It was disappointing watching the kings, A. because they are a team I used to root for when they clashed with the Lakers in playoffs battles 5 or so years back, B. I like a lot of the players on the team, and feel they aren't giving all they could, and C. Sacramento used to have THE LOUDEST fans in the NBA, and they know basketball - they deserve a better team.
Jason Thompson is a real player. I had heard he was good, but had to see it for myself. I don't think he quite played up to his stats - they were inflated because he had some wide open plays where the Nuggets switched on a pick and roll and he had a free dunk. Nevertheless, he hustles and plays bigger and stronger than his frame would suggest. He reminds me of Udonis Haslem down in Miami, but I think he has a higher ceiling and more potential.
Kevin Martin is great when he is healthy. He needs to get a little stronger, tougher, and more durable. He is a very good player now, but since he is at his best as a spot up shooter, I don't think he should be a team's first option on offense.
The Kings sorely need a pass-first point guard. I'm sure a lot of Kings fans are clamoring for this.
They also need a strong and physical interior presence that has some bulk. JT works hard, but it isn't enough to make up for big men who are better shooters than defenders, i.e. Brad Miller and Hawes. Mikki Moore is adequate at best. He is long and athletic, but even Chauncey Billups could probably knock him around in the post.
The Kings also need slasher-type players. I could see Garcia and Salmons filling this role by committee, as both are quite capable players. I like them a lot, and think they could be the solution if they could find a bit more consistency.
The Kings will be a perennial playoff team in 1-2 years if they do the following:
1) Grab up an experienced defensive minded coach (Jeff Van Gundy Please)
2) They use the draft to fill one of their holes with a pass first guard or a a powerful interior player (Ricky Rubio or Blake Griffin, please)
3) They dump some salary. If they decided to trade some expiring contracts to teams looking to bring in a big player in 2012, they could get rid of some bad contracts and bring in some great players in 2009-2011.
4) Players need to start playing up to their ability. Part of this is on them, part of this is on finding a coach that will encourage them to do so.
5) Through a combination of trades/draft/free agency, they need to bring in the afore mentioned pass first point guard, bruising big man, and a lock down defender/hustle player/glue guy.
Best of luck!