Categories
Articles | Commentary

The Sacramento Kings should turn their focus to the 2021 NBA Draft

Instead of chasing another quick fix, the Sacramento Kings should begin looking ahead.

The Sacramento Kings concluded their 2020 NBA season by going 3-5 in the Orlando bubble, finalizing a 31-44 record, resulting in yet another year without a postseason appearance. Vivek Ranadive recognized the need for change at the top after over a decade of incompetence and subsequently moved on from General Manager Vlade Divac, despite just signing him to a four year extension in the prior offseason.

Whoever succeeds the ex-Sacramento big man as head honcho in the front office will have to determine what they view as the ideal direction for the franchise and, to me, the clear solution revolves around the 2021 NBA Draft.

Preaching patience to the Sacramento fan base is undoubtedly frustrating, but take a peek at their competition in the Western Conference next season --  it would not be surprising to see the Kings as the worst among them come season’s end.

They are unlikely to add a high impact player in the upcoming, underwhelming 2020 Draft where they will seemingly be selecting in the early-teens, but 2021 has legitimate stars sitting at the top of the board who could fit exceptionally with De’Aaron Fox in the longterm.

I don’t expect the Kings to intentionally tank, but they should utilize proper asset management to fit a timeline of a younger Kings’ team around their singular star and reliable talent moving forward. 

Improvement from the competition

The Sacramento Kings finished above the New Orleans Pelicans, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference this season.

The Timberwolves have two 24 year old all-stars and the third best odds in the upcoming draft.

Similarly to the young Minnesota squad, the Pelicans are sure to experience internal jumps from their young talents in Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, and others. Golden State has no anxiety over making the postseason and will have their eyes set on a championship run.

As for those the Kings rubbed shoulders with in the bubble, Phoenix, Dallas, and Memphis can all count on improvement from their plethora of young talent.

Meanwhile, outside of De’Aaron Fox, where is that improvement for Sacramento going to come from?

Are we really comfortable with relying on Marvin Bagley to be a difference maker after he suited up for a mere 13 games in his second season?

Their forthcoming late lottery pick could eventually become a valuable role player going forward, but most selected around that mark are negative impacts in their rookie campaigns.

Harry Giles will likely be sporting a new uniform after Sacramento elected to decline his option. Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic are both already in what is likely the prime of their careers.

Whether the Kings attempt to win every game possible or opt to maximize the minutes given to their young talent, they will be losing regularly and competing with Minnesota and San Antonio for the depths of the West.

The exceptional talent available in 2021

Unless the Kings luck into a home run pick late in the lottery (Donovan Mitchell, Giannis Antetokounmpo, etc.) the young talent they add from the 2020 Draft will not drastically alter the ceiling of this current roster. Yet, the lottery is the Kings’ only real chance of improving the trajectory of this franchise and adding another player to fit the timeline and ceiling of Fox. 

It is well documented how underwhelming the 2020 Draft is, particularly at the top where the names Anthony Edwards and LaMelo Ball are regularly mentioned. Neither of those players are likely to be franchise cornerstones and it wouldn’t be surprising to see them return subpar value for a top selection.

However, in the 2021 pool, there is an argument to be made for 5-8 prospects that would be selected or considered 1st in 2020 if they were in this class - some of them with legitimate franchise player upside. It is unlikely that Sacramento lucks into the top of the lottery due to the bottom feeders in the Eastern Conference, but it is not crazy to consider top-5 within the realm of possibility.

Cade Cunningham, who has committed to Oklahoma State, is the player who I most hear regarded as the cream of the crop and favored top selection with potential as a franchise cornerstone. Cade makes the players around him better with stellar passing, IQ, patience, individual and team defense, rebound, and promising three-level scoring at roughly 6’7.5”.

Jonathan Kuminga, the player I find myself most intrigued with for Sacramento at this early stage, stands at 6’8” and is an absolute monster in transition with his overwhelming length, strength, and athleticism at just 17 years old. His entertaining explosiveness will be found on the new G-League Select team next season, along with Jalen Green.

Green is another candidate to be selected among the top of the 2021 lottery due to his overwhelming athleticism, shooting, and scoring arsenal that will feature in countless highlight reels alongside Kuminga - the bounce and speed of that duo is unreal and will surely pull me out to Walnut Creek to witness them in person should the circumstances allow it.

If the Kings prefer a big man, USC follows up their season with Onyeka Okongwu with another high-level rim protector in the 6’11” Evan Mobley.

More names to keep an eye on include BJ Boston (Kentucky), Jalen Johnson (Duke), and Ziaire Williams (Stanford). From conversations I have had with draft experts, there is a tier drop off around the early teens in 2021 and the last thing Sacramento should want is to be stuck in the late lottery after a year of mediocrity and bringing in another player who will not change the trajectory of the franchise.

Not tanking, but retooling

I find it extremely unlikely that Sacramento will clearly tank next season to improve their draft stock, something we have seen plenty in the past, but as mentioned previously, that won’t be necessary in order to select near the top in 2021.

There are some players on the roster that Sacramento could look to trade for younger pieces if they buy into the idea of retooling to a younger iteration of the team around Fox. The obvious candidates are Buddy Hield, who has not held back in expressing discontent with his current role, and the now restricted free agent Bogdan Bogdanovic. The Kings are likely to make a selection between the two this offseason and I would guess could pull a late first rounder for either one they decided to move on from.

As for their other assets, Cory Joseph could draw some interest around the league as a backup point guard on a playoff team, but there may be hesitation due to his $13M price tag.

In a league that values shooting more than ever before, particularly from big men, Nemanja Bjelica logged an absurd 41.9 percent from deep on 4.4 attempts per showing and remained healthy. It would be a mistake for Sacramento to let Professor Big Shots walk, with his $7.15M non-guaranteed headed into next year, as he surely has value on the trade market in the form of draft compensation.

Veterans are needed, even during a retooling, and Barnes is a valuable asset to keep on the roster due to his positional scarcity and versatility. 

The new front office simply needs to have a clear gameplan on a method of improvement for this roster, and the clear answer is the 2021 NBA Draft.

If he can remain on the floor, let Bagley run for 30 minutes a night, give DaQuan Jeffries 15+ minutes per showing, allow the 2020 Draft selections regular extended run, and see what you have in Justin James and Kyle Guy. Be willing to listen to offers on everyone not named De’Aaron Fox and acquire additional young talents or draft assets.

A top-5 pick in the loaded 2021 NBA Draft is one of the few methods where Sacramento can reliably add another talent the level of Fox alongside him and brighten their future.

Asking Kings' fans to sit through another year of 20-27 wins is cruel, but their options are truly limited, and chasing the 8 seed is what has led to this draining playoff drought being extended year after year. 

Subscribe
Notify of
88 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Inthestarz
August 17, 2020 9:39 am

Here here.

Kings need to get off the treadmill now. Both because these group of vets have shown incapable of making a difference and because the Kings need more top end talent

start from scratch

eddie41
August 17, 2020 12:16 pm
Reply to  Inthestarz

by “start from scratch” do mean swapping the Stockton Kings for the Sacramento Kings? Oh Dolly I’m hot tonight.

andy_sims
August 17, 2020 9:40 am

20-27 wins next season?

I’ll have what she’s having!

That being said, excellent write-up, and strikes me as perfectly sensible.

I do feel like one of these guys that’s in and out of prison, and has no concerns about additional time.

“Another year? A year? After doing 14 straight in the hole, I can do a year standing on my head.”

RowJimmy
August 17, 2020 8:12 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Used to bet if the Kings would win 25,26,27…with the boys back in the80s and into the 90s. I am good with this again next year to see what kind assets we have going into 2021 draft. Cut bait and forget about that 8th seed nibble and build for a championship run young

RikSmits
August 17, 2020 9:45 am

If the Kings prefer a big man

I thought Vlade was gone?

If there’s a year to tank, next year is it. I prefer biting that bullet and suffer for a year to be able to pick a player of which we can dream that he will bring us to the promised land.

That is a no-brainer IMO and absolutely should happen. You sell of most of your players for whatever assets you can acquire, and take on bad, short deals for more assets and then start building around the franchise player you have picked next year.

LaBradfordsCreditCard
August 18, 2020 12:45 am
Reply to  RikSmits

I still dream of Luka taking us to the promised land. Then I wake up and stare into the abyss.

RAP87
August 17, 2020 9:58 am

I agree with this 100%. Clean house and start all over from the top to the bottom. Trade everyone except for Fox and MB3.. Collect as much assets and set our eyes on the 2021 draft. With our current roster, this team ain’t going nowhere. Getting a top 3-5 talent would be huge for this team (assuming we hire a competent and experienced GM). Pairing Fox with one of Cade, Green, Boston, Kuminga) is certainly a good start.

Heck if the GM will go full Hinkie or is actually Hinkie, he could trade Fox after drafting one of the 2021 top prospects and try to get another pick OR a future pick and enter the Emoni Bates sweepstakes in 2022. This might be a stretch but one can dream!

eddie41
August 17, 2020 12:13 pm
Reply to  RAP87

a fire sale. yayyyy farm team!

RobHessing
August 17, 2020 12:24 pm
Reply to  eddie41

Farms have fire sales?

Last edited 11 months ago by RobHessing
RORDOG
August 17, 2020 12:37 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

a) let’s try to avoid using terms associated with physical violence to describe NBA transactions, and b) Vlade allowed for opposing teams to sign Giles away when he decided to not exercise their team option for next season. You seem to be trying to have it both ways.

LandParkJimmer
August 17, 2020 10:06 am

I’d like to see more of Justin James, I think he could develop nicely.Kyle Guy though….yikes

RandyBreuersNeckHair
August 17, 2020 10:14 am

Yet, the lottery is the Kings’ only real chance of improving the trajectory of this franchise and adding another player to fit the timeline and ceiling of Fox. 

Can we all just agree that we need to stop worrying about fitting anything around Fox? That’s exactly why we’re still where we are today. He’s shown nothing that would lead me to say he’s a franchise cornerstone.

RORDOG
August 17, 2020 10:29 am

I agree that Fox will probably never be a top 10 player in this league. I do think he can be the PG on a team that makes deep playoff runs though. If you listen to other players in the league they say his speed is almost a cheat code. We’ve just never seen how that looks with a roster built to maximize his unique talents. One caveat, is that Fox needs to be more confident taking jumpers. He’s basically good pulling up from the elbow area, but everywhere else he’s basically bad (plus his FT% on 1 of 2 is atrocious).

RikSmits
August 17, 2020 10:32 am
Reply to  RORDOG

The point still stands; if the best talent in the 2021 draft is a PG, you take him even if that takes the goddamn ball out of Fox’s hands.

RORDOG
August 17, 2020 10:38 am
Reply to  RikSmits

I don’t know if that’s true. I actually agreed with some folks who think the Kings should trade for a PG like Lonzo Ball. I see that as a way to make the roster work better than the sum of it’s parts. I don’t really agree with the idea of drafting redundant players or players that have conflicting skillsets. If you don’t think Fox is a foundational piece, then trade him. I don’t see the point in drafting a player that doesn’t compliment Fox’s style of play. And to be clear, I don’t think Doncic and Fox would’ve been a bad fit under the right circumstances.

RikSmits
August 17, 2020 11:11 am
Reply to  RORDOG

You first make your pick based on talent; if that is a great SG or SF, you can keep Fox. It it is another PG, you see if that is a viable combination and if not, you trade Fox.

RORDOG
August 17, 2020 11:37 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Yeah I just respectively disagree. If I was the Kings GM, I would not have drafted trae young for instance. But obviously, I just have a different opinion about how to build a team. I think of it more of like an ensemble cast. I guess what I will say though is that they should be targeting players with diverse skillsets that will fit on any roster. That’s something that bothers me about Bagley. He basically forces you to build around him even though he might not be the type of player worth building around.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is that they absolutely should not worry about Bagley when making a draft pick. I think that Fox’s talent is still promising enough to consider drafting players capable of unlocking his potential.

RikSmits
August 17, 2020 11:55 am
Reply to  RORDOG

I’d rather wish you were respectful, irrespective of whether you’re respective.

RORDOG
August 17, 2020 12:07 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

comment image

RikSmits
August 17, 2020 12:12 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

comment image

PlayoffModeT
August 17, 2020 12:11 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

I think I agree with both of you. The Heat didnt pass on Lebron because they had Dwade. The talented players will figure it out.

Kind of a coincidence that Lebron/Doncic have a similar game as point fowards and Wade/Fox like slashing guards that can get assists.

I would be hesitant to take Trae Young if he is solely BPA and we had Fox. Then I would also have to trade down or trade Fox.

RORDOG
August 17, 2020 12:29 pm
Reply to  PlayoffModeT

Yeah typically I would avoid drafting players like Fox since they require being surrounded by players with unique skillsets. Now that here’s though, I’d like to see what the team looks like when it’s built around Fox. I guess it’s a bit paradoxical, but I I think you have to at least try to have a team that exploits Fox’s ability to just fuck shit up.

BestHyperboleEver
August 17, 2020 12:56 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

If the clear BPA was a one-position PG, then I would absolutely take them and figure the rest out later. But they haven’t been in that situation and, looking at the next few draft, it’s hard to imagine them being in that situation anytime soon.

Wonderchild
August 17, 2020 4:28 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

so basically, drafting Fox and Bagley back to back is sort of a double whammy.

RORDOG
August 17, 2020 7:53 pm
Reply to  Wonderchild

and that’s kind of my point. At a certain point you just become pot committed. I don’t see how drafting a bunch of redundant players really helps in the overall scheme of things. Like I get it in the abstract, but I think there’s enough examples of that strategy failing in the past to at least give everyone pause. You look at every successful team that was built though the draft and they did it by drafting complimentary players.

RORDOG
August 17, 2020 7:57 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

“every” is probably a bit excessive. But I just think for the most part teams that draft their way to a championship typically do so by accumulating a bunch of players that fit will together.

Last edited 11 months ago by RORDOG
Wonderchild
August 18, 2020 8:39 am
Reply to  RORDOG

Mostly agree. I think Vlade’s team building skills was worse than his draft record (which is saying something). Consistently prioritizing big men and undersized guards over wing depth.

But the way you explain it only works if said team only has superstar level talent.

richie88
August 17, 2020 10:17 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

I wouldn’t have drafted Young b/c I didn’t think he was 1 of the top 2 players in his draft (I thought the top 2 players were Luka & JJJ) & I wasn’t sure if he’d be better than Fox. The presence of Fox shouldn’t prevent a GM from drafting BPA.

AirmaxPG
August 17, 2020 10:48 am
Reply to  RikSmits

I wonder if the next step in the evolution of NBA basketball is the gradual phasing out of smaller guards in the same way that the importance of big men have been diminished. We’ve all seen the importance of play-making wings. And of the top teams in the NBA this season, you could say MAYBE one of those teams is led by a traditional point guard (Lowry in TOR). Although Siakam is a big part of their success, and they won a chip with Kawhi.

But you have Durant in recent years, Giannis, Lebron, Kawhi/PG13, even Harden is not what you would call a traditional point guard (he’s 6’5″).

Players who are positionless due to their size are the players we should be targeting and building around.

Not saying we should actively shop Fox, but if the opportunity presents itself in the form of a deal involving multiple high-end prospects/picks… the new FO needs to be open to that idea. The organization should be beholden to nobody, unless we’re talking about generational talent. And we’ve never had one of those in Sac.

First priority though, should be getting the best possible front office in place and letting them make all of the decisions.

BestHyperboleEver
August 17, 2020 1:28 pm
Reply to  AirmaxPG

Yeah, really what’s happening is we’re seeing tall kids work on perimeter skills from the time they’re young. Back in the day, they used to send the short kids off to practice dribbling and shooting while the tall kids worked on rebounding and post moves. Now, everybody is developing perimeter skills from an early age.

LaBradfordsCreditCard
August 18, 2020 12:46 am

Yep, wouldn’t want that Luka guy taking the ball out of his hands.

RORDOG
August 17, 2020 10:21 am

One thing I hope they start to prioritize is finding and developing diamonds in the rough. Stop wasting roster spots on veterans that are just happy to get overpaid to lose. Giving developmental minutes to players like DJ kinda kills two birds with one stone: the Kings will ensure they have a good pick in a deep draft, and maybe Jeffries develops into a solid rotation player for a playoff team in a few years.

I think a good way to accomplish that would be to bring in a bunch of dudes that are showing success as executives in the G League. McClish should obviously get a promotion to Assistant GM, or Director of Player Personnel. Bring back Dee Brown. Beg SAR to come back, and give him an offer he can’t refuse. I don’t think he has any G League experience, but consider bringing Mike Bratz back to construct the best scouting dept. in the NBA.

PlayoffModeT
August 17, 2020 11:18 am
Reply to  RORDOG

I agree so much on scouting. Toronto has drafted late and found undrafted GEMS. Its too bad we wont get to see a player blow up in March Madness. I really enjoy seeing those players.

RORDOG
August 17, 2020 12:02 pm
Reply to  PlayoffModeT

yeah you look at guys like Chris Boucher. He was undrafted, and was on Golden State before signing with Toronto.

The Kings need to be able to identify those guys, and have to ability to sign them to cheap deals. Look at guys like Wenyen Gabriel. He’s getting minutes on a playoff team. The Kings had to include him in the Ariza trade because Ariza was so overpaid.

Honestly, has there ever been a team that succeeded simply by exploiting another team’s dysfunction so much? Portland can thank the Kings for giving them the opportunity to play Lillard, McCollom, Trent Jr., Gabriel, and Collins. I’d include Whiteside, but that’s just complicated.

BestHyperboleEver
August 17, 2020 1:42 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

Hartenstein, Patton, Uthoff, etc.

There’s always money (talent) in the banana stand (G-league).

RORDOG
August 17, 2020 8:07 pm

It’s just amazing to me that you were like “uh hey guys we should sign Christian Wood he’s kinda good” for like 2 years and now he’s a stud. There are just guys that float around and land somewhere and produce when given the opportunity. Sacramento should be the land of opportunity for guys like that. You come here, and earn playing time, then get rewarded with a nice contract. That’s so much better than overpaying the Trevor Arizas of the world.

Dub_TC
August 17, 2020 11:06 am

Sources: 2020 NBA Draft Lottery tiebreaker winners:

New Orleans/Sacramento (28-36): Sacramento

Houston/OKC/Utah (44-28): OKC, then Houston, then Utah

Last edited 11 months ago by Dub_TC
eddie41
August 17, 2020 12:23 pm
Reply to  Dub_TC

that’s good news

Leotoch
August 17, 2020 11:08 am

I’m all in on a one year tank and rebuild around Fox others TBD. The roster simply doesn’t have enough talent for them to act like the current core is eventually going to be a perennial playoff contender.

If you can trade Hield and or Barnes and add a guy like Cade Cunningham or another high end talent, the roster would look really nice going into 2021-22.

andy_sims
August 17, 2020 11:36 am
Reply to  Leotoch

I think that under this circumstance, it is very important to sit down with Fox and ascertain how he feels about another lost year. If he’s up for it great, and if not, try to accommodate him by sending out subtle feelers to get an idea of what he might garner in return.

I love Fox, so I hope he’d buy in to a process run by a competent front office, but I definitely think you have to be candid with him about the organization’s plans going forward. Fox is a bright guy, and really wants to turn the franchise’s fortunes around. While you don’t necessarily need to get his approval to give this a try, I really feel that he has to be given the details of what’s going to happen, so that he has some measure of control over his own situation.

I do hope that he stays, but if he’s not up for another garbage slog, it’s vital that the organization get maximum possible value in return.

RORDOG
August 17, 2020 11:43 am
Reply to  andy_sims

I agree with this. Whatever they do, they need Fox’s buy in. Unlike Buddy, he’s been the model citizen during his time in Sacramento. It would be good if he wants to be part of the rebuilding process. If not, then trade him for pieces that can help.

BestHyperboleEver
August 17, 2020 1:17 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

I think there’s a good way to do that. It’s basically “you are the centerpiece, here’s our one year reset plan to get the talent you need around you. If we aren’t able to do that in __ years, we’ll do what we can to move you to a good situation if you like.”

Wonderchild
August 17, 2020 3:35 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

A Fox buy-in starts with a max extension.

eddie41
August 17, 2020 1:06 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

I disagree. He is getting millions to play basketball for Sacramento. “Sending out subtle feelers”? You’ll end up giving Fox away for nothing.

richie88
August 17, 2020 10:24 pm
Reply to  eddie41

Fox is good enough that I’d expect multiple good offers if he’s on trading block.

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
August 17, 2020 11:09 am

I really think packaging Buddy with this year’s #12 could get something nice back for the Kings. Buddy’s skill could be used on teams like Philly or Orlando. Kicking the asset can down the road and punting on this draft for future assets might be better.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Buddy for Tobias Harris package or Buddy for Aaron Gordon package.

I got to say, a possible Aaron Gordon and Marvin Bagley (if healthy) might be a dynamic frontcourt, partnered with Fox, Bogi, and Barnes.

Now if the Kings could somehow pry Jonathan Isaac away from the Magic, I’d be on board with that. He’s likely out next season, but it might be the gamble that helps the Kings down the road.

andy_sims
August 17, 2020 11:37 am
Reply to  Adamsite

“…and peace on Earth. Thank you.”

BestHyperboleEver
August 17, 2020 1:06 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I really hope I don’t see Harris coming back or a Bagley/Gordon front court. I think Tobias has one of the very worst contracts in the NBA and Bagley/Gordon seems highly redundant where neither provides spacing both force way too many shots and ball stop quite a bit. At least Gordon can defend. If you were to target Gordon, which I’m not entirely against depending on price, I wouldn’t do it with a plan of those two playing together.

PlayoffModeT
August 17, 2020 11:11 am

Agree on to focus on. Everyone but Fox/Bagley/Holmes unless a team offers something for one of them. HB might be a keeper with that contract.. smh

I think there are plenty of suitors for Buddy/Bogdan.

Send Buddy to Philly, OKC, Hornets, Knicks, Minny (most likely dumps in my opinion). I was kind of over Buddy since his contract negotiations.

Buddy for Monk, 1st rounder, Batum
Buddy for Malik Beasley or Culver and a pick/salary
Buddy to OKC would be ideal

Bogdan sign and trade with Dallas. Dallas always has a thirst for talent and spending.

Jaylen Brown for Buddy if the salary works would be good fits for both Boston and us. We receive grit and a younger player while they get top tier shooting.

WizsSox
August 17, 2020 11:26 pm
Reply to  PlayoffModeT

Jaylen Brown for Buddy? I would give this year’s pick and Buddy for Brown and Boston would still laugh in our faces.

BestHyperboleEver
August 18, 2020 12:09 pm
Reply to  WizsSox

I don’t really see a good reason why the C’s would be interested in moving Brown, nor in acquiring Hield.

Inthestarz
August 17, 2020 11:19 am

No treadmill vets means no treadmill vets. If you are pushing for the Kings to re sign Bogdanovic, you are pushing for mediocrity not on youths timeline

ImJoeKing
August 18, 2020 8:43 pm
Reply to  Inthestarz

I think re-signing would be primarily for asset management. Letting Bogi walk for nothing would be a lost opportunity. Sign and trade might be the best outcome.

eddie41
August 17, 2020 11:37 am

The first priority should be having an nba basketball team. That requires having basketball players.

Moreilly8
August 17, 2020 11:53 am

There’s no need to wait for the ’21 draft.
Kings need to trade Hield now.Nick Batun of the Hornets is on his last $28M contract year; Michael Jordan may find swapping Batun for Hield a delicious prospect. But the swap must come with Jodan’s No. 7 pick.
This would give Kings probably the chance to get both Devin Vassell and Aaron Nesmith. Both oustanding wings who shoot the three. A shooting guard behind Bogi and a SF behind Barnes.
I offer this to Dumars free of Charge
To make the money match Kings would have to add a player like Giles or Psrker.

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
August 17, 2020 12:02 pm
Reply to  Moreilly8

I could get on board with this, but not sure the Hornets would. The issue with the Hornets is they are going to be committed to having Rozier and Graham as their backcourt, and they are going to need to pay Graham. I’m not sure they want another $20M guard on the roster. They’d have the same problem the Kings would have in sinking a lot of money into 3 guards.

RORDOG
August 17, 2020 12:05 pm
Reply to  Moreilly8

I used to love *Batum. I doubt a team would use his expiring deal and a top 10 pick for Buddy. They could just let the deal expire.

BestHyperboleEver
August 17, 2020 1:10 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

Most likely. Or use it at the next deadline the same way we would.

The crazy idea I’ve thrown out (admittedly it only make sense in a full blow-up where you’re moving Fox. Or maybe not.) is Rozier/Batum/2021 or 2022 CHA 1st for Buddy/Bagley/Joseph/Maybe a 2nd. I think that was it.

Last edited 11 months ago by BestHyperboleEver
eddie41
August 17, 2020 12:08 pm
Reply to  Moreilly8

I agree with some of this. don’t wait around for the 2021 draft. keep Bogi. Devin Vassel seems interesting as a 3&D role player and is someone most pundits rank as a lottery pick.

BestHyperboleEver
August 17, 2020 1:20 pm
Reply to  eddie41

Vassel is an interesting 3&D prospect, but I really think the helium he’s getting is a bit much. Or just a sign of how truly bad this draft is.

RobHessing
August 17, 2020 1:28 pm

I like him, but in the same way that I liked Justin Anderson, for example.

BestHyperboleEver
August 17, 2020 1:48 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

He’s fine. He’s just a “fine” that I would love to get around pick #20. Again, I think I’m just having trouble readjusting to the weakness of this draft.

I have a hard time getting excited about a guy with a Danny Green ceiling. Yeah, that’s a good player in a useful role, but it’s still a role player and that’s not what’s going to make the Kings a good team. The Kings of plenty of good role players. They need the central players that enable the role players to stick to their role.

As such, I’d rather they took a big swing at someone with more upside, even if that comes with a bigger chance of missing entirely.

Last edited 11 months ago by BestHyperboleEver
RobHessing
August 17, 2020 2:13 pm

This draft has such a 2013 feel to me. There may be 10 solid-to-good NBA players in this draft, but they are as likely to come outside the top ten picks as within the top ten picks.

BestHyperboleEver
August 17, 2020 4:56 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Yep, I actually think the safest bets are guys like Tillman and Bane. Both of which are projected in the late-1st/early-2nd.

richie88
August 17, 2020 10:31 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

It feels like there’s an MVP in this draft?

BestHyperboleEver
August 18, 2020 12:11 pm
Reply to  richie88

Hmmm, I wonder if there’s a low-exposure Euro playing in a non-top league that shows flashes of high-level passing, coordination, and defensive playmaking likely to be available in the mid-to-late 1st.

Last edited 11 months ago by BestHyperboleEver
RobHessing
August 17, 2020 12:09 pm

Great article, Brendan, and I agree with the sentiment.

The trick for a top five pick in 2021 will be how bad the Kings are in comparison to the dregs of the East, as they will almost certainly be a bottom team in the West. And with a tight cap and not a lot of flexibility – the Kings are at almost $90m for 8 players next season before re-signing Bogi or picking up Bjleca’s $7m option – it will be tough for the front office to dig the hole any deeper.

The trap is that if the Kings actively tank, they probably poison Fox, either to the organization or as a player in general. It is a very tight rope to be walked. For the Kings to come out better on the other side of this, they will have to exhibit a level of organizational dexterity that they have completely lacked during Ranadivé’s ownership.

Hope for the best, prepare for the Kangz.

eddie41
August 17, 2020 12:38 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

thank you for not advocating actively tanking.

andy_sims
August 17, 2020 12:57 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

If this organization ends up going cheap because the front office they hired fouled things up so badly, I’m going to have a real problem with it. If they need to go over the cap, they need to do it. If they need to pay luxury tax in order to set the team up for future success, that absolutely has to happen.

I will not accept any crying-poor bullshit from people whose net worth is in the nine-ten-eleven-figure range. They need to do whatever is necessary to give the fans hope that actual success can happen for the Kings. The organization owes the fans to do whatever is necessary in order to get back on its feet and moving in the right direction.

If they end up owing $20 million in tax for a season with 36 wins, but which offers a bright future, then they should just consider that expense a dumbass tax for a decade-and-a-half of utter incompetence.

RobHessing
August 17, 2020 1:21 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Umm, not sure where I said anything about the organization crying poor. They will have NBA-mandated challenges in the form of a compressed salary cap. And while I would agree that this would not be enough of an excuse to (say) not pick up Bjelica’s option and sign Bogi to a reasonable contract, the Kings have zero reason to spend money on middling vets as they have for the past several years.

If there is value out there, sign it. Otherwise, start compiling a little cap space and flexibility. It’s not about being cheap with where this team is at the moment as it pertains to the roster. It’s about being pragmatic.

Not having the requisite scouting personnel? Now that’s cheap. And unacceptable.

Last edited 11 months ago by RobHessing
LaBradfordsCreditCard
August 18, 2020 12:54 am
Reply to  andy_sims

Or, one awful decision in June of 2018. Even that would have covered up a lot of their fuckups before and since.

Last edited 11 months ago by LaBradfordsCreditCard
BestHyperboleEver
August 17, 2020 1:13 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

The key to doing that rebuild without actively tanking is to try to acquire 1sts from other bad teams. That way you don’t have to worry about it as much. Do what you have to to go get an unprotected (or very lightly protected) 1st and/or pick swaps from teams like CHA, NYK, CLE, etc.

Last edited 11 months ago by BestHyperboleEver
RobHessing
August 17, 2020 1:22 pm

Agreed. The challenge is that other than Fox, there may not be any current assets on the roster that will get you those types of picks.

BestHyperboleEver
August 17, 2020 1:55 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Probably. If there IS a a way it’s probably a combo a decent asset or two (Hield, Bogdan, Bagley, even the 2020 1st IMO) + taking on salary.

Which I’m fine with. I’d happily take on a couple overpaid expiring and near expiring guys in the interest of a larger plan.

RobHessing
August 17, 2020 1:59 pm

Agreed.

Klam
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
August 17, 2020 3:04 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Ha! Someone really doesn’t like you!

MyNeighborTurturro
August 17, 2020 3:43 pm
Reply to  Klam

I mean, I get that most of us are housebound and bored out of our minds, but the time and dedication this person is putting into downvotes is equally perplexing and impressive.

Last edited 11 months ago by MyNeighborTurturro
RobHessing
August 17, 2020 4:42 pm
Reply to  Klam

I think my kids just got accounts.

Wonderchild
August 17, 2020 3:39 pm

I wonder how many teams will be selling picks this offseason to save money. We’re looking at a compressed cap due to the China fiasco and COVID. Plus the honeymoon period of last offseason’s spending seems over already.

BestHyperboleEver
August 17, 2020 4:59 pm
Reply to  Wonderchild

I think COVID/China, the strength of the 2021 & 2022 draft classes, and the potentially generational strength of the 2021 FA class could all offer great opportunities for a bold, savvy FO looking to build/re-build right now.

The question is if our new FO will be bold and/or savvy.

ajonez81
August 17, 2020 1:37 pm

Love this blog but come on, we need to tank! Stop half-assing it with these ideas. Get rid of all these overpriced guys like Barnes and Hield. I’ll give away Barnes for nothing and Buddy for a decent return. Only chip we have is Bogi, try to get something of value for him.
Go young, play young guys, lose. You can keep a few garbage vets like Joseph but only if they’re helping you lose. Clean house, get rid of Vlade’s stink and be done with it. Let the vets and others go be happy somewhere else.
The Warriors were bad for 20 years but look what that karma got them. Our time will come, do it the right way, and don’t rush it.

BestHyperboleEver
August 17, 2020 2:18 pm
Reply to  ajonez81

I think the key here is “don’t rush it.” That also means don’t rush moving people. For example, there’s a decent chance that the way to get the most value from Bogdan is to sign him to a likely COVID-depressed deal, and look to trade him next trade deadline or offseason if/when it looks like the cap may jump back up, other teams have more money to spend, and the 2021 FA market is running hot. At that point, the deal Bogdan signs may very well look like a great bargain. Another part of not rushing is understanding that you don’t have to see every player you acquire as a part of the ultimate roster. Look for players that can become valuable trade pieces with in the next couple seasons.

andy_sims
August 17, 2020 5:02 pm
Reply to  ajonez81

Please copy this to your computer in case you ever wake up one day and think, “Why have I never been asked to become the General Manager of an NBA team?”

Barnes and Hield both have value to any number of teams. Giving them away for nothing feels very Divac, admittedly, but we’re trying to move on.

richie88
August 17, 2020 10:37 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

B/c he’s significantly overpaid, Barnes probably doesn’t have much trade value.

LaBradfordsCreditCard
August 18, 2020 12:56 am
Reply to  ajonez81

It’s been 35 years. I’d actually appreciate a sense of urgency to get this thing right.

Inthestarz
August 17, 2020 7:51 pm

while I want all the vets gone sans Holmes, having a bottom feeding coach like Walton blurs the line between if the team isn’t good or just quitting on him

richie88
August 17, 2020 10:39 pm

Um, I associate retooling w/good teams & the Kings aren’t a good team.

LaBradfordsCreditCard
August 18, 2020 12:44 am

I’d keep Fox, Holmes and Giles and let everyone else, including the coaching staff and front office, pound sand. Seven winning seasons in 35 years. Not drafting your future franchise player when you had a golden opportunity gifted to you by the basketball gods. When is it going to end? When is it going to change?

Badge Legend

Patreon Supporter    Registered On Day 1    Published Post  Published Post Nostradumbass
200 Up Votes    500 Up Votes    1,000 Up Votes    3,000+ Up Votes
50 Comments    100 Comments    250 Comments    500 Comments    1000+ Comments