to  Roaddog

Why not both?

Rosevillain
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September 25, 2021 4:03 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

Especially if you like 90’s faux-Tuscan tract homes and Applebee’s.

Gregoryl
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September 25, 2021 7:31 pm
Reply to  Rosevillain

That’s not fair! It’s also awesome if you rock Ed Hardy gear and love living the dream life on maxed-out credit cards and cocaine.

murraytant
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September 25, 2021 11:24 am

Agree with sentiment above- Mitchell will not have same impact as Hali which was unexpected. He will be brought ion slowly and defensively it will be hard to get him off the court. Will struggle on offenses- especialy with turnovers.
I think Harkless starts and does, initially, Buddy.
Going to look like last year at first but gradually the lineup will transform. Buddy to bench, Hali to starting, more minutes for Mitchell, a trail run for Bagley.
It might be best to get early season minutes for Ramsey and King- to see what they bring.

TheGrantNapear
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September 25, 2021 12:24 pm

Will: Barring injuries, I truly think we’re going to see De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes, Tristan Thompson and Richaun Holmes as the starting five on opening night.

🤮

Hamlet1989
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September 25, 2021 6:28 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

It’s obvious the starting line up is anyone’s guess, but this answer still shocked me. I’ve tried getting more commenters to give their starting five, and stated that if you ask 10 Kings fans you’ll get 5 different answers. This illustrates to me how wildly differently are people’s guesses on this. Jerry Reynolds says there’s no way in the world TT can play 4. He can’t shoot can’t dribble, and can’t guard in space. This roster is an unsolvable puzzle with big holes any way you put the pieces together
Monte has guts to say the roster is “well balanced” after trying, and failing to trade pieces which obviously don’t fit.

NorCalKingsFan
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September 25, 2021 7:28 pm
Reply to  Hamlet1989

I agree with you, but

Monte has guts to say the roster is “well balanced” after trying, and failing to trade pieces which obviously don’t fit.

There is no way Monte was going to come out and say, “I’ve done a terrible job of putting together a well-balanced roster and I have a lot of moves yet to make. Also, I don’t know why I brought in TT, panic move I guess.”

He was Just trying to lay the foundation that Walton has enough to work with, if that helps him move on from Walton, then I have no objections.

MaybeNextYear
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September 25, 2021 2:03 pm

My money is on Fox/Haliburton/Hield/Barnes/Holmes as our starting five.

AmateurNerd
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September 25, 2021 3:57 pm
Reply to  MaybeNextYear

Agreed. Buddy will start, and Monte will pray we get Good Buddy to start the year so his value balloons and he can be traded for fair value ASAP.

Kosta
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September 25, 2021 3:59 pm

I think I’m HIGH!

..er–higher! on Davion than many. Watch his highlight reel again from this VSL game (both offense and defense). I’m really looking forward to watching him play in real games soon, and I feel he will be contributing in a meaningful way earlier than many think he will.

Last edited 2 months ago by Kosta
Klam
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Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
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September 25, 2021 4:12 pm
Reply to  Kosta

I think I’m HIGH!

comment image

Hamlet1989
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September 25, 2021 6:42 pm
Reply to  Kosta

I was high on him at draft time, and I’m higher on him now. And maybe some other stuff too.
I still don’t really know what to expect from him though. not a significant impact from him right away, especially considering who he’s playing behind, and who he playing for (Luke).
I won’t be shocked if your right though. In fact, it would make perfect sense, just looking at him, and who he’s always proven himself to be.

PatFenis
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September 25, 2021 6:53 pm

Biggest difference between Monte and Vlade, is that Vlade made a ton of bad moves, and Monte doesn’t make moves.

BuffaloDiaspora
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September 25, 2021 10:23 pm

I guess I am a lot higher on this team than the TKH staff. Last season they had roughly 6 NBA quality players (pre-deadline) and those guys rocked it – the Kings had excellent stating and closing units going on but everything in between was a dumpster fire that dumpster had been mostly full of skunk spray.

After the trade deadline, the bench improved but the general issue of “every time Richaun Holmes takes a break the team gets wrecked in the paint” persisted. Picking up, uh, adequate?, bench centers seems like a solid plan. TT and Len may not be top-end guys but they can step in and not get destroyed in the paint the way Whiteside did.

This is not by any stretch of the imagination a championship contending team but they have taken a good core and added depth where needed (except SF, because reasons). If Walton misses the playoffs with this squad he will deserve every bit of his firing but I’m pretty hopeful.

RikSmits
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September 25, 2021 11:40 pm

The thing is, this team got destroyed on the boards (one of the main issues of our defense, certainly not the only issue) and Whiteside was the only rotational player who had a Defensive Rebounding Rating of over 20%.
Tristan Thompson will not remedy that problem, nor will Alex Len.

Yes, the team improved, but so have many of our opponents. Have we improved enough? I doubt it.

This “good” core has yet to end a season at a .500 record or higher.

Marty
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