Thursday Mail Sac, starring gregsactly: "This here is a two parter:
Part 1: It has been my opinion in recent years that, upon leaving the disjointed and poorly run mess that used to be the Sacramento Kings, former Kings players in their new cities tend to play better basketball (JJ Hickson comes to mind as one example). I call this the M*loof Effect. Is there any statistical proof to this? (I realize roles change depending on the team, so advanced stats may be necessary. I would have looked this up on my own, but I am simply incapable of doing so).
Part 2: Using whatever data was found, is there a way to project Tyreke's numbers for the next season? Also, because the M*loofs (and Smart and Petrie) are out of Sacramento, many people on this board have stated this may feel similar to a trade for many players. Applying the M*loof Effect (if one does exist) to current Kings, what type of a statistical jump, if any, should our guys expect?
Regarding part 1, I think that gate swings both ways. Hickson was better in Portland, but Udrih was not really better in Milwaukee. Casspi got worse while walking into a wide open situation. Jon Brockman has never been better than he was when he was here. I think the M*loof effect comes into play inasmuch as most of the players that have been through here over the past several years have been mediocre at best, and their performances here and elsewhere reflect that.
Regarding part 2, I actually expect to see the efficiency numbers down across the board for the Evans and the Kings early on. Evans is going to a completely new team, with new coaching, new teammates, and a new system. The guy running the offense (Jrue Holiday) is brand new to the team, too. Don't get me wrong - I think that the Pelicans are an improved team. But if they win early on it will probably be more due to their defensive effort than their offensive efficiency. And the same could hold true for the Kings in the early going. If Vasquez is the opening night starter at point guard, he's going to be facilitating to an entirely new set of teammates under a new system. Even if Thomas is the opening night starter, he'll still be working under a new system. Poor Isaiah is the Kings' version of Alex Smith. I do think that Cousins will benefit statistically, as the franchise certainly seems focused on building around him and his talents.
And from SacKing16: "Now that Tyreke Evans is gone, I'm in the market to purchase another Sacramento Kings Jersey. Not too interested in a Thomas, Fredette, or Thornton Jersey, considering they could be traded away soon. I've narrowed it down to Cousins or McLemore, but I'm worried Cousins won't receive an extension and will not be on the Kings in a year or two, and McLemore might turn into a bust like T-Rob... Any Help?"
Well, if you're looking for guaranteed longevity, this bunch of bananas might be a bit too ripe for you. But if I had to hazard a guess when it comes to which guys have the best chance of being on the roster for the next two full seasons, I would go with Ben McLemore first, followed by Carl Landry, followed by DeMarcus Cousins, and then probably Ray McCallum. Obviously I am not ranking these guys by talent. But I don't see new ownership and management going T-Rob on McLemore, the team didn't sign Landry to turn around and trade him, Cousins is here unless the contract situation goes sideways, and McCallum is inexpensive and a nice backup plan if the Kings elect not to sign both Vasquez and Thomas to new deals next year. If the Kings do add defensive length up front, Thompson's really the odd man out, so I am not confident that he will remain here for the length of his contract.
Pick & Droll #1: Call your rotation for the Kings if you had to make out the starting lineup and core bench players today. I'll go with Cousins, Patterson, Mbah a Moute, Thornton and Vasquez as my starters, with Thompson, Landry, Thomas, McLemore rounding out the 9 man rotation, with Salmons again getting spot minutes at the 3 and defensive 2. That leaves virtually no minutes for Hayes, Outlaw, Fredette and McCallum, injuries/fouls/suspensions notwithstanding. Fredette is really the biggest victim of circumstance here. He's not likely to pry point guard minutes away from Vasquez/Thomas, so he's going to have to beat out Thornton or McLemore out of minutes at shooting guard. That's going to be a tall task.
Pick & Droll #2: Here's a post from July 11, 2009, inspired by our draft picks of that summer (Tyreke Evans, Omri Casspi and Jon Brockman). Four years later, all three of them are gone (along with a semi-protected 1st round draft pick), and in return we have Greivis Vasquez, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (if you count his acquisition as part of the Evans deal that brought us a pair of 2nd round picks), and Isaiah Thomas (the 60th pick that was used to select him was part of the Brockman trade).
Send your questions and topic ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, this thread (and only this thread) is threadjack compatible.