Having had little time to contribute this Summer with the opening of my Restaurant 33 Degrees, I confess I have barely kept up with the myriad wholesale changes endured by our beloved Kings and merely perused tidbits of STR contributions well after the discussions waned. As an aside, national news sources and the Sacramento Bee offer so little real information and insight so the only real source for Kings Basketball exists here on Sactown Royalty er NaAV (Not an Aileen Voisin).
There has been ample to digest and pontificate about and I hope to focus on a topic not already debated ad nauseam, by comparing our prospects at the 3. I believe we all know what to expect with Tyreke next season, are confident he will shine and hope his jump shot develops faster than his next speeding ticket. We also seem confident that Beno is the best side kick for our star since...
The ability for our front court to compete with the upper echelon of the league is a big unknown but there seems to be pronounced optimism that Samuel Dalembert is an improvement with an expiring contract who should average a double double with 2 blocks a game and hold his position in the low block with fewer fouls while Jason Thompson will overall raise his game with another year under his belt. Because so much has already been shared and discussed regarding the addition of DeMarcus Cousins and the depth of Carl Landry it seemed better to focus on the small forward position where I believe we have the most risk and upside.
After the break I will delve into our prospects at the 3 for next season.
Let me first put a couple qualifiers on this analysis:
- We enter the season with the roster we have presently
- Everyone remains healthy to start the season
- Evaluations are only for the players that will spend a significant percentage of their minutes at the 3
- Analysis is limited to players under contract
As of today our roster includes the following players who can play the small forward position:
NAME - Age, Years in League, Salary this year, (years left on contract @ total guaranteed contract value)
Omri Casspi - 22, 1, $1.25M, (3 @ $4.87M)
Francisco Garcia - 28, 5, $5.5M, (3 @ $17.4M)
Donte Greene - 22, 2, $.93M, (2 with Team Option likely picked up @ $2.6M)
Antoine Wright - 26, 5, $.85M, (1 year contract)
Verdict - Given their ages and contracts it is a tie between Omri and Donte as to the best value and best upside over the course of the next several years.
Tale of the Tape
Quick Snapshot of physical measurements:
Omri Casspi - 6'9" (6'9" wingspan), 8'10.5" standing reach, 225 lbs, 32.5 vertical
Francisco Garcia - 6'7" (6'11" wingspan), 8'7" standing reach, 195 lbs, 32.5 vertical
Donte Green - 6'11" (6'9" wingspan), 9' standing reach, 226 lbs, 31.5 vertical
Antoine Wright - 6'7" (6'9" wingspan), 8'8.5" standing reach, 215 lbs, 29.5 vertical
Verdict: Slight edge to Donte, who has the best overall physical package although Antoine is stronger and Cisco is quicker.
Here is a look at the comprehensive stats for each player:
Offensive Stats Analysis:
Scoring - Omri was the best scorer with a per 36 minute adjusted average of 14.8
Shooting - Although last year Francisco had slightly better shooting, 3 point shooting, true shooting and effective shooting percentages than Omri over the whole season, if you look at everyone's rookie year, Omri has the best rookie numbers and overall average is right up there with Cisco's fifth season. Ironically all of the forwards are abysmal from the free throw line save Cisco with is his cool 80+% average. Omri gets to the line more than anyone which should only continue as he gets more experience.
Assists - Cisco plays the 2 more than anyone else in this group and his 2.5 assist average points out he has better passing skills than everyone else but that is not saying much. Comparatively Hedo Turkoglu has a 3.7 career average.
Offensive Rebounding - All are below average offensive rebounders but Omri's slightly better than everyone else with his 1.4 avg.
Turnovers - Antoine Wright has the best handles of the group with a 12.1% turnover average.
Winning due to Offense - If you look at the stats Cisco is respectable with Offensive Win Shares, Win Shares and Win Shares / 48 Minutes, but below league average for small forwards in the league and the rest of the group is just weak.
In summary Omri seems to be the best offensive player as he scores the most, shoots about the best, gets to the line the most and rebounds the best. Cisco balances with more clutch shooting and better passing skills.
Defensive Stats Analysis:
Steals - Everyone is about the same in this category with Cisco ahead of the pack with 1.9 avg. Donte and Cisco seem to be the most committed to D and are better one on one defenders.
Defensive Rebounding - Omri with his 5.1 avg is the best rebounder in this group and does the best job boxing out his man and going to the rim to get the basketball on missed shots.
Blocks - Donte and Cisco are virtually the same with their 1.2 Blocks but expect Donte to improve in this area if he spends more time at the 3 versus the 4 this year.
Fouls - Omri commits fewer fouls than his peers and while he might not yet have the commitment to defense that took Cisco and Donte time to develop he has the body and IQ for it. Expect him to continue to be aggressive without committing the dumb fouls that plagues Jason Thompson.
Defensive Rating - Nobody is very good in this stopping the other player from scoring (Ron Artest is 103, Hedo Turkoglu is 105) but both Donte and Omri tied for the lead with 110 last season. Expect both to improve on that this season.
In Summary, we really lack a strong go to defender to stop the other team's SF from having a big night. All of our players have flaws on defense. Donte probably has the most potential if he focuses on timing people's shots, boxing out his man and fighting for rebounds but Omri probably get the assignment when rebounding is more important and won't get into foul trouble.
I believe Omri will be our starting small forward this season. Donte and Cisco will cover depending on match-up situations with Cisco being on the floor with the game on the line. Antoine likely will merely be an insurance policy to back up should anyone get's injured. I am curious for and welcome your feedback.