Welcome to Part 3 of the incredibly official and statistical ranking of the Top 50 Sacramento Kings of all time. To help calculate these rankings, I am using the very official and very mathematical “KANGZ (Kinda Accurate Net GainZ) score) which factors in a players tenure, role, intangibles and individual and team success. A perfect KANGZ score is a 25. In the case of a tie, which happened quite a bit in this section, I went with my impeccable and infallible judgement.
On to the list!
30. Hedo TÃ¼rkoÄlu
KANGZ Score: 14.3
221 GP, 7.5 PPG, .420 FG%, .358 3P%, 3.4 RPG, 1.4 APG, 0.6 STL, 0.3 BLK
Geoff Petrie made a habit of doing his own thing in the NBA draft. Until the Maloofs started interfering, I’d say he was doing a pretty good job for himself. While Hedo was far from the best player that Petrie drafted, he might just have been the most impressive, because looking back, it’s debatable that TÃ¼rkoÄlu was the best player in his entire draft. Hedo’s career was made after the Kings, but one wonders what might have been had he stayed. The Kings ended up trading him to San Antonio as part of a deal that netted them Brad Miller, as they needed big man help following C-Webb’s knee injury. Hedo had some fun moments while he was a King, including in the playoffs. In fact, Hedo was the first Kings player I ever met in person. I can tell you the exact date too; It was March 12th, 2001. I was eating lunch with my family at the Greek Village Inn in Sacramento and my dad noticed Hedo sit down at a table outside and told me to go say hello. I was super shy so I didn’t want to go but eventually built up the courage on our way out. I told him “Good luck tomorrow against the Lakers!” He smiled and said thank you and my day was made. It was even better the next day when Hedo dropped 22 points on 8 of 10 from the field. Naturally, I told everyone I knew that Hedo had such a good game because I had inspired him.
29. Brian Grant
KANGZ Score: 14.3
182 GP, 13.4 PPG, .501 FG%, 7.1 RPG, 1.4 APG, 0.6 STL, 1.3 BLK
Brian Grant had the honor of being the first draft pick of the Geoff Petrie era. Like most things Petrie did in the early part of his Kings career, the pick was a home run. Grant gave Mitch Richmond a young up and coming big man and the Kings started to actually win games for the first time in the 90s. Grant looked the part of a future star, but a major leg injury early in the 1996-97 season cost him most of the season and he signed a multi-year deal with the Portland Trail Blazers the next season, ending his tenure with the Kings. Grant today is best known for his work in helping those with Parkinson’s disease, an affliction he also suffers from.
28. LaSalle Thompson
KANGZ Score: 14.4
274 GP, 11.4 PPG, .487 FG%, 8.3 RPG, 1.5 APG, 0.9 STL, 1.3 BLK
6th All-Time in Blocks (363)
9th All-Time in Offensive Rebounds (747)
10th All-Time in Total Rebounds (2,276)
LaSalle “Tank” Thompson was the Kings starting center when they arrived in Sacramento from Kansas City. He wasn’t the flashiest player and he didn’t put up huge numbers, but he was dependable and remained a local fixture long after his career ended. Thompson even helped the Kings when he left Sacramento, as the Kings acquired one of their earliest stars, Wayman Tisdale. If the Kings had been a bit better during LaSalle’s time with the Kings, he’d probably end up much higher on this list.
27. Spud Webb
KANGZ Score: 14.5
301 GP, 13.7 PPG, .445 FG%, .331 3P%, 2.7 RPG, 6.7 APG, 1.3 STL, 0.2 BLK
3rd All-Time in Assists (2,024)
8th All-Time in FT% (.862)
9th All-Time in Steals (397)
The diminutive 5’6 Spud Webb is best known for his time with the Atlanta Hawks despite having his best years as a player with the Sacramento Kings. That’s probably because while Webb was with the Kings, they were miserable. When Mitch Richmond was traded to Sacramento, Webb famously greeted him that first day of practice with the words “Welcome to Basketball Hell”. It was a testament to Webb’s skill and athleticism (he was a former Slam Dunk champion) that he was able to make it at the NBA level despite being just 5’6. Webb was one of the better passers in the Sacramento era and a solid shooter.
26. Jason Thompson
KANGZ Score: 15
541 GP, 9.4 PPG, .497 FG%, 6.9 RPG, 1.1 APG, 0.5 STL, 0.7 BLK
1st All-Time in Games Played (541)
2nd All-Time in Offensive Rebounds (1,232)
3rd All-Time in Total Rebounds (3,746)
5th All-Time in Defensive Rebounds (2,514)
5th All-Time in Blocks (394)
6th All-Time in Minutes Played (14,348)
8th All-Time in Field Goals Made (2,060)
If it weren’t for Jason Thompson, I might not be writing this post today. It was because of the Kings shocking decision to draft Thompson with the 12th pick in 2008 that I discovered Sactown Royalty and went on to become a writer. Thompson was Sacramento’s second lottery pick in a row after Spencer Hawes, and with the selection the Kings hoped that they could recreate some of the magic of the Vlade/C-Webb days. Needless to say that didn’t happen. As a player, Thompson was reliable, bringing energy and effort each and every night. On a better team, Thompson would have been loved as a bench big, but on the Kings he started most of his career. He also rarely missed games and by the time his Kings career ended, he had played the most regular season games in the Sacramento-era. In the end, Thompson had a better career than several of the players picked around him in that draft, and might have even had a better one if he just hadn’t had the bad luck of being drafted to the Sacramento Kings during one of the most tumultuous eras for the franchise.
25. Francisco GarcÃa
KANGZ Score: 15
462 GP, 8.3 PPG, .433 FG%, .360 3P%, 2.7 RPG, 1.4 APG, 0.8 STL, 0.7 BLK
5th All-Time in 3 Pointers Made (475)
7th All-Time in Games Played (462)
9th All-Time in Blocks (343)
10th All-Time in Steals (391)
Much like Jason Thompson, ‘Cisco was a staple on the Kings for a long time. Along with Kevin Martin, he was a transitional player from the glory-era teams to the still rebuilding teams of today. Cisco’s ability to handle the ball and shoot even saw the Kings experiment (briefly) with a big backcourt lineup that featured both him and Martin. Multiple freak injuries (a medicine ball popping!) derailed his career from being what it could have been, and he evolved from a once promising wing to a veteran mentor who all his teammates loved. Tyreke Evans loved him so much that when he came back to Sacramento, he wore #32 in his honor. El Flaco wasn’t the best player, but he was a bright light in a dark time.
24. Bogdan BogdanoviÄ
KANGZ Score: 15
201 GP, 13.3 PPG, .432 FG%, .370 3P%, 3.2 RPG, 3.5 APG, 1.0 STL, 0.2 BLK
It didn’t take long for Bogdan Bogdanovic to make a name for himself when he came to Sacramento. Already a star in Europe, Bogdanovic wasn’t really a “rookie” in the same sense that most players who debut in the NBA are. Coach Dave Joerger immediately thrust Bogdanovic into a big role. In his three seasons so far with the Kings, Bogdanovic has shown a tendency to make big shots in big moments. In three seasons, Bogdanovic has at least five game-winners already. He’s the most clutch player the Kings have had since Mike Bibby. Bogi also tends to run hot and cold, and has spent nearly three years playing non-stop basketball with international play included. Hopefully this quarantine is allowing him to get some much needed rest.
23. Buddy Hield
KANGZ Score: 15
251 GP, 17.6 PPG, .448 FG%, .417 3P%, 4.5 RPG, 2.4 APG, 0.9 STL, 0.3 BLK
3rd All-Time in 3P% (.417)
4th All-Time in 3 Pointers Made (757)
4th All-Time in FT% (.868)
I never thought I’d see a shooter as good as Peja Stojakovic don a Kings uniform again. Buddy Hield is quickly making a case and is on pace to shatter all franchise records for three pointers made. Last season he broke Peja’s record for most three pointers made in one season and this season he actually made more threes (244) than twos (212). Despite the season being cut short, that 244 three pointers made was still good for the 2nd most three pointers made in a single season. Buddy is also an ironman, having missed just two games in his career so far. Buddy can be frustrating some times when he tries to do a little too much, but the good far outweighs the bad.
22. Rudy Gay
KANGZ Score: 15
223 GP, 19.3 PPG, .464 FG%, .347 3P%, 6.0 RPG, 2.8 APG, 1.3 STL, 0.7 BLK
We actually found something good that Pete D’Alessandro did in his time in Sacramento! Acquiring Rudy Gay for Chuck Hayes, Patrick Patterson, John Salmons and Greivis Vasquez was a win-win for both teams. Gay was struggling being the number one option in Toronto and the Kings desperately needed both help at the wing and a secondary star for DeMarcus Cousins. Gay helped fill both roles. Under Mike Malone, the trio of Cousins/Gay/Isaiah Thomas looked to be the future core of a solid team, and the Kings managed to use that promising future to convince Rudy to re-sign… and then promptly blew that future up by firing Mike Malone shortly into the next season. Rudy’s Kings career ended abruptly in 2017 when he suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon in a game against the Pacers. While he hasn’t been the same player since, he’s carved out a nice role for himself over the last few seasons a supporting member on the San Antonio Spurs.
21. Bonzi Wells
KANGZ Score: 15.5
52 GP, .463 FG%, 13.6 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 2.8 APG, 1.8 STL, 0.5 BLK
Ah Bonzi Wells, the greatest one-hit wonder in Sacramento Kings history. Bonzi came to the Kings in 2005 in a trade with Memphis for Bobby Jackson. Kings fans weren’t thrilled with losing a fan favorite in Bobby, but boy did Bonzi deliver. While Bonzi’s regular season performance was solid, it was his performance in the postseason that really stood out. Bonzi really stepped it up in the playoffs against the Spurs, averaging 23.2 PPG and 12.0 RPG as the 8th seeded Kings pushed the 1st seeded San Antonio Spurs to the limit. That was 14 years ago now, and it still remains the last time the Kings made the playoffs. After that series, the Kings threw a 5 year, $38.5 million contract at Bonzi. Back then, that was star level money and nobody was throwing that kind of money at Bonzi despite his heroic playoff performance. Amazing, Bonzi’s agent turned down the deal. Needless to say he was fired shortly thereafter when free agency money dried up. Bonzi only ended up playing a couple more years in the NBA after that. What could have been… (probably another bloated contract that we would have had to get rid of in a season or two and not nearly as many fond memories).