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Bill Cartwright Enters the Picture

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Scott Brooks may be the frontrunner for the Kings job as of today, but Bill Cartwright might be the fastest riser in the sweepstakes.

Cartwright is a local boy, raised in Elk Grove (which is closer to ARCO than Brooks' Manteca, for the record). As for championship pedigree, Cartwright won three with Jordan's Bulls. Here's Cartwright's relevant coaching experience:

Season    Tm   W    L   Win%
2001-02  CHI  17   38   .309
2002-03  CHI  30   52   .366
2003-04  CHI   4   10   .286

In the 2000-2001 season, Chicago won only 15 games, so Cartwright's Bulls improved each season he had them. A couple of things that may be interesting to note: in 2001-02, Cartwright's best players were... Brad Miller and Ron Artest. Both got traded at the deadline for Jalen Rose and parts. Neither of Cartwright's full-season teams were very good -- Tyson Chandler and Eddy Curry were really young, Marcus Fizer and Ron Mercer (neither of whom are in the NBA despite being in the primes of their careers) were the stars, and roleplayers included Trent Hassell and Fred Hoiberg. These were not good rosters.

Cartwright's teams played a quick pace typically (4th in the league in pace in 2002-03), but both the offense and defense were statistically atrocious. It's hard to judge Cartwright's performance based solely on the statistics because the team was just so bad -- it's hard to identify where Cartwright's system/strategy excelled.

The most intriguing part, however, of the Cartwright possibility is his relationship with Artest. Last year, Artest told The Bee that Cartwright was the only coach who was a father figure to him, and Cartwright said he'd love to have Artest on his team. Could bringing in a guy like Cartwright relieve the pressure on Geoff Petrie to deal Ron-Ron ASAP? At least with Cartwright, you wouldn't be pressed to deal Ron before training camp -- you could wait for a Pat Riley or Mitch Kupchak to blink first.

I'd be more excited by some of the other assistants with glowing reviews, I think. But at least it's another name to follow.