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Will Darryl Watkins Stick?

That's the only real mystery as the Kings get ready to make their final cuts today. Eleven players have guaranteed contracts (and thus, roster spots) which leaves

Justin Williams, Darryl Watkins, Mustafa Shakur, Orien Greene

as the possible waivees. The Kings don't actually have to cut anyone. But they will cut at least one; Geoff Petrie never rolls with more than 14 players. They will probably (complete guess) cut two players. If they do, goodbye Mustafa Shakur no doubt.

The three options for that other roster spot:

  1. Keep Williams, Watkins and Greene. I think the team would only cut Williams if it looks like he'll be thrown in jail. It's been eight days since the story broke. I'm not convinced the district attorney will press charges at this point. I think Greene is likewise in line to stay, just based on his preseason minutes and the lack of depth behind trade asset Mike Bibby.
  2. Cut Watkins.
  3. Cut Williams or Greene to keep Watkins. For the reasons above, this doesn't make sense.
The thing with Watkins: You could very well get him back in January, a la Williams last year. Who knows what the roster will look like by then? John Salmons' trade value is shooting up; Bibby's could get back on track; Ron Artest will be in trade rumors til the day he dies. Las year, the Maurice Taylor ganja suspension and subsequent waiver led to Williams' return. A lot of things could happen between now and January to get Watkins another shot in Sacramento. And like Williams, it doesn't appear a lot of teams will be in a rush to compete for his services.

So I expect Watkins and Shakur to get cut today. Shakur could make good money overseas; Watkins probably belongs in the NBDL with his skillset (interior defense, a decent post repertoire). We'll see.