Team Name: Sacramento Kings
Last Year’s Record: No comment.
Big Additions: Sean May.
1. What significant moves were made during the off-season? The Kings went cheap and young, building through the draft with Tyreke Evans (No. 4), Omri Casspi (No. 23) and Jon Brockman (No. 38). The Kings also added Sean May on a one-year deal, and Sergio Rodriguez (by trading down from No. 31 to No. 38). The Kings should see a big upgrade on the sidelines, having hired Paul Westphal to replace Reggy Nattheus.
2. What are the team’s biggest strengths? This will be an offensive-minded team, with Kevin Martin and Evans leading the way. Drawing fouls should be a major part of the Sacramento offense, given that the team was 5th in free throw rate last season and that Evans is a much better slasher than Beno Udrih. The team also looks to be solid on the offensive glass, and there's a chance the team is a top-10 shooting squad. No defensive category but perhaps opponent turnover rate is expected to be very good.
3. What are the team’s biggest weaknesses? The team's most reliable post scorer is probably the rookie point guard. Post defense, defensive rebounding, perimeter defense, turnovers, opponent free throw rate and team shooting are all moderate to major concerns. This team needs massive frontcourt improvement, or a new frontcourt starter. We're hoping for the former. Jason Thompson and Spencer Hawes are each pretty good and promising, but betting on two dudes to become stud starters is a risky proposition.
4. What are the goals for this team? Goal No. 1: do not lose 65 games again. Goal No. 2: No one get seriously hurt, OK? Goal No. 3: Don't lose any home games by 48 points. Goal No. 4: Beat L.A. Goal No. 5: Get Evans the R.O.Y. Goal No. 6: Get Martin to the All-Star Game. Goal No. 7: Playoffs!
5. Omri Casspi vs. Donte Greene, who ya got? Omri blistered through preseason, and could very well have started the regular season opener. (I have no idea, as I'm writing this preview from 1867.) Greene, meanwhile, struggled to earn Westphal's trust. Greene is bigger and more athletic, whereas Casspi has an incredible motor and better basketball IQ. There's no telling where these two will end up in five years, but it's going to be exciting to watch the race.
Projected Finish: 25-57.