If the two preseason games against the Dubs were any indication of how the team is going to play this season, we have ALOT of work to do. We turned the ball over frequently, we displayed porous defense, and we stood around and watched Tyreke dribble the ball and we had to get new guys acclimated to our team. Preseason games were meant to be sloppy, especially given the circumstances. We are likely to resign Samuel Dalembert to help with the defense but Paul Westphal continues to say that we need a veteran point guard. I know I am probably hearing cries like "that means Jimmer won’t get minutes!" or "We already have four guards!", but personally I believe we need a veteran guard who will slow us down when we need to, can knock down shots consistently, get guys in a position to score, limit turnovers, and could be a valuable contribution to a young team. I am not saying that our guards are incapable of doing these duties, I would rather them learn from a veteran point guard – even if it means limiting minutes just slightly. This veteran guard would not be inserted in the starting lineup, but play select minutes depending on the circumstance. I believe that you can never have too many good players on a team and it could actually help us in the long run because with such a tight schedule, you could actually rest players some nights.
The Kings were 26th (100.6) in offensive rating and 20th (106.3) in defensive rating last year. We shot 23rd in FG% (44.9%), 26th in 3FG% (33.5%) and 28th in FT% (73.5%). These aren’t great percentages for a team that is fighting for a playoff spot, but these numbers should improve slightly with the team we have this season. The statistic that killed us the most was turnovers. We were 2nd in the league in turnovers, giving the ball away about 15.6 times a game. I say this number goes down with a veteran point guard.
Here is a list of guards I think we should target:
Andre Miller would be a perfect fit for this team, especially because he has been a solid rotation player since he came into the league. He is a willing passer and a great rebounder for his position. He is a solid defender, holding opponents to 39% FG (5th in the league for starting PG’s) and only getting scored on 37% of the time (3rd in the league for starting PG’s). He is capable of playing both guard positions effectively, with his only downfall being three point shooting. He knows how to get the ball to players and doesn’t waste possessions. He could be a mentor / role player of sort for this team.
Luke Ridnour would be a great fit for our team for what he brings. He is a decent scorer and a serviceable point guard that we desperately need. He actually is a good defender too, holding opponents to 39% shooting (8th for starting PG’s) and is scored on 39% of the time (11th). He would be in the same situation here as he is currently in Minnesota, so having him wouldn’t be a bad idea. If he managed to get him we know he would get good three point shooting, a guy capable of throwing dimes and a good free-throw shooter and defender. It might be good to note that statistically, Ridnour is actually a better defender then Chris Paul (without counting steals).
Mo Williams is in a tight spot, losing his rotation spot to Chris Paul, Chauncey Billups and Eric Bledsoe, so he could actually be available for us to take. He is a veteran point guard capable of scoring and finding teammates, with his only downfall being that he isn't a great defender. He is still a presence that he might need and he could accept a role as a guard off the bench.
Lastly, I know he isn't a guard, but what about trying to trade for Ryan Anderson? We could do a JT for Anderson swap and it could potentially help both teams. He could use a post like Anderson and Jason Thompson hasn’t worked out for us. Personally, I think Anderson is a better shooting Jason Thompson who only benefited/improved from playing with Dwight. Here is Ryan Anderson’s career stats.
Ryan Anderson – 8.6 ppg | 4.5 reb | 42% FG | 38% 3PG | 84% FT
Anderson, a Sacramento local who played for Oak Ridge High School, would be welcomed to the Kings with open arms. Since he’s been in Orlando he has improved greatly as a post defender and rebounder while maintaining his skills offensively. I think he’d be an upgrade over JT because he can space the floor, play solid defense, rebound and he will stay on the floor instead of falling into foul trouble.