Tyreke is almost gone. Well kind of. The Kings seem unlikely to match his "poison pill" offer. I know for a lot of Kings fans (myself included) this is tough. We have stuck with Tyreke, believing he could get better. He looked like the future after he won Rookie of the Year. Even after his "falloff" we have seen him develop into a good defender and improve his 3 point shooting. Heck the only thing that he really is the same in is his lack of passing. He is a former Rookie of the Year who is exciting to watch and seems like he is becoming better. So we try to justify a place for him: "Well he could go back to point," or "He can be the small forward." And we do this little dance, try to justify Tyreke staying. But the painful truth is that he doesn't fit anymore. Tyreke is an oversized SG who can slash and could develop a strong outside game. He also has retained some passing which might not be impressive for a PG but is good for a SG. He is good at making his own shot. And he doesn't fit. With McLemore now at the 2 spot, where would we put him? He has shown that he is too much of a black hole to play the 1 and his size is below average at the 3, taking away one of his biggest advantages and totally altering his game. Unless we found a great point forward, he no longer has a place. Don't get me wrong, I want to keep him. And it is still possible, if only as a pipe dream. And there is a couple ways we still can. To start off, he has to be a PG. There is no way that McLemore is going to lose the SG job this offseason, and 'Reke loses his biggest advantage by being a SF. And there is no way that Tyreke will be a sixth man with a 44 million dollar contract and the fact that he can't be on the floor at the same time as McLemore because he has to play the 2 spot. So, here are some situations in which Tyreke could be the PG.
1. Tyreke goes on a spritiual journey and finds out that he would rather pass than score. He becomes and 18-8 point guard and we have our point guard of the future. As a good slasher, he draws defenders in before kicking it out to McLemore for the deep three. As a good handler, he runs the pick and roll with DMC and puts on an amazing series of pick and rolls and pick and pops with Demarcus that is called the "Second Greatest Show on Court" by Sports Illustrated.
That one hinges on Tyreke becoming a better passer by about 3 assist per game. Not likely at all, but I won't rule it out.
2. The Kings somehow, some way pick up a good pass forward, be it through trade, or free agency. But there are not really good passing forwards. There are no available players who have a high Assist% until Luke Walton or Josh Smith who are in the 20s. And an Assist% in the 20s is not really who you want running your team. So, we would be back to the old Kings, literally nobody running the offense. We can't have this. Unless a good passing forward materializes, scenario #2 is not an option.
So what it comes down to is this: do the Kings trust Tyreke to turn into a good passer? My answer right now is no. It seems unlikely. And to pay a guy 44 million over 4 years, a guy who very well could have no purpose on this team in a year if he doesn't make some unlikely changes, well, that just seems silly. As much as it pains him when the Kings let him go, just like it pained me when the Kings let Mike Bibby go, it is something that has to be done.