The Kings have won 17, 25, 24, 22 and 19 games the past five seasons. Obviously the second to last number was during a lockout-shortened season, but the winning percentage still equates to .333. Not very good. Not at all.
The Kings’ current group isn’t cutting it.
Last month I wrote a piece on the Kings’ to-do list. In it I said the team should start Thomas Robinson. That obviously isn’t going to happen. Robinson is gone, off to Houston, and the return is Cole Aldrich, Toney Douglas and Patrick Peterson. Not the biggest or best return, but fantastic if you consider that Francisco Garcia and Tyler Honeycutt’s collective contracts are gone.
The idea was inspired by an audio trinket on ESPN’s website. On it Bill Simmons and Ryan Russilo talk about trades they would make.
Simmons brought up a deal that would send Rondo to Sacramento Seattle for DeMarcus Cousins, Jimmer Fredette and one of the Kings’ Sonics’ bad contracts to Boston.
This is what Seattle needs, a big time player to build their team around. They mentioned that you’re not going to open the building with DeMarcus Cousins or Tyreke Evans. You need a star player, or a ticket drawer of sorts, or even an attention grabber that doesn’t have the tag that reads, “I have never even come close to a winning season in the NBA… ever.”
I’m writing this as the hours until the trade deadline wane away. Barring another move by the future Sonics, they will likely have to do their work in the offseason and in the draft. The team will likely hold a pick in the lottery. Whatever you do, draft Marcus Smart. I’m telling you, draft Marcus Smart. It’ll pay off, trust me.
The team needs Smart. They tried Evans at point guard; that obviously didn’t work. Isaiah Thomas is a fine player, but if the team is going to contend, Thomas makes more sense as a back-up.
Other draft notes for the team. Stay away from Otto Porter and anyone from Kentucky in the first round. I have nothing against Porter, but he seems like another Jeff Green type. And that isn’t what Seattle needs right now. And with the Kentucky thing, well, you’ve seen how the franchise has done drafting John Calipari players in the lottery.
(Also is it weird that I’m referring to the Kings as the Sonics? … Nah, I didn’t think so.)
Here is my other big plan for the team. Trade Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins for a superstar or close to it who isn’t too old.
Here’s my point: once upon a time, both of these guys were supposed to have all the potential in the world. And they still do, but I heard Charles Barkley say that DeMarcus Cousins has the potential to be the best big man in the league. Dwight Howard or no, Cousins has that potential. And then there was the time that everybody freaked out after Evans’ rookie year when he had a higher number of win shares than Kevin Love, Stephen Curry and Al Jefferson.
These guys both have the potential to be stars. Stars. Remember what Denver got for Melo? Some solid bigs, Raymond Felton and Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari. The last two hold the potential. Besides, Felton is gone and one of the bigs (Timofey Mozgov) is on his way out. The point is that Chandler and Gallo probably each top out at 18-point-a-game scorers. Neither of them have “star” written on them, otherwise Denver wouldn’t have the identity of being a team that has a ton of good players and no singular great player.
All I’m saying is that if the Knicks gave up that little (relatively speaking) for Melo, who is to say what Evans and Cousins will bring in? Don’t get me wrong, put both in the right situation and they will succeed. Both would do well under an established head coach, and/or sharing a locker room with someone like Kevin Garnett, but both guys have shown that they aren’t going to succeed on “green” teams. Something has to change.
Ten minutes at the trade machine and I come up with this-
Miami Heat Acquire G/Fs John Salmons and Tyreke Evans, G Austin Rivers and F/C DeMarcus Cousins.
New Orleans Hornets Pelicans Acquire G Marcus Thornton, F/C Jason Thompson PG Norris Cole, two future second-round picks from Miami and a future first-round pick from Seattle.
Sacramento Kings Seattle SuperSonics Acquire F/C Chris Bosh and SG Eric Gordon.
Miami probably wants to save money, so they can throw it at LeBron so he doesn’t burn the Heat fans like he did Cleveland by going back to the Cavaliers. They really don’t lose a whole lot with Cousins. Yes, he’s younger and not as far along as Bosh is, but he saves a ton of money comparatively and, with the tutelage of King James and Erik Spoelstra, might surpass Bosh in the long term. Miami also has the potential to be set long term with Evans, Cousins and Rivers along with LeBron and D-Wade.
New Orleans gets a do over on Austin Rivers with Norris Cole who is already adapt at being a solid backup point guard on his own team. So worrying about playing him with Grevis Vasquez is a non-factor. Marcus Thornton goes back to the Bayou where he not only went to college but surprised everyone as a second-round pick averaging nearly 15 points in only 26 minutes per game. The newly-minted Pelicans will also get a better long-term solution at center than its current ones with Thompson. They will also get out of Gordon’s ridiculous contract when they know he probably would have rather been somewhere else.
Seattle, on the other hand, gets a super star to build around. That would be Bosh. A lights-out shooting guard who, when healthy, was probably the third best shooting guard in the league behind Kobe and D-Wade. (This was pre-James Harden mania mind you.) Put those guys in a starting lineup with Smart and a couple free agents like Trevor Ariza and maybe a Paul Millsap? Tell me that wouldn’t contend in the west. Tell me you wouldn’t take those guys, Patterson, Thomas and an occasional novelty three pointer from Jimmer Fredette off the bench as a nucleus of a playoff team? I, (in a non-biased manner) would probably have them as the fifth (pushing it a little) or sixth (more likely) best team in the west. Not bad for one offseason of moves.