The Sacramento Kings drafted two guards in the 2013 NBA Draft. While few Kings fans have any issue with the selection of Ben McLemore, many fans were disappointed with the selection of Ray McCallum. Not because they dislike McCallum, mind you, but because they felt the Kings should have used the pick to select either a wing player, or a big man. Because of this refrain, we might be inclined to expect the Kings to add another big man via free agency. But when I look at the roster, it's clear that the Kings don't need another big man.
The idea that the Kings need another big man seems to stem from a couple different places. Cole Aldrich is a free agent, and while it's certainly possible that he could return, nobody will be surprised if he signs elsewhere. Aldrich looked good in limited minutes late last season. That seems like something that might be worth replacing.
And then there's the idea of pairing DeMarcus Cousins with a shot-blocker. This seems to be a holdover concept from when Cousins was paired with Samuel Dalembert. And sure, Cousins could generally stand to be paired with someone who plays solid defense.
But neither of those factors demonstrate an actual need for another big man.
The Kings have four big men under contract as they enter the free agency period: Cousins, Jason Thompson, Patrick Patterson, and Chuck Hayes. If anything, I'd argue the Kings have one too many bigs in the rotation. Ideally one of those players is swapped out for a project big man who doesn't play a ton of minutes this year. But each of the four Kings bigs are capable of being part of a legitimate three-big rotation.
While Cousins isn't a great defender, his elite defensive skill is drawing charges. He still commits his own fouls at far too high a rate, and I certainly see the benefit of pairing Cousins with a more defensive-oriented big man. But if you want a big man with a defensive orientation, the Kings already have Hayes. Hayes was underutilized last season, but I'm hopeful we'll see a revival of his career with coach Michael Malone's emphasis on defense and defined roles.
Jason Thompson is capable of playing the 4 or the 5, and can defend both positions. He's certainly not an elite defender, but he's a willing defender. That just leaves Patrick Patterson. And while Patterson is the weakest of the four Kings bigs defensively, he brings unique value on offense as a stretch four.
All of this obviously comes with the caveat that we don't know how any of these players will fit into Malone's offensive or defensive system. The Kings might very well need another big man based on the schemes or based on Pete D'Alessandro's vision for the roster.
But barring any inside information on Malone or D'Alessandro's plans, it's premature to think the Kings need to target a big man in free agency.
Now, about that small forward position ...