With the recent veto of superduperstar Chris Paul from the New Orleans Hornets to the Los Angeles team That Wears Yellow (with a little help from the Houston Rockets) there's been a lot of huffing and puffing about parity and whether large market teams should be able to poach talent from small market teams that have no choice because they're being held hostage by their own players. This concerns us as Kings fans because unfortunately we are a small market team whose talent generally gets poached. Nothing we can do is going to change our location to be more desirable than New York, Boston, Miami or L.A. Therefore, we need to follow a Oklahoma City/San Antonio model of getting star players in the draft and surrounding them with talent that supports them.
Sadly, very few teams get Duncan and Robinson or Durant and Westbrook. (I didn't even think Westbrook would turn into what he's turned into and I'm the biggest UCLA homer you could meet.) Most teams get Williamson and Stojakovic, not that that's bad, but Williamson and Stojakovic don't get you much unless you have Webber and Vlade to go with them, and as I was reminded earlier today you can't even get Webber unless he's accused of a heinous crime and you give up the one legitimate All-Star that's ever played for your team.
That's what it takes if you're a small market team, you have to throw a ton of money at a thirty year old center with a three pack a day habit, hope you can trade your aging all-star for an accused rapist who carries marijuana into airports and luck into one of the greatest outside shooters the NBA has ever known, seriously. Alternately, you have to have one of the greatest big men in college history have him get injured then draft someone even better, and surround them with pieces like Avery Johnson and Sean Elliott, then when that big man gets old hit the lottery jackpot in a super fast guard from France and an Argentinian who turns into the second coming of George Gervin. Or you can be in LA or Boston.
Luckily we do have what seems like it should be two very viable young players in Tyreke and DeMarcus, can Geoff Petrie surround those guys with players like Sean Elliott, Steve Kerr, Bruce Bowen, Avery Johnson and Steve Smith? Not a single one of those guys is going to make the Hall like Robinson, Duncan, Parker and Ginobili will.
Or, you can be LA and Boston and Miami, use your giant local TV contracts to be able to pay way above the luxury tax, lure people to your team because it's history and/or location and the fact that you can pay them more money than anyone else.
Since the merger, LA has 10 championships, Chicago 6, Boston has 4, San Antonio and Detroit 3, Houston 2, Dallas, Portland, Seattle, Washington, Miami, and Philly have 1 each. 12 teams have won a championship in 34 years since the merger. Parity in the NBA is a myth. 20 of 34 championships have been won by LA, Chicago, or Boston, seems pretty fair. Large market teams have always been more desirable. Nobody wants to go to Milwaukee when they can go to LA or Miami, especially when you play your sport in the winter. Teams like Milwaukee or Cleveland can't get marquee free agents due to location and they can't get them due to the income disparity in local TV deals. This is nothing new, and it's doubtful if the new CBA changes it in the slightest.
So what's a team like our beloved Kings to do? Well, with the re-signing of Marcus Thornton, the signing of Chuck Hayes, the drafting of Jimmer Fredette, with the continued hopeful maturation of Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins, it seems like we're on the same track as the early Spurs teams: get two players surround them with a bunch of roleplayers and try to get lucky. Admittedly neither DMC or Tyreke is as can't miss as David Robinson and Tim Duncan, but them's the breaks.
As always looking forward to your comments below.