After reading 214's very realistic and artistic post [edited for proper credit -- TZ], I was tempted to make a quick comparison of our core and future with the rest of the lowly NBA teams and just let my thoughts flow on the keyboard.
Martin, Hawes, Thompson, Cisco and a bit of Beno and Nocioni. This is all we have right now.
Let's see how the rest are doing.. I'll try to avoid mentioning players who are not part of a team's future or they're just not good enough to be in the radar. It's just a quick overview.
- Oklahoma has Durant, Green, Westbrook, Krstic, Sefolosha (maybe?).
- The Grizzlies have Gay, Mayo, Conley, Gasol, Arthur, Warrick, Adriana Lima.
- The Wolves have Jefferson, Love, Foye, Telfair, Gomes, Smith + Mike Miller for 2 years..
- The Warriors have Monta, Biedrins, Randolph, Wright and veterans Maggette, Jackson (Crawford is opting out).
- The Clippers might have a collection (not a team.. a collection) of some of the best players in the league plus some very talented youngsters. Baron, Randolph, Camby, Kaman + Al Thornton, Eric Gordon, (Taylor, Jordan?).
- The Wizards have Butler, Jamison, Arenas, Blatche, McGee, Crittenton, Haywood (reborn).
- The Raptors still have superstar Chris Bosh, Calderon, broken out Bargnani, Graham, Ukic and the $18 million-Marion off the books this summer.
- New York has Nate, Chandler, Duhon, Lee (for now) hype, madness, D'Antoni's 130ppg, dreams for LeBron and a bunch of expiring contracts. They're in a demolishing (pre-building) period and they're still close to the playoffs.
- The Bucks have Redd, Villanueva breaking out, Jefferson, Bogut and many question marks (Sessions?).
- New Jersey has two bright all stars Harris and Lopez (soon to be). CDR is going to be great (write it down) and Carter is on the block.
- The Pacers have the close to superstar Granger and a core of above average players: Dunleavy, Jack, Ford, Murphy, Daniels + Hibbert, Rush.
- The Bobcats managed to fight for the playoffs with Wallace :( , Okafor, Diaw, Felton, DJ Augustin despite some really bad drafts (Morrison, May, Ajinca).
Most of the teams already have an all-star and a good young core. In my eyes... the only ones that seem to be in a worse situation (long term) than the Kings are Dunleavy's mess (Clippers), Nellie's mess (Warriors) and maybe the Raptors if Bosh leaves in 2010. Still.. all of them might be better than us next year.
Judging by our core, the present looks very inadequate. The next two drafts seem to lack superstar material unless we pick Griffin, Rubio or John Wall in 2010? Still... the chance that they'll become leading stars is not as great as it was with LeBron, Durant or Rose. So realistically speaking, things are a bit ugly in the present and future of the talent section.
However the huge X-factor in this very general analysis is not the talent but the potential signings via free agency or trading. All of this gloom can be cleared in a summer afternoon if Petrie suddenly signs Marion and Sessions with 5-7 million per year contracts (or Andre Miller and Odom) and trades Beno, Nocioni and expirings for Bosh or Boozer (yeah right.. but you get my point).
On the one hand, I trust that Petrie will find us some good rookies in the next couple of years even if they don't become superstars. On the other hand, there's going to be a war in the FA/trading market and imo that's where the 70% of our success will be determined.Given our recent signing/trading history, I don't feel very confident. The bad contracts (K9, Moore, Beno) were enough to make our salary cap-life much more difficult and maybe prolong the rebuilding process 2-3 years.
In a few words if we take under consideration: 1) the ugly situation of our salary cap which only started to clear this season, 2) the recent bad contract history, 3) our still unproven core of talented youngsters and 4) the possibly shallow 2009-2010 drafts... I would say that the most down to earth scenario for our beloved team is that we'll be in the nowhere land for around 2-5 years. The bad thing about it is obvious, the good thing is that we'll be excited by every single point of our young guns as we'll watch them grow.