One of the great things about being a Kings fan over this past decade and a half (stops, goes back and re-reads opening over and over again, opens beer, takes huge swig, hands to wife and shouts “hold my beer!”) is that you don’t have to restrict your thoughts to such mundane things as all-star weekend or Executive of the Year or working your vacation around the playoffs schedule. The mind of a Kings fan is a fertile and damaged playground, one that has witnessed two ownership groups, two arenas, four general managers, eleven head coaches and 161players since the last time the team made the playoffs. Want to play a fun(?) game that will eat up a chunk of your remaining days? List out the players that have worn a Kings uniform for the last fifteen years…or ten…or five…
It is this sort of backdrop that has had me opining in the past about the best players in Sacramento Kings history by jersey number, or by height, or by their desire to be shipped out of Sacramento (spoiler: it was a one hundred- and sixty-one-way tie for first). And so it was on the morning of January 4, 2022, I posited the question in the Tyrese Haliburton thread: “If you could add one former Sacramento Kings player to this roster (playing at their prime level), who would it be?”
The responses came quickly from other woebegone Kings fans, and just like that, Greg contacted me and said, “There is a click market for this – write an article…and stop thread jacking my articles, Grantwad!”
In the same vein that we look back at old relationships and remember only the good and wonder why it did not work out (we always remember the sweet kisses and conveniently forget the brandishing of cutlery), let’s look back in time and take a swing at fixing this roster. I mean, hey, it has as much of a chance of happening as the Kings making any real changes, right?
Exercise #1: You may add one player from Sacramento Kings history, playing at their Kings prime. No other changes to the roster may be made, other than waiving your least favorite King to make room for the one new player. Salary cap is not a factor, and you are not taking asset management or future trades into account here. You are just plucking the one player from Sacramento Kings history that you think would have the biggest impact to the team. Whether that translates into wins or you having more fun watching or adding C4 to the wreck is up to you (by the way, C4 would have been a good nickname for Webber, no?). Explain your reasoning* for your choice.
*Remember, you are a Kings fan, so “reasoning” is an extremely broad, if not abstract term.
Exercise #2: Again, you can add one player from Sacramento Kings history, but this time you can take asset management and trades and such into consideration. I would say that we would need to take Mitch Richmond off the table. At his pittance of a contract, even adjusted for inflation, he would be the number one asset management acquisition in Sacramento Kings history (apologies to Joe Kleine). However, adding Richmond would sure open up a lot of potential trade avenues, so if you want to go there, have at it. For the sake of the exercise, let’s call Richmond’s contract the equivalent of today’s mid-level, which weighs in at roughly $10-11-12m a year over the next three seasons.
Exercise #3 (Bonus Exercise!): Build a Ranadive-era core eight-man roster. This would restrict you to only players that have been on the roster since 2013. If you really want to make this a “fun” exercise, try it with not using any players that new ownership inherited from old ownership (no Cousins, no IT, no Tyreke, and no Jimmer!). WARNING: Do not try this exercise while simultaneously listening to the Kings broadcast telling you that Marvin Bagley is finally coming into his own.
First person to post the “I was told there would be no math” gif in the thread wins a copy of the Word document used to produce this article, autographed by the author(shipped to the address of your choice, COD).
Audrey was a great kisser. Honey, hand me back my beer, please. Go Kings!