At some somewhere around 4:30pm on June 11th of 2011, when I was finishing my draft day cursing ritual after I got over my typical draft day disappointment of the Kings not listening to my Facebook rant and selecting the player I recommended, my father gave me a call and asked "what do you think?" It took me about 2 seconds to utter "bust."
Jimmer Fredette was going to be a bust because he was the worst fit possible for the 2011-12 Kings and there was nothing he could do about it. On a team with a me-first player at 1,2,3 and 5...where in the world was this guy going to fit in? He was going to go from a gunner who had the ball in his hands 99% of the time at BYU, to someone in need of touches and support on a team that was not going to give him any of it. Jimmer is Steve Kerr. Not Steve Kerr on the Bulls and Spurs, but Steve Kerr playing PG on the Cleveland Cavaliers, and unfortunately for Jimmer, the 2011 version of the NBA was going to play full-court D and send traps at him every time he got the ball, while the Kings stood around and watched. I cringed every time Paul Westphal or later Keith Smart put him into a game. Not because I hated to see Jimmer, but I hated to see him on those Kings.
If you look at the make-up of Vivek's version of the Sacramento Kings versus the Magoof version there are some noticable difference. Pete D'Alessandro is actually free to make up a roster that doesn't draft who will sell tickets, and make acquisitions such as signing Marquis Daniels who was out with a spinal injury to get over the salary minimum, but a roster than has balance. Also, Mike Malone can start and play the players the best way to fit HIS SYSTEM, which is something Smart, Musselman and Theus forgot to do.
Greivis Vasquez is our starting Point Guard, and if you tell me anything different I will tell you that you hate Isaiah Thomas. Vasquez is going to save both Marcus Thornton, Jimmer and Isaiah. He is Eric Snow to Allen Iverson, He is the balance to the Kings. He will keep Jimmer off guarding tall guards and Jimmer will save him from chasing small guards. Let me first rant about who would be starting.
Vasquez is a post and kick player. Offensively he uses his size to create depth near the high post of the defense and kicks the ball out to a shooter, hits the cutter from corner or makes the simple entry into the post then moves. Which are 3 things the Kings have not had out of that spot since Jason Williams. Fredette is the perfect player to pass the ball to John Salmons. WHAT!? I know that sounds crazy but just hear me out. 9 times out of 10 the PG initiates the offense with a second player opposite of them to promote spacing. Jimmer is that player. Once the PG passes it to that player, the defense rotates and that player has to make the decision to either swing the ball to the corner, hit the post, or kick it back out to the top. Marcus Thornton will always hold the ball, let the defense rotate and think about how many ways he can shoot the ball from the right wing before considering passing while Salmons sits in the corner and Cousins tries to post up for 10 seconds. Making the extra pass allows your post player (Cousins) to gain an advantage over his man because the defender was positioned to guard to 1st post-up attempt, not the second. The Kings invested 63 million or whatever to build around Cousins, not Thornton. Thornton is Vinnie "the microwave" Johnson, and I don't want my dinner to be cooked in the microwave. I've been eating it on and off for the past few years as a main dish and its just not very satisfying. But if he was coming in late with some bagel bites...then I am more than happy to eat what he's serving.
A 2nd Unit of Isaiah, Jimmer, Outlaw, Thompson and Hayes is offensively inept outside of Isaiah, but when you replace Jimmer with Thornton, you have 2 scoring guards, a stretch 3, a hustle 4 and a center who works out of the post. It just makes more sense. Would I want Jimmer as a closer though? No, that is where Thornton comes in as the closer as the instant offense. Think Nate Robinson as a starting pg vs a scorer down the stretch. No one wanted him as a starting 2, but he's great when you need that clutch bucket.
Jimmer needs the chance. Sure, he is more Alex Smith than Colin Kaepernick, but our Kaepernick isn't ready yet, so a game manager may be more of what the Kings need.