This is a weird situation with this draft in that it isn’t so cut and dry as to whom the Kings should pick, but it may be even more bizarre than at first glance...
Often times a team will pick the BPA and that is that. It is a simple approach and that way a team gets the best value. Given the potential lockout, however, many talented players are waiting until next year. This draft increasingly looks like it is a draft of role players or one dimensional talents with limited upside.
Because of this the Kings may take a player at a position of need rather than BPA because it may just be a crapshoot with even the BPA unable to crack the current rotation or not being much of an improvement over who we already have on the roster.
The question is could this approach, taking a player at a position of need, really work. There are some assumptions in this approach and those assumptions might not be true for the Kings. The consensus seems to be that we need a SF and that is based on the assumption that we don’t have talented enough SF players.
We have Garcia, Casspi, and Greene. I would propose that they are talented enough at what they are asked to do or would develop enough given the right training. All that they are asked to, that I have seen, is defend and spot shoot. There are no plays ran for them and their movement is limited to the perimeter to open up the paint. We really don’t need much more talent at the SF position to do these things. Omri even brings some additional rebounding to the game and Garcia is a more consistent defender.
I think the above is arguable, but I have to reiterate my caveat. Given what the SF position is tasked with by PW, the very limited role they play in his offense to date, there seems to be enough talent. Which brought me back to square one. Back to the drawing board because I had to be missing something. I was stumped.
Then, in reflecting on PW’s focus on the game, I realized that the whole offense is built around guys who can create their own offense. PW does not run a system of plays with movement to break down the other team’s defense at all. And I don’t care how much he might protest. He does not. What we saw in so many isolation plays is really an offense based on a couple of guys who can create their own shot.
That take on PW’s offense made me think about our draft selection this year. The only way that PW will effectively utilize a player offensively is if they can create their own offense. This is the source of frustration that Casspi feels when he states that he prefers more of a team approach and why we see many players underutilized offensively or given even more limited roles than they could actually play.
This is also why Thornton came in and was effective. He is a scorer and can create his own shot in certain situations. PW seems better suited to using guys like that and in an offense built around guys that can create their own he worked. Unfortunately, he seems unable to best use some players on the roster that could add more offense in more of a movement oriented game. As I have stated before ball movement is not something he seems to value.
Based on this I don’t know that getting a pass-first PG would work on this team. Or if we should draft such a player even if they are available. Because of the limited nature of the offense run by the Kings I think that the only players who will be effective offensively are that that can either overpower or outplay others in a slow half-court game and a pass-first PG would not do well in that situation. And I don’t think adding any SF that isn’t a dominant scoring type will get us any better results than the players we currently have on the team.
The problem is just how many ball dominant scorers can play on a team? Seems like at some point you hit a rate limiting factor where the lack of ball movement cripples the offense. I think we saw that at times in the past couple of years and that is why Pooh was good off the bench. Though I saw way too many times where he played off the ball and it was still too damn slow.
I am not sure I see a way forward, but in the short-term the only players I see PW effectively using are people that can create their own shot and score in one-on-one situations. Anybody else is just not going to be effective and it might not be about how talented they are, but instead how limited the offense is in utilizing their talent.
I don’t think a draft choice should ever be based on having too limited of an offensive game or a coach that only uses players in such a limited offensive role, but that may just be all there is to how the team is presently constructed. The only player that will be seen as much of a success as a draft choice is one that can create his own shot and there doesn’t seem to be many of those in this draft.
Given this take on things it really doesn't make much sense for the Kings to draft many of those that will be available at #7. It may be an argument for taking Jimmer as he seems to be able to get his own shot or maybe one of the Euro guys is talented enough, but the better option may be to trade the pick.
Like I said, I don't see a way forward, but hopefully I am wrong and another player can change the way the Kings play. That a pass-first PG could lead to more movement or another SF with a different skill set might see that position better utilized by PW. I guess I have my doubts...