As most of you know, the Kings have two very big needs: A Point Guard, and a Rotation Big that can help with defense and rebounding. There is a 95% chance (Always give Petrie the 5%) that our Point Guard problem will be addressed with the #4 pick in the draft, so that leaves us with a few options to explore for getting our second need.
Coach Westphal recently said in an interview that getting help on the defensive end, and with rebounding were key to becoming a successful franchise. More than likely, Geoff Petrie will heed his call in some way during this offseason, but how?
Option # 1: Draft
There's a few big men in the draft that would be able to help in the areas that we needed. Hasheem Thabeet is probably the perfect solution as a rotation big that we need in this draft, but the only way we would get Thabeet is through the Number 4 pick, which we're supposed to look for a future star and leader of our team. Thabeet, in my opinion would not be a crucial need or best player available pick. So to me, Thabeet is out of the question.
Unfortunately, Gani Lawal would have fit our needs nicely and would probably have been available at the #23 pick, but he has withdrawn, so who else is there? DeJuan Blair will most likely go before the 23rd pick, but if he somehow fell, he'd be a steal at 23. Earl Clark is also an option that could work, although he too would have to face a substantial drop to reach us at 23. Austin Daye has the potential to be a very good rebounder and shot blocker, but right now he is way too light to defend at the next level. In New Jersey he got mauled by Casspi, as SF from Europe no less. Daye would be a project. BJ Mullens has the size to be good at both, but he hasn't shown the skill to be a defensive threat and is only an average rebounder. Tyler Hansbrough has the unique possibility of being an all-around good player, able to score and defend as well as rebound, but not be a master at any. Jonas Jerebko probably has the best potential as a defensive/rebounding Power Forward in the draft, but he's sort of light right now, and has almost no offensive game. He could be available at the 31st pick though. Taj Gibson of USC also could be a solid pick as a rotation big. Josh Heytvelt is a good rebounder, but might not be able to be too good of a defender at the next level. Jeff Pendergraph is mainly an offensive player, and Derrick Brown, while he has potential to be a good defender, is only an average rebounder in college.
The problem with picking such a player in the draft is that you shouldn't pick for need in the draft. For example, if Ty Lawson somehow falls to #23, I don't see passing him up. If Casspi falls to 31, theres also someone you can't pass up. You try to grab the best player available in the draft.
Option #2: Free Agency
I've already detailed a post about the 2009 free agent class, and the best part about free agency is that you can use it to focus on your needs. So since we're looking for a rotation big that can defend and rebound(being able to score is a plus but not as important), lets see who's available. Another thing we want to keep in mind is not to pick anyone too old. We're a rebuilding team after all.
1. Brandon Bass would be a great Rotation Big for us. He's a bruiser, a little undersized, but he makes up for it with strenght and athleticism. He's definitely due for a raise, after only making aboue 850K last year, but Dallas might not be able to afford to keep him.
2. Chris Andersen has all the tools we need, but not the personality. He's in the perfect situation right now in Denver and I don't see him leaving unless he's vastly overpaid.
1. Leon Powe backs up KG on the Celtics, and is probably the best all-around big in free agency, since he can defend, rebound, and score. The problem with him is that he's just coming off of his 2nd knee surgery at the age of 25, and the Celtics also probably would match any offer.
2. David Lee is probably not going to be retained by the Knicks, so that they can focus on the summer of LeBron (stupid decision if thats what happens), but he will probably get paid a lot more than we can offer. Also, we probably wouldn't start him, which he's not used to, and there are plenty of other teams that would. Don't see him coming to Sacramento, although he's one of the better rebounders in the league.
3. Marcin Gortat is seemingly the perfect answer to these needs, but he has a limited offensive game, is not that good fo a passer, and we would probably have to severely overpay to get him. He'll probably end up being overpaid anyway, all based on his playoff performances. But there are several other teams that can pay him more than we'd be willing to, and also offer him a starting job (Oklahoma City and New York to name a couple).
4. Ike Diogu. I like Ike. And not just because of his 2 insane games at the end of the season. He's always had the skill, he's just never been in the right situation. He also would probably be rather cheap compared to the other restricted free agents, unless someone offers him way over his value. He has good rebounding skills and a great wingspan. We've seen what he can do, and I think he'd excel as a rotation big, as long as he got 20-25 minutes a night.
Option #3: Trades
Who would you focus on in a trade? The Clippers are probably going to be shopping all their bigs this summer, excluding Griffin (yes I know that's not a completely forgone conclusion). Kaman might fit in well.
Another option is to nab Kyrylo Fesenko from the Jazz. He's played well in limited time, and in the D-League. We probably wouldn't have to give too much for him either, perhaps the 31st pick or next years 2nd rounder.
Other options include Josh Smith who's on the trading block apparently, although I don't think he'd be a good fit for the Kings, and would probably cost us Jason Thompson, as would most trades. I'm just not ready to give him up, unless its an absolute slam dunk of a deal.
So what do you think? How should the Kings shore up the frontcourt? Vote and leave your reasoning in the comments below.