Monday was a fairly busy day for us. We picked up a decent SF with great defensive abilities for a second round pick, and a decent PG who could challenge for a starting spot for only 3.3 mil a year. Nothing big, but not terrible Salmons-like deals.
James Johnson was an absolute bargain in my opinion. Whenever you can get a quality player for a second round pick, it's always a good trade. Johnson brings great D at the SF position. He lead the position in blocks; and this is a position that includes someone by the name of Lebron James (you may have heard of him.) Not to say he is anywhere near the player of Lebron, just a fun comparison for you. So, being able to get a defensive specialist with adequate scoring ability for a future second rounder, I call that a win.
Aaron Brooks is also an interesting pickup. If he produces anywhere near what he did a few years ago when he averaged 19.6 pts a games, he could be one of the best bargains in the NBA. He is only costing us 3.3 mil a year for two years (the second is a player option) so if he only turns out to be a capable backup, it's still a decent value contract. He should compete for the starting job, but I think IT will win due to his being a fan favorite, knowing the system, and still having a large amount of upside due to his youth. (Aaron Brooks is 27, so he should be peaking soon.)
More after the jump...
So, where does that leave us? I don't think that James Johnson is ready to be a starting SF in this league. He is athletic enough and has the upside to eventually start, just not yet. That being said, I still think the Kings should be on the lookout for starting caliber SF. Jared Dudley of the Suns would be an interesting option, but right now he is one of the few bright spots on their roster, and we would probably be forced to overpay to get him. Another option would be the Pistons Tayshaun Prince. I have brought him up as an option before with mixed reviews. Although he is getting on in age, at 32, he still could have a few more years of quality basketball left in him. He used to be an excellent defender (4 consecutive all defensive 2nd teams) and even at his age I would expect him to be well above average at defense. He is also a career 36.7 % 3 pt shooter so he would add an outside threat to the team.
I understand that most of you out there would be against signing an older player with a contract longer than one or two years. He has three remaining. I think he could be had on the cheap from the Pistons because they have Corey Maggette to start, and just signed Kyle Singler to a three year deal to be a backup. There are other SF options, I just wanted to talk about this specific one.
As far as Aaron Brooks goes, he brings more outside shooting and a veteran presence to the second team (assuming he doesn't beat out Thomas for the starting role. There's not much to say about him, other than he is a solid pickup and should contribute positively to the team, if for no other reason than to keep Jimmer from dominating the ball off the bench.
Assuming that who he have now is who we have at the start of the season, only PF and C are no questions. JT and Cousins should start the beginning of the season until T-Rob is ready to supplant JT. PG is only a question of whether or not Brooks can beat out Thomas (which I doubt will happen). That leaves us with SG and SF. The reason I think that SG is a question is thus: if James Johnson is our starting SF, I'm not sure if I would be comfortable with Tyreke as our starting SG. That would leave only Thomas as a player who can consistently hit a jumper. However, if Thornton is our starting SG, that would leave us with a very small backcourt.
It is for that reason I still think we are in need of a starting SF. Now I have some questions for you.
Are you guys happy with the lineup we have, or what position do you think we should add?
What kind of trade value does Jimmer have? I'm not ready to give up on him as an NBA player, but he won't develop here. Any team willing to take him on and groom him themselves?
What kind of trade value does Salmons have? I think on the right team he could be a decent player. I would be willing to sell low on him to get his contract gone.
And Garcia's trade value? He is on the last year of his contract would could be enticing to another team. But also with ours so we have cap space to resign Cousins and maybe Tyreke (for the right price.)
Also, I like to post here, so I would like constructive criticism on my post. I know I am not the goodest writer in the world, but how is my content/ideas/quality of reading? I know I tend to write long posts, should I try and shorten them?