Wednesday Mail Sac/Pick & Droll: Paul Pierce, Thomas Robinson, owners that voted wrong, valuing Jimmer & draft extravaganza update!

Ballers. Nothing but ballers. - Jared Wickerham

One day to go...

More draft-related mail, starting with phillip.cardella: "It seems to me we have cap space and a 7 pick that has no sure fire starter in sight. The C's reportedly are shopping Pierce for a 1st rd. pick. I think DMC needs a veteran to put a foot up his rear when necessary. Paul Pierce seems like a good piece to me. I am not a Jimmer hater, but I'd pack him with that 7th pick if C's bit. I think Pierce could help us contend for a playoff spot, add a much needed veteran presence and help DMC in many ways. Thoughts?"


I see a number of potential issues here. First, Pierce is a Boston icon. You have to at least wonder how motivated he would be to play out the string in Sacramento. Next, Pierce, while still in pretty good shape, turns 36 before the season starts. The man is currently 25th on the all-time NBA minutes list, and with even reasonable health he’ll crack the top 20 this season. Finally, one has to wonder how much a guy like Pierce would even want to deal with Cousins. And how many more mortgages does this franchise want to take out on DeMarcus Cousins?

Paul Pierce is a surefire hall of famer, but he’s the right guy at the wrong time for this franchise. Had he only been here when Cousins was a rookie…

Here’s one from Betty B: "Why did Thomas Robinson fail?"

I love the simple elegance of this question (no sarcasm – the question is so simple, yet the answer is so complex). Let’s see if I can rank the reasons as to why Robinson did not work out in Sacramento:

1. Robinson himself. The team made an investment in Robinson, so they certainly did not conspire to have him fail. For whatever reason, he failed to find his niche in the rotation. I recall thinking that Robinson would come into camp as the 4th big, behind Chuck Hayes, but would overtake him in a couple of months. By the all-star break I had Robinson competing with Jason Thompson for minutes. I didn’t think that he’d be invited to the "Rising Stars" game, but I thought that he would compete for at least 3rd team all-rookie honors. When you miss as badly as Robinson, the first place you look is in the mirror. Technically speaking, Robinson’s hands often betrayed him, he was very raw offensively, and while physically talented defensively, he was far from adroit when it came to defensive rotations.
2. Keith Smart’s failure to help him find some momentum. Remember, I said this was primarily Robinson’s fault. But others share in this debacle. One thing Robinson could do was rebound. He had a very good rebounding rate when given minutes. And for a team that constantly got crushed on the boards, you would think that coach Smart would have found some more opportunities to have Robinson on the floor. The last ten #5 draft picks prior to Robinson averaged an aggregate 26 minutes a night as rookies, while Robinson couldn’t crack the 16 minute mark for the Kings. He bested only Devin Harris for minutes per game by a rookie #5 pick over that period, and Harris was stuck behind 2004-05 versions of Jason Terry, Michael Finley, and Jerry Stackhouse (and Harris still got 19 starts!) on a 58-24 Mavs team. Robinson got less minutes per game than Shelden Williams, and less minutes per game than Nikoloz Tskitishvili. Robinson ranked 24th among 2012 rookies in minutes per game while with the Kings, receiving the fewest minutes among the top 12 picks. If you’re going to draft this kid at #5, you have to have a plan to find at least some minutes for him.
3. The franchise was a mess. Related to #2 in that you don’t draft a guy for a team that has missed the playoffs for six straight years with no plan to integrate him somewhere in the rotation. And jettisoning him after 51 games was a pure cash grab by the lame duck, outgoing ownership.
4. Bad luck. It’s hard to call bad luck on a guy that is guaranteed almost $7m over his first two years. But Robinson was probably drafted into the worst place possible for him, and was subsequently traded to a team that had no time to develop him as they made their playoff push. And now he may be dealt again as the Rockets maneuver their payroll to make a run at Dwight Howard. Again, if Robinson shows more, there’s no way the Rockets part with him right now for what is reported to be a non-lottery (or at least a non-top lottery) draft pick. But I sure would like to see this kid wind up in a place like San Antonio or Indianapolis. I still think that he could be a very effective NBA basketball player. He needs to be in the right place at the right time, but he also needs to be ready to take advantage of his opportunity when it presents itself, because he seems like a guy that is not going to get multiple breaks.

And from esoteric NBA name: "Now that the new ownership is in place, everything is so damn jovial. This is not what we do best. We thrive on pervasive negativity. Frankly, we've grown accustomed to being mad at the proverbial powers-that-be. To fulfill my basic Kings-fan Maslowian needs, I am having a hard time finding something to be upset about. But alas, I have found something that pisses me off: eight owners voted against this city. Do we know who these eight ne'er-do-wells are or is it pure speculation? Does the NBA release their congressional hearing votes? (And I realize this is ripe for an "It doesn't matter, just move on" response/lecture, but dammit, I want to cheer extra hard against these owners' respective teams in years to come.)"


It doesn’t matter, just move on.

I have never seen a published list, but the Maloofs would have been one of those eight, and Paul Allen of Portland was another. Mark Cuban was rumored to be one of the hate eight.

In the end, it’s probably not going to have much of an impact on who or how I root against a team. Micky Arison of Miami was a big Sacramento supporter, but I still rooted for San Antonio in the finals. The writers and fans at Blazers Edge make up my favorite NBA blog not named Sactown Royalty, and I’m not going to hold Paul Allen’s vote against them.

Get busy livin’, or get busy dyin’. I’ll see you in Zihuatanejo.

And let’s close out the Mail Sac with an anonymous donor: "I don’t want to rip open a scab from yesterday, but I was wondering at what point you would trade Jimmer Fredette. Would it have to be a lottery pick or a first round pick or not even that?"


Well, there are some things to be considered here. Fredette could be under contract for another two years, at $2.6m and $3.3m, before he attains RFA status. A draft pick at 18 or lower would yield a player that you could have for four years at roughly that same $6m total investment. On the other hand, in Fredette you have guy that will be entering his third year as a pro, and has proven to be a professional in the truest sense of the word through the most trying of times. If character is a virtue to Kings management (not to mention a proven shooting stroke), parting with Jimmer Fredette is not an easy thing to do.

I suppose the simplest measure would be to look at the current draft class and draw a line, with the guys that I like more than Fredette on one side, and the guys that I like less on the other. So with the disclaimer that the following is highly subjective, let’s roll.

Noel, Oladipo, Porter, Len, McLemore, Burke, McCollum, Zeller, Schroeder, Bennett, Carter-Williams, Muhammad, Adams, Dieng, Adetokunbo, Karasev, Caldwell-Pope, Franklin. So there are 18 guys that would have me parting with Jimmer Fredette in trade.

Now, there are other guys that are close, such as Muscala, Plumlee, Withey, Nogueira, and Olynyk. And Michael Malone might put Snell on that list. But for me, I’d have to have one of those 18 guys to part with Jimmer Fredette right now.

One of the maladies that has befallen us as an overall fan base is the misconception that guys like Fredette (or Isaiah Thomas or Tyreke Evans or DeMarcus Cousins) are done developing their respective games, while this is more than likely not the case. We’ve just been beaten up for so long that actual player development is hard for most of us to conceptualize. And while I’m not ready to proclaim that any of these guys are going to vault into the NBA’s pantheon of elite players, I do believe that there is room for marked improvement, and that includes Jimmer Fredette.

If you don’t blame Jimmer Fredette for the trade that brought him here and don’t excuse him for his shortcomings, what you’re left with is a 3rd year player that still has some potential growth, and from all appearances is a hard worker, a good teammate, and a solid company man. He still needs to improve in some areas (notably ball handling under pressure and defense), but if he utilized properly he could begin to build some momentum for himself that would pay off handsomely for both Fredette and the Kings.

So…yeah. I’ll take one of those 18 guys for Fredette. Otherwise, I hold onto him.

-

Pick & Droll: Draft extravaganza update!


As of 8 PM last night the list has grown to 40 participants. I sense a lot of folks out there in the weeds, waiting until the 6 PM (Pacific) deadline approaches this evening. Here’s the updated list:

#


Member


7th Pick


36th pick


1 through 6


13

Bill2

Bennett

Muscala

Noel/Len/McLemore/Porter/Oladipo/Burke

17

kman949

Bennett

Snell

Noel/McLemore/Porter/Len/Burke/Oladipo

16

Kenanito

Burke

Charles

Len/Porter/Noel/McLemore/Oladipo/Bennett

10

Deleran

Burke

Muscala

Len/Noel/Bennett/Zeller/Oladipo/Porter

8

otis29

Burke

Muscala

Noel/Len/Porter/Bennett/Oladipo/Burke

24

polotown

Burke

Rice

Noel/Oladipo/Porter/Bennett/McLemore/Len

26

double rainbow

Burke

Snell

Porter/Oladipo/Bennett/Noel/Len/McLemore

33

goodnight_punk

Burke

T23/Hardaway Jr.

Len/Noel/Porter/McLemore/Oladipo/McCollum

7

markdog333

Burke

T27/Adams

Len/Noel/Bennett/Oladipo/McLemore/Porter

3

artlee6

Burke

Thomas

Noel/Oladipo/Porter/Bennett/McLemore/Len

18

bumblebeeman

Caldwell-Pope, Adetokundo via MT/35 trade

Leslie

Len/Burke/Oladipo/Noel/Porter/McLemore

6

Ragin17

Carter-Williams

Kadji

Len/Oladipo/Porter/Noel/Bennett/Burke

1

fccpw

Carter-Williams

T??/Rice

40

1damutt

Len

Snell

Noel/McLemore/Porter/Oladipo/Bennett/Burke

37

ItsCarl

McCollum

Charles

Noel/McLemore/Porter/Len/Oladipo/Burke

34

jtkings13

McCollum

Ennis

Len/Noel/Porter/McLemore/Oladipo/Burke

5

lay-it-up-like-a-man

McCollum

Goodwin

Len/Noel/Bennett/McLemore/Porter/Oladipo

22

Sir Lurksalot

McCollum

Mitchell

Len/Noel/Bennett/Porter/McLemore/Oladipo

14

Sac King

McCollum

Muscala

Noel/McLemore/Porter/Oladipo/Len/Burke

31

monoopti

McCollum

Snell

Noel/Len/McLemore/Porter/Oladipo/Burke

25

nealtastic

McCollum

Southerland

Len/Noel/Porter/McLemore/Oladipo/Burke

28

nicolex

McCollum

Southerland

Len/Noel/Porter/McLemore/Oladipo/Burke

36

El_Wray

McCollum

Southerland

Noel/Burke/Porter/Oladipo/Len/Bennett

29

2001nbachampions

McCollum

T23/Muscala

Len/Noel/Porter/McLemore/Oladipo/Burke

12

A Night At The Arco

McCollum

T25/Snell

Noel/Porter/Len/Oladipo/McLemore/Burke

4

Aykis16

McCollum

T27/Snell

Len/Noel/Porter/McLemore/Oladipo/Burke

15

Czar Nickoli

McCollum

T27/Snell

Len/Noel/Porter/Oladipo/McLemore/Burke

38

Dub_TC

McCollum

T27/Snell

Noel/Burke/Porter/Len/McLemore/Oladipo

27

DougChristieKO

McCollum

T28/Snell

Len/Noel/Porter/Oladipo/McLemore/Burke

32

Cincy Kings Fan

McCollum, Dieng via JF/27 trade

Bullock

Noel/Oladipo/Len/McLemore/Porter/Burke

35

sroufe

McLemore

Jerrett

Len/Noel/Bennett/Oladipo/Zeller/Porter

20

49ertrojanmann

McLemore

Muscala

Len/Oladipo/Bennett/Noel/Porter/Burke

2

LaBradford

Muhammad

Jackson

Noel/Burke/Porter/Len/McLemore/Oladipo

9

KingsFan#1

Muhammad

Muscala

Noel/McLemore/Porter/Bennett/Oladipo/Burke

39

Da1Underdog

Oladipo

T27/Muscala

Len/McLemore/Bennett/Porter/Burke

30

recklessmonkey

Porter

Muscala

Len/McLemore/Noel/Bennett/Oladipo/Burke

21

49ersDude

Porter

Len/Oladipo/McLemore/Bennett/Noel/Burke

11

section214

T11&35/Muhammad, Muscala via T35 for 28

Charles

Noel/McLemore/Porter/Len/Oladipo/Burke/Bennett

23

Sactown_Loyalty19

Zeller

T23/Snell

Len/Noel/Porter/Bennett/Oladipo/McLemore

19

betweentheeyes

Zeller

Thomas

Noel/Len/Porter/Bennett/Oladipo/McCollum

-

As always, please submit your questions and topic ideas to asksactownroyalty.@gmail.com. We will begin to focus more on non-draft related questions next week. The ensuing thread is open for your jacking (but remember that threadjacking should be restricted to this thread).

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