As a Kings fan, this may be the most frustrated I've been with the team. In 2008-09, our worst year in franchise history, I was less frustrated and more resigned to the fact that this was a terrible team that needed to be bad before it got better. Three years later however, and we're not much better.
I didn't think going into this year that we'd be a playoff team. There are just way too many good teams in the West, and the Kings overall lack of experience really hurts in that department. I was disappointed with our offseason, but still thought the team had improved and added much needed depth. I had also hoped for continued growth from franchise centerpieces Tyreke Evans, Marcus Thornton and DeMarcus Cousins.
It hasn't exactly panned out that way. Paul Westphal got canned just 7 games into the season, and the team hasn't been all that much better under Keith Smart (although I personally would rather have Smart than Westphal). The constant blowout losses and lack of competition in some of these games, like the Denver game last night, is the most dispiriting part for me as a fan. I understand how young this team is, how little time they had to learn a new system and then another with a new coach, but it's still frustrating.
There doesn't seem to be a go-to solution in sight. The Kings don't have the assets needed to pull off big trades, unless they plan on giving up one of Evans, Thornton or Cousins, and even then, we'd be selling low. There is probably never going to be a big name free agent coming through those doors, no matter how much cap space we have. And we will continue to get screwed in the draft lottery because we are the Sacramento Kings and I'm pretty sure that is in the NBA rulebook somewhere.
The most we can hope for right now is growth from what we have, and that takes time and experience. That's hard for a lot of fans to accept, even the ones that realize its necessity. It's tough, it's painful to watch, and there is no guarantee of a good outcome. That's what scares me the most. This rebuilding effort could fail, with these guys not being able to work together, or not becoming good enough to make the team better. If that happens, then we have to start this long, painful process all over again.
I'm not sure how this ends. That's up to the players, the coaches, and the front office. I'll be here watching, and I hope for the best, but expect the worst, just like every Kings fan since the dawn of time (or 1986).