The Kings are close, really close. I'm not saying we are going to make the playoffs this year, but we will be competetive and not be the embarrassment of the league. (At least the guys on the court won't be, I'm not saying anything about the Mal**fs.)
With the roster as is (plus JT) and a full off season to work with Smart, I think this team will be competitive, but still end up a top ten team in the lottery.
However, if we get one more piece, I feel that the Kings can make the jump from a top five pick to a playoff team (albeit a low seed and most likely an early exit, but a playoff team nonetheless.)
As everyone in the world knows, the Kings need a solid 3. With Cousins, Tyreke, Thomas, and now Robinson if he lives up to expecations, we have 3 top five picks who have a ton of untapped potential. So we do not need a great 3, just a solid one to hit an open three pointer and play solid perimeter D.
In my mind, there are three players who I think the Kings should try and make a move for. One is still under team control, one is a restricted free agent, and on is an unrestricted free agent. I will talk about them in terms of least likely to most....plausible (I wanted to say likely but the Maloofs don't like spending money.)
Nic Batum-Portland Trailblazers. I would love if he came to the Kings. He would bring toughness, Defense, and 3 pt shooting, exactly what the Kings need. Unfortunately he is a restricted free agent and Portland really wants him back. A team would have to massively overpay for him, something I don't see the Kings doing.
Luol Deng-Chicago Bulls. I think he could had from the Bulls. Deng is postponing surgery until after the Olympics meaning he will miss about a month of the season which the Bulls do not like. The Bulls need scoring and we might be able to get him for Marcus Thornton and John Salmons. I would be willing to also offer other assets and take on bad contracts to get him.
Gerald Wallace-Brooklyn Nets. He is an unrestricted free agent and he seems to be looking for one more big contract. If the Mal**fs would open their checkbook and bring him in (the Kings have the cap room) they would have an exciting player. While he is not an elite shooter, he is capable and excels in defense and in transition. He would be exciting to watch push the tempo and excel in transition with Tyreke and Thomas. If the Kings could get him, I could see them making the playoffs THIS SEASON.
If you look at the team last year, they beat a lot of very good teams (Lakers, Spurs, Pacers, Thunder and four other playoff teams). And that is with a coaching change, no off season, and a dysfunctional front office. So we already had a lot of talent. Add Thomas Robinson to anchor the front court with Cousins, and if we could add a solid three, that is an NBA playoff team.
My opening day starting lineup if my dreams come true
2. Tyreke-Thornton(If he isn't traded)-Garcia
4. JT-Robinson-Whiteside (At least until Robinson acclimates himself to the NBA game)
Who would you guys rather have?
PS. I go to Gonzaga, we should trade Hayes for Rob Sacre. Please (it will save the Mal**fs money)