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Exercises for Kinging in the New Year

If you could reach back in time, which Sacramento King would you summon (after killing Hitler, of course)?

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!

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1951
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January 4, 2022 2:04 pm

We could use Drew Gooden’s double-double consistency.

DrewGoodenEra
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January 4, 2022 3:48 pm
Reply to  1951

Drew Gooden is always the correct answer…

Greg
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January 4, 2022 2:09 pm

Webber stands out as the best player from our past, but when I look at this roster I’d want to add Richmond or Artest. A wing who plays great, physical defense is what I want.

andy_sims
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January 4, 2022 3:36 pm
Reply to  Greg

Wings that play great defense? DC never left town, and he’s in pretty good shape…

SexyNapear
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January 4, 2022 2:14 pm
  1. Duane Causwell
  2. Jim Les

Nobody else matters.

Kosta
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January 4, 2022 2:54 pm
Reply to  SexyNapear

This should have been the NBA JAM duo

AnybodyButBagley
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January 4, 2022 2:21 pm

Jason Thomson just to make it truly epic Kangz.

Ensure the tank!

Last edited 8 months ago by AnybodyButBagley
JackassCentral916
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January 4, 2022 3:14 pm

He would fit perfectly with this roster, in terms of being a career underachiever who got big minutes.

AnybodyButBagley
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January 4, 2022 3:22 pm

Played for thirty years.
Nobody knew who he was.
Never did anything.
Was always given a ton of minutes.

1951
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January 4, 2022 2:28 pm

I wanted to get cute and creative here but looking back through Kings rosters (ouch), I couldn’t.

Exercise #1: Peja. He is not the best Kings of all time. He wasn’t even the best King on his team, but I love him for this team. We lack wing depth most of all and our shooters have too many other flaws. He instantly adds insane shooting, scoring consistency and size to our front court.

Exercise #2: Mitch. This may be cheating, but I went through this exercise a bit in the other thread. I reminded myself of the production he did in that era, with those teams, and came to the conclusion that he would be an absolute superstar today. Trading Fox here and building around a Hali/Mitch backcourt. Easy answer.

Exercise #3 (Bonus Exercise!): 
C: Holmes
F: Barnes
F: Rudy Gay
G: Tyrese
G: Fox

B: Seth Curry
B: Bog Bog
B: Davion Mitchell

This sucks. It’s also crazy that four of them are starters on the current crappy team, but that just shows how sad the Vivek-era acquisitions have been! I have no size depth but I had to go with the best of who was left, so three-guard line ups galore!

Last edited 8 months ago by 1951
BestHyperboleEver
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January 4, 2022 4:35 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Id go with Webber for #1. Front court playmakers/facilitators are absolute gold and he’s one of the best. Add in that He was a positive defender, decent shooter and elite rebounder and I think he’s an easy-ish choice.

Hippity_Hop_Barbershop
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January 4, 2022 2:49 pm

I’d add whoever has enough money now to buy the team.

Kosta
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January 4, 2022 2:53 pm

#3 is an exercise in futility!

SMF-PDXConnection
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January 4, 2022 3:06 pm

1) Marco Belinelli
2) Rookie contract Demarcus Cousins
3) Guards: Rajon Rondo, Nik Stauskas, Jimmer Fredette
Forwards: Derrick Williams, Jason Thompson
Centers: Demarcus Cousins, Sim Bhullar, Georgios Papagiannis
comment image

JackassCentral916
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January 4, 2022 3:16 pm

God, I managed to block out any memories of the Belinelli era, but they just came flooding back.

andy_sims
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January 4, 2022 3:40 pm

Belli was just one of a long line of players who were good before they got here, sucked in purple, and resumed quality play after leaving town. It’s just happened too many times to not be a thing.

Carl
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January 4, 2022 5:36 pm

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Klam
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January 4, 2022 3:44 pm

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Klam
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January 4, 2022 3:54 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

2006 IsWhenKingsLastMadePlayoffs Way
Basketball Hell, CA

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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January 4, 2022 4:18 pm

Jason Terry.

The only one smart enough to refuse to report.

BestHyperboleEver
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January 4, 2022 4:35 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

George Hill, in a way.

Carl
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January 4, 2022 5:37 pm

JJ Hickson’d

NinjaFetus
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January 4, 2022 5:33 pm

#1 Jason Williams. Probably not one of the overall best players, but his assists were things of beauty. With his addition people couldn’t ignore the Kings on TV anymore, and subsequent moves should’ve ended with multiple championships with that/those teams. *Though if I were forced to, I’d probably go with Webber honestly.

#2 With the current state of the team, I’d go with Ron Artest here. These guys need an enforcer, mean sob on the team. Not only to push around the other team, but to light a fire on the guys on our team.

#3 I’d just point people to SMF-PDXConnections core, thought I’d trade Rondo for David Stockton. He’s gotta be a HOF’er right? Let it burn!

Last edited 8 months ago by NinjaFetus
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January 4, 2022 7:51 pm
Reply to  NinjaFetus

J Will was a nightly ESPN highlight and a starting point guard for Pat Riley’s last coaching NBA champ! Not the best King but by far the most exciting ! His highlights are a popular staple on You Tube still !

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January 4, 2022 5:42 pm

I know it is outside Rob’s parameters, but in the other thread I mentioned a player who was a King but shined elsewhere, maybe more than any King in recent memory.

If we could pick any former King who peaked elsewhere, I’d go with Gerald Wallace. From the other thread:

I immediately think Peja or Webber, but I’m gonna go more unconventional. If it is their prime level…Gerald Wallace would be a nice add to the current roster. The Kings don’t need more shooting in Peja and I’m not sure CWebb’s game translates to this era of basketball or roster. Slot in prime (Charlotte era) Gerald Wallace and you have an elite defender able to guard 4 positions.

With the current roster his kind of abilities are what are needed. The closest to that as a King would be Ron Artest. Artest would definitely make the current roster better both on the court and behind the scenes. An elite wing defender and scorer are the bee’s knees in the NBA right now and is what the Kings are missing.

Another former King, who peaked elsewhere, would be Hedo. A point forward who shoot from three, rebound, and pass would excel in today’s NBA. His Orlando peak was very good. In the 07-08 season he averaged nearly 20 points while also dishing out five assists and 5 rebounds, all while shooting 40% from 3. He was a better passing Peja that year.

Fun exercise. Thanks Rob.

Ralph_Furleys_Tailor
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January 5, 2022 2:04 am

I reject the assignment as written, but love the exercise…so give me

Wayman Tisdale dropping 20 points in a single overtime

Jim Les in the 3 point contest

Kenny Smith between the legs in the dunk contest

Reggie Theus bringing NBA swag to Sacramento

Walt Williams spin move

Mike Peplowski the game after

Brian Grant and the Animal as rookies

Spud Webb fearlessly driving the paint

The Pasty Gangster

Bimbo Coles for Rory Sparrow

Leon Wood on a 10 contract ( he still holds a grudge)

I.T. proving the world wrong

Gerald Wallace?

Kevin Martin’s funky release

Tony Delk dropping 50

Otis Thorpe

Greg…my forever owner…in the rafters of Arco I

beyond the wins and many losses try to enjoy it y’all

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