It's time to have a discussion about Geoff Petrie. It's very hard to get a clear picture of his performance to certain degree. For some reason he has a ton of built in excuses. Painting in broad strokes though, I feel very secure to say that Petire is one of the best at the draft, one of the worst at signing free agents, and in the bottom half at trades,
Very few have the ability to draft talent like Petrie. Year after year he makes the most of the picks he has, especially in consideration of where he's drafting. The bad news, there are only 1-2 game changing players that come out each year and the Kings are never quite high enough for Petrie to nab those players. That's not his fault. I mean if we had the number 1 or 2 pick and could draft a Durant I'm pretty sure the team would be better than it is now. Oh well.
Trades are a lot more sketchy. A lot of people will say that he made the trades to get rid of contracts and at the request of the owners. However a lot of those contracts are ones he offered players. A lot of the trades he did make it's very hard to say we got equal value for. And to those that were excited to get the cap room to sign free agents I again point to the fact Petrie has a terrible track record at signing players and this year has been no exception. We either dratically over pay players, sign players with health risks that blow up on us, or sign bad players to contracts. I can point to several bad signings for every good signing he's had (Beno being the last decent FA signing, the first contract, not the second resigning contract). As far as trades I do give him credit for aquiring Thorton, who turned out to be a decent player, but I can't help to think they kind of lucked out in that deal. Landry was suposed to be the great front court player the franchise was hoping for when we aquired him, right. That didn't work out. But we can go back through the last several trades and see we got the short end of the deal on most of them. This includes the big trade for Webber (Philly got out from that deal a good two to three years earlier than we did from all the bad contracts we took on) and the more recent disaster that resulted Salmons being on our team (bar none the worst starting player in the NBA this season. How is this guy starting?!!!)
Free Agent signings have been even worse for Petrie as he consistently overpays our own free agents as well as other teams free agents. It's very hard to point to a great signing unless you go all the way back to Divacs. You could say that Brad Miller worked out short term, but it did not end well. There were a few bench player signing in the first part of last decade that were semi-hits. Players like Bonzi Wells and Jim jackson were basically 1-2 year band-aids but played well for the team. One could argue that Sacramento has to overpay to get players (and they could point to Crawford and Kirlenko this off-season as examples) but the truth is we are so lucky that neither player signed the big contracts we offered. They would not be the answer to this team being dramatically better and we would be saddled with another huge contract for a mid-level type player.
Short of getting a number one pick for a bona-fide game changing player the only way for this team to get better is through trades. I don't know if evidense supports Petrie being able to pull of that type of trade anymore. He got his jackpot in the 90's we he scored Webber for Richmond, which was an absolute steal. Maybe a GM only gets one of those types of deals in a career. I am not confident that Petrie is our man anymore. I can't offer up anyone that would be better though. I just don't have a knowledge of who is the best scout/GM types there are in the league. I can come up with my own trade scenarios I'd pull the trigger on and shake things up. But a team can't loose the way this team is and go onto to good things. Just for fun, if I were GM here's what I'd do.......
Trade Hickson and pick for absorbing Pierce's contract
Trade Jimmer, Greene, and pick to Suns for Nash
Amenesty Salmons (he should not be on this roster and is terrible off the bench).
Release Outlaw (I'd rather see Honeycutt, can he be worse than Salmons and Outlaw? perhaps but at least he's young and you can say you are developing potential)
Starting Line up
Nash, Tyreke, Pierce, JT, Cousins
Thorton, Hayes, and Thomas as main rotation guys off the bench. That would give us a vetern presense in the front and back court. Nash as a floor leader with Cousins in the post would be AWESOME!!!! Tyreke could concentrate on being aggressive again and have some of the pressure lifted. I think this line up over two to three years could become hugely successful and depending on the development of Cousins and Tyreke could even challenge for a championship depending on the health and decline of Nash and Pierce.
Anyway, that will never happen, but for what it's worth.
In closing I don't think Petrie has the magic anymore, in at least trade and signing ability. I would forever trust his drafting ability but I believe this team needs a GM that can be creative and aggressive in the areas Petrie has proven himself weak. What are your thoughts?