There were a lot of good questions posed for yesterday's podcast, and we couldn't get to all of them in an hour. Let's Mail Sac ‘em!
Ryno from Roseville sent this one in via the Mail Sac Address: "Would you rather draft a knock down shooting 3 who can't play defense, or a point guard who can't shoot but is known for his defense "for this team?""
In a vacuum, I'm probably taking the shooter, as today's NBA rules favor the shooters far more than the defensive-oriented point guard. But as all players are not created equal, you have to plug more information into the equation.
For example, would I rather have Kyle Korver or Tyreke Evans? Contracts notwithstanding, I'm taking Evans. Mike Miller or Rajon Rondo? Rondo, please. On the other hand, I am taking Carmelo Anthony over Toney Douglas or Patrick Beverly.
I'm guessing that this question has draft roots, and in that frame I would take Parker over Smart, Smart over McDermott, McDermott over Payton, and Payton over James Young.
From Cowbell Kings: "What are the ban hammer stats over the past years? And, which era had the most banned?"
We don't keep those statistics. Honestly, we really don't like banning people. I umpired years ago, and I loathed working with the umpires that "notched their belt" every time they threw someone out of a game. I had a seven year run of not tossing anyone, and I took a lot of pride in that. Frankly, most folks ban themselves - we just do the paperwork.
I think the biggest cluster of banning that we've ever had took place in the few months after the Seattle relocation news broke. After that, the biggest common denominator seems to be fans of individual players that come to the site and bang the drum of their betrothed until it becomes unbearable. Jimmer led the pack on this one, though we have had to ban fans (or family) of Ike Diogu, Greivis Vasquez, Andres Nocioni, and Hilton Armstrong(!!!).
The one thing that has amazed me through the exponential growth of this site is the overall civility that inhabits the threads. It still gets a little too personal at times, but when you consider the volume of thread comments, it's a very, very small percentage.
OnTheBandwagon: "Who is your favorite player? And why is it Travis Outlaw?"
Since everyone's favorite player is Travis Outlaw, let's talk about my second favorite player. I'm going with Isaiah Thomas. When you stand back from the fray of impending free agency and his place among NBA point guards, what you see is an absolutely amazing success story. This 5-9, #60 draft pick is on the cusp of landing a multi-year, multi-million dollar deal. And he has done it while overcoming obstacle after obstacle. Too short, myriad (yeah, I went there!) coaches that wanted someone else, the first couple years of his career in a completely rudderless organization. And I don't think he's peaked yet.
If Thomas winds up going elsewhere, it's wide open. I'd love to make Cousins my #1 choice, but he just does some unlikeable things sometimes. Maybe maturity will change that, maybe not. McLemore could get consideration if he makes the quantum leap in his game, and Ray McCallum would be a dark horse pick.
Kings Over Aces: " When will DeMarcus Cousins be an All-Star?"
This coming season. It would help if Love went to the Knicks and Duncan retired, but if Cousins picks up where he left off, it will be very hard to deny him his due. I should add that I don't think that Cousins got "snubbed" last year. He was simply the odd man out in a very talented Western Conference. Griffin, Love, Aldridge, Davis, Howard, Nowitzki. That's a hard group to crack (even Duncan couldn't do it).
betweentheeyes: "What are the odds that Jason Thompson wears Kings purple and black next season? Which of the current roster do you see returning?"
I'll be very surprised if Thompson makes it through the season, and even mildly surprised if he is on the opening night roster. He's not a happy camper, and the Kings don't seem to be all that excited about him. I'd like to see him moved, as I think that it would benefit everyone. After everything that Thompson has been through here, wouldn't it be great to see him land with a contender?
Unless Derrick Williams has an epiphany, he will likely be on the move at some point, too. I don't anticipate seeing Jason Terry in a Kings uniform. Most of the other guys could be gone in a heartbeat if the right deal comes along.
I still think that Gay opts in, and I think that Thomas' 5-9 frame will cost him just enough in free agency that the Kings will retain him. Cousins is a lock, and the Kings would most likely prefer not to part with McLemore or McCallum. Landry's not going anywhere, at least not until he can prove that he is 100% healthy.
This roster is not done being reformatted by a long shot. That is why I don't think that the draft pick (if we retain it) should be influenced at all by the current roster.
SacTownClown: "Speed round: What are the Best, Good, and Worst case scenarios for 1- free agency and 2- the number 8 pick?"
Free agency: If Gay opts in and Thomas stays, the best case is an Ekpe Udoh or Ed Davis for a little rim protection. This could potentially push the Kings into a little luxury tax, but they would still have time to deal out of it, and if they can't they pay a little tax for one year. If Gay opts out and Thomas stays, they could still go after an Udoh or Davis and add a guy like C.J. Miles to play shooting guard and small forward. Or you could go after Thabo Sefolosha and Al-Farouq Aminu, for example. If Gay opts in and Thomas leaves, you have very little money for a stopgap at point guard. Shaun Livingston, D.J. Augustin, Darren Collison, Kirk Hinrich, Devin Harris, and Ramon Sessions are a few examples. If Gay opts out and Thomas leaves, you could look at bigger fish, but a guy like Lance Stephenson does come with some risk, Luol Deng is not getting any younger, and Trevor Ariza seems to play his best ball in contract years. On top of all that, you will need to fill point guard, small forward and perhaps rim protection, so that money is going to dry up quickly.
The #8 pick: Best case, the Kings do not consider the current roster at all when making their pick. Worst case, they pass on a better player to address a specific need, then the roster changes, which means the needs change as well. My favorite candidate to drop to #8 is Julius Randle. While not a perfect fit with Cousins on the defensive end, he would more than make up for it offensively and on the glass. My least favorites are Doug McDermott and Nik Stauskas, as I just think that there will be a better option still on the board (at least one of Randle, Gordon, Smart, Vonleh). Disclaimer: My opinion here is just that. I do not profess to know any more about these prospects than anyone else around here.
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