Taking a small break from Anaheimpocolipse, assuming the Kings are gonna be playing in Arco Power Balance next season, how about a look at whos gonna be on the floor.
Priority #1 has got to be the resigning of Marcus Thornton. With a really weak free agent market, we have to assume that Thornton is going to get a ton of attention this offseason. He is Restricted, so the Kings will have the opportunity to match any offer. Barring a ridiculous offer, we absolutely have to match Marcus and bring him back.
With Marcus returning the Kings will have all 6 of the 1-3 position players under contract for next season. We have to assume that Tyreke will be seeing alot more minutes at the 3, playing along side Beno and Thornton. Garcia remains under contract and I am not ready to give up on Casspi or Donte Greene becoming a quality starter in this league. Casspi and Greene were both wildly inconsistent but one or both should still be in the mix next season at the 3.
Moving to the frontcourt, we obviously have DeMarcus plugged as our primary big man moving forward at either the 4 or the 5. Then we have the biggest question on the Kings roster in my opinion... who should be playing next to DeMarcus?
DeMarcus has to have the ball in his hands on O and for lack of a better word is a Clogger. I saw a mock draft with the Kings taking Jared Sullinger (before he pulled out) and also have heard people calling for Al Jefferson to the Kings. This would be the worst case scenario, a Clogger can not play next to another Clogger. What type of player should be up front next to Cousins? The top 3 attributes should be
1) Post Defender
2) Outside Shooter
3) Open Court Athlete
There arent alot of players that do all 3 of these things, in fact I cant think of any. We may have the chance to resign Dalembert who proved to be a solid interior defender, but then we are basically adding a 1st round pick to the exact same team that won 24 games. (I think the roster is much better than 24 wins, minus the Luther Head experiment, countless 4th quarter collapses, Evans' injury, and horribly inconsistent player rotations). If we grow up, get better coaching and figure out how to finish, then this team could make a jump, but thats a seperate conversation.
Is the Cousins Frontcourt answer in the draft?
I doubt it. If we get the #1 pick, then Derrick Williams is a no brainer. He can shoot, he can run, and hes a finisher. Think a less athletic Blake Griffin with way more range. After Williams, there is just nothing there. There are 3 Euro bigs that have potential to become that outside shooter that could play next to Cousins, but none are ready to play right away and all 3 are liabilities on D. So without the #1 pick, it makes alot of sense to trade the pick or at least trade down. The team has too much youth already, and if a compliment to Cousins is the top priority, that player is simply not available.
So what are the options?
The Kings get a younger, more athletic version of Dalembert who has a scary high upside. See the slam dunk competition and also his career of over 5 blocks per 48 minutes. Rashard Lewis is the 4 that can spread the floor with Cousins inside. The Wizards want to dump Lewis' contract and are in the early stages of their rebuilding process. The Wiz would not want to lose McGee, but getting a nice lottery pick and JT, as well as finding a taker for Lewis might be enough. *Garcia is included for salary to make the deal work.
#2- Kings draft pick, Greene or Casspi, and Jason Thompson to Atlanta for Josh Smith
This was with the idea that the Hawks would be ready to tear things apart after another disappointing playoffs. So those hoping for this deal should hope for a meltdown and an Orlando comeback. Jamal Crawford is a FA and depending on the CBA, Atlanta will need to cut major cap space. If they decide to get younger, a top 5 pick, a SF with huge upside and JT is not too shabby for Smith. Smith is an ideal player next to Cousins, maybe the ideal player. J Smooth is a 1st team defender who can run and finish.
Others- Channing Frye is an option. I dont think Phoenix wants to trade him, but he could play next to Cousins. Maybe swaping picks with Phoenix would do it.
Mehmet Okur is an option. Utah is in full rebuild mode and Okur cant be in their future plans. They would probably just want out from his contract if there was a taker. Problem is Okur has been injury prone and does not move well. What he would add offensively next to Cousins might not be enough to offset his speed and defense.
Other ideas could be giving Omri or Donte some minutes at the 4 or going after Greg Oden this offseason.
You can consider this the first offseason asinine trade thread, or the DeMarcus' sidekick thread...
My vote is the Wizards deal. I just see too much upside in Javale McGee. Rashard Lewis is a wildcard who could create matchup problems, but even if he doesnt help at all Im ok taking on his contract and getting McGee to be the stopper.