Team needs?

Ok guys, sooo....

First post over here, I'm a, uhh..."converted" Kings fan, I suppose? I'm a Celtics fan and from the northeast but moved to Sacramento back in 2000 and as much as I tried to hate the team for the first four or five years here I realized that hating a local team is generally stupid and decided it's better to actually want them to succeed. Anyways, I (as everyone else here) am very interested in the current state of the roster, where we should go from here, and preferred personnel groupings we would all like to see.

To begin, I have to say that I am not really on board with shipping Tyreke out unless we get a star player that "fits" in return, and even then I have to say I'm a bit apprehensive to the idea. Tyreke is still young and can play and defend multiple positions. Yes, he is a black hole on the offense, but at the same time I don't really see that the offense was the greatest issue facing the Kings last year, nor will it be their greatest issue going forward either. The team desperately needs to work on their defense, and I don't see how sending out arguably the best defensive player (and a young one at that) for anyone (or just letting him go) benefits the team in any way in the long or short term.

With that said, I believe the coaching will make a huge difference in this coming year. Mike Malone has a lot of support within the NBA and should represent a drastic improvement over Smart during this season all the way around. The Kings currently do not lack offensive talent and actually have capable players on defense as well, but they desperately lacked any cohesion as a unit on both ends of the floor that hurt them greatly. Proper coaching can fix these huge shortcomings and having the right personalities will go a long way as well. Of course, this raises the possibility that Tyreke really isn't a good fit for the team and their direction going forward, as everyone can attest that his ISO heavy approach to the game and seeming "me-first" attitude he has expressed will only hurt the team around him if it doesn't change soon. Personally, I think Pete D and Mike Malone should be able to determine rather quickly whether or not Tyreke will fit the roster going forward, and ultimately the decision on whether he goes or stays will be made on his willingness to commit to the new team concept.

As for the fit with Tyreke...again, I don't think he has to go now that McLemore has been drafted. McLemore is a true SG and while he may not work well with Tyreke at the point, I think they can work together if the team goes small with Tyreke filling the SF role for spots. Otherwise, the best way to find out is to put them on the floor together and see how things go. The benefit to having players like Tyreke on the roster is that they allow coaches to be creative in their lineups if they are actually willing to put the time and effort into making things worth. Many coaches are simply unwilling or unable to go outside of their systems to make the talent work, and that seems to be the significant issue with Smart at the helm. Considering the following depth chart:

PG: IT, McCallum, Jimmer, Tyreke

SG: Tyreke, McLemore, MT, Jimmer

SF: Ugh...Salmons, Tyreke, Outlaw. I would rather see Tyreke get spot time here than ever see Outlaw on the floor

PF: Patterson, Thompson, Hayes

C: Cousins, Aldrich, Free Agent addition?

Although it is a guard-heavy roster, it does allow the team some flexibility to go small with Tyreke at the SF spot for small stretches, allowing him, IT, and McLemore to be out there at the same time. That is the benefit of having a "positionless" guy like Tyreke on the roster, but the key is that he has to be willing to move around and be a part of the team. He can also play PG (as some have suggested he do anyways), but I feel his ball-dominance may be an issue at the PG spot. I guess it depends on who is on the floor though, because he may be the best option to match up against opposing PGs as well defensively.

Regarding MT and Jimmer...I think they both have valuable roles as bench guys, though I understand MT is not necessarily willing to take that role. His cap hit is large but not horrible considering how cheap the roster currently is, and I would only really like to see him go if the team can get back something reasonable at the SF spot to replace him. Jimmer has value as a bench shooter and isn't horribly expensive, so I see no particular need for him to go unless another team really wants him in a trade scenario and the team gets something valuable back in return.

I think we as Kings fans should really be a bit more realistic regarding any moves made this season. I know we all want to see a winner, but being a Celtics fan that doesn't want to kill DA, I think there is more value in gathering young assets than trying to shoot like made during Free Agency for older players to try and "win now", especially when all realistic notions point to the best bet being playoffs and an early exit followed by years of NBA purgatory (basically as the Kings have been for the past few years). I don't like the idea of signing guys like Iggy because of the money they'll need and the increased age only to see the team be helplessly mediocre for a few years and never really get a young, budding star to really get the team good again.

Well, that's how I see things. tl;dr: I don't think we should let Tyreke go unless he isn't willing to play with the team, and I don't find the logjam at guard to be as terrible as others may think. Yes, we need SF help desperately, but I don't want a "quick fix" at the position at the expense of a better chance of long term success.

(This is a FanPost from a member of the Sactown Royalty community. The views expressed come from the member, and not Sactown Royalty staff.)

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