With all of the storm that is gathering for Thursday's 2011 NBA Draft (4:30 PM PST on ESPN) we all ask who will the Kings pick at #7? Will the Kings pick at #7? There is Jimmer, Knight, Walker, Vesely, Leonard and Burks. But what of the trades for Tony Parker, Raymond Felton, Andre Igoudala or Danny Granger? Free agents such as Samuel Dalembert, Marc Gasol and Shane Battier?
Before a choice can be made, I ask you - what is the direction of this Sacramento Kings team? I have asked this question time and again and it is true, I often repeat myself repeat myself. Building a team is not a process of grabbing the best players in the League. It is collecting the best talent to mesh together to compliment each other and become a team. It takes ability and skill, brains and braun, maturity, durability, experience and understanding. You need stars and role players. A Head Coach who can direct and motivate the players to play their best for a commn goal.
On to the question: What type of team are the Sacramento Kings trying to become?
If you ask the owners, Joe and Gavin felt that the Adelman teams were too soft. Not tough or gritty - they wanted San Antonio type defense. Adelman was shown the door and Eric Musselman stepped in. He was followed by Reggie Theus and Kenny Natt. Paul Westphal joined at the helm and was given a rag tag collection of odd contracts and inexperienced, inexpensive talent. What has emerged after two seasons is a core of Tyreke Evans, DeMarcus Cousins and Marcus Thornton with Jason Thompson, Beno Udrih, Francisco Garcia, Omri Casspi and Donte Greene as rotation players. Many expect this squad to be playoff contenders and I don't see it, no matter who is calling the coaching shots but that is a topic for another time another time.
With talent on the roster today - 21 June 2011 - the Kings are a young inexperienced team with a budding star in Tyreke Evans who is a ball dominant player still learning the NBA ropes, DeMarcus Cousins - all big body, soft hands and quick feet who can shoot inside and out, defend and rebound, pass the ball with the best of the big men and who can pout like a sour patch kid (and smile with unique charm when he chooses). Marcus Thornton arrived with his in your face scoring and confidence and the guile to back it up.
Great! Is this a running team, a pick and roll grind it out squad, a free flowing offensive juggernaut who can hit the open man through screens and backdoor cuts? Are they lock down man to man defenders, zone trappers and double team helpers? To determine where to go with this year's 7th pick the Kings have to figure out who they are and where they want to go. Justa dding talent will win them a few more gamesbut may just bring them to the brink of mediocrity (this year's Bucks and most every seasons Warriors and Clippers)