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The Search For Mike Bibby's Towel Boy

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As louismg noted this morning, the Kings have moved their focus to backup point guard. Mike Wilks will reportedly get an audition. If he's lucky, he'll get the Jason Hart Memorial Seventh-String Point Guard Locker.

Wilks is a 28-year-old journeyman, late of Seattle's parade of flawed ones (with noted compatriates Luke Ridnour and Earl Watson). Wilks played a similar number of minutes as Ronnie Price did this past season, and Mike's career high for minutes was barely more.

A comparison, if you will. (All statistics via basketball-reference.)

Name    Pt40  Ast40   TO40     2FG/3FG/FT%   PER
Price   13.6    3.4    2.3  .430/.323/.673  10.5
Wilks   12.7    5.9    2.3  .484/.333/.786  12.7

So there you have it: Wilks appears to be better than Price at all levels -- he gets more assists, he shoots better (and less). Those are the key things with a backup point guard: Pass the ball, and when you have to shoot, shoot decently. Price, for the good we've seen in him, did not do either thing very well in his brief stay in Sacramento.

We know Price can bring it defensively, though. Sadly, I haven't seen enough Mike Wilks over the years to cast aspersion or compliment on his oppositionary mettle. I've sent out feelers to those whom would know, though I can't imagine tomes will come down, given the player's lack of long-term residence before any set of eyes.

Honestly, barring a Bibby trade which does not return a starting level point guard, this player -- be it Wilks or some other -- will not see much playing time at all. It was a joke above, the locker of the 'Seventh-String Point Guard.' But honestly: Mike Bibby, John Salmons, Francisco Garcia, Quincy Douby, Ron Artest. All of those men, and possibly Kevin Martin as well, will perform the point guard in name or spirit before he who is hired this week or soon. Geoff Petrie adores flexibility, and due to this fetish interest has assembled a fairly versatile backcourt. The benefit, one which was invisible a season ago, comes in not really needing to find a capable backup point guard. It's a situation much different from, say, the Lakers or the Warriors, both of whom desparately need systemic point guards despite their odd-eyed offensive programs. Sacramento will apparently host a traditional scheme, but thanks to the roster has no need for an Eric Snow or Tyronn Lue. Again, it's a slight benefit... but one nonetheless. (Small victories, friends.)

All said, this dismissal could be of great value to Ronnie Price. He has growth to come, and it would be stunted in a repeated role as occasional murderer of Carlos Boozer. He needs minutes -- real game minutes, not hours driving against Douby in the practice gym -- to hone his NBA point guard skills. He's a guy who can, and should, hang in domestically -- a guy who could, interestingly enough, end up the next Mike Wilks. It's not a terrible existence, hundreds of thousands of dollars to play basketball until you're 30. Moving sucks, and inconsistent job duties suck, too. But it's a job, and for most of us, jobs suck. Waving a towel in the shrinking Arco Arena won't allow that lucrative albeit sucky job to happen; spelling, say, Jameer Nelson or Tony Parker will.