Sir Isaac Newton said it, and Bruce Bowen seems to live every waking moment by it - To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
But does that apply to the upcoming NBA draft where the Kings are concerned? That is, will the type of player they draft have an immediate impact on the future of other current Kings players? And by immediate, I mean this year. And for the purpose of this discussion we'll include Beno Udrih, even though he is technically a free agent.
First, a reference piece, flawed though it may be. My initial mock draft from April 27th has its failings, but it does give a little biographic information on each of the potential draftees that I will mention below.
Let's start with the bigs. If we secure a top three pick we would be interested in Michael Beasley but really no one else, as that's too high to draft Anthony Randolph and Brook Lopez is too much like Spencer Hawes. If we pick at 12 we may or may not be too late for Kevin Love and DeAndre Jordan (Chad Ford has us taking Jordan now). Darrell Arthur may be available, as well as Mareesse Speights and JaVale McGee.
So, would the drafting of any of these guys have an immediate impact on the future of our current batch of bigs? Let's start by figuring it has no impact on K9(woof!), since he does not figure to play for us no matter who we draft and he may be the most untradeable human being not named Barry Zito. Let's also dismiss 'Reef from this conversation until such time that he shows that he can play again.
The drafting of Beasley could impact Miller or Moore, though probably not both. The thought here is that if you're drafting a kid like Beasley he's going to get playing time right away. Hawes stands to see increased minutes, so that leaves one more big to get real minutes. Moore is probably easier to move due to his reasonable contract, (two years at roughly $6 million per, with an early buyout option in the 2nd year), but Miller could be a huge contributor for the right team. Watching Orlando, wouldn't Miller be awesome with Howard, Lewis and Hedo? Big, big contract, though. Tough man to trade.
The impact is less if you're drafting from the 12 hole, as you have to figure that all of the youngsters (Love and Jordan are freshman, the others sophomores) would need more time to develop and would probably see the same type of minutes that Hawes saw this year.
In either case I don't see the selection of a big man having much of an impact on Shelden Williams. If he plays out of his mind in camp this fall the Kings extend him, if he doesn't they don't.
On to the point guards. A top three pick could net us Derrick Rose, Jerryd Bayless or perhaps O.J. Mayo. D.J Augustin or Russell Westbrook might be available at 12. I still think that Ty Lawson will fall to the late teens or early 20's, and he may still opt to go back to school.
The drafting of any of these guys might encourage Udrih to look elsewhere, as he is looking to be the point guard of his team. Now, Rose, Mayo and Bayless are all freshman and may need some time to develop. Westbrook and Augustin are sophomores but still unfinished products by NBA standards. Could the Kings draft one of these guys and still convince Udrih to sign here? Would the Kings prefer a veteran (Anthony Johnson, Tyronn Lue, Sam Cassell, Lindsey Hunter, Anthony Carter, Jason Williams, Darrell Armstrong) to put with the rookie?
I balk at placing Quincy Douby into this conversation. Q-Dub says that he is still working hard on his point guard skills, but I just don't know. I like Douby a lot, and it sure seems that a team like the Hawks or anyone that needs a shooter/scorer off the bench would be a better fit for him. The Kings may still extend him, but we need a miracle for the phrase "Quincy Douby, point guard" to be applicable.
OK, on to the dreaded wings. I can't see us taking a 2 or 3 in the top three picks. Eric Gordon will be gone by the time we draft at 12. That potentially leaves Danilo Gallinari, Nicolas Batum and Chase Budinger. For the sake of this conversation let's say that Gallinari is available at 12 and Petrie can't resist. We have now spent our pick on a guy that plays the same position as Salmons, Garcia and (for all intents and puposes) Artest. And you can add Kevin Martin and Quincy Douby to that list if you include the two guard position.
Does the drating of Gallinari then automatically generate the need for a trade involving Salmons or Artest, or even both? Put another way, had we drafted Al Thornton or Julian Wright this past year and not dealt anyone, would either of those rookies received more than Dahntay Jones minutes?
No matter who we draft at the wing, I see it having no impact on Martin or Garcia, unless someone offers some insane package for Garcia that nets us a very good player or draft pick and also takes a bloated contract off our hands. It might cost Douby a chance at an extension, however.
Item last, and it's in regards to our 2nd round picks. I think of guys like Carlos Boozer and Michael Redd and even Lawrence Funderburke and I get a little excited about Petrie having some extra picks. But you have to keep it in perspective. The list of Petrie's 2nd round picks: Ricky Menard, Corsley Edwards, Maurice Jeffers, Jabari Smith, Ryan Robertson, Jerome James, Anthony Johnson, Jason Sasser, Tyus Edney and Dejan Bodiroga.*
*Side note - I researched the 2nd round picks at Hoopshype and discovered that Petrie's worst transaction (which they used to list as the Webber trade to Philly) is now the hiring of E-Muss. Ha!/Ouch!
OK, boys and girls. GM hats on. How do you move this team forward? Remember, there are no wrong answers - just wrong people giving bad answers.