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The Book on Mike Wilks

As it appears Mike Wilks is the likely choice to back up Mike Bibby, it was time for some research. Sadly, there's no blog titled 'I Heart Mike Wilks.' Terrible news, I know.

But as Wilks spent the 2006-07 season with Seattle, I knew we could find someone with great insight on the player: writer Kevin Pelton.

Pelton penned a great feature on Wilks back in April, one which I encourage you to read in its entirety. Yesterday, we looked singularly at offensive statistics, which tell us Wilks is a bit better (and older) than Ronnie Price. But this story delves into things you can't yet quantify, but things which are important just the same.

"It's invaluable," [ex-coach Bob] Hill says. "He's great in the locker room. He leads a lot of the team prayers before we take the court and gives perfect prayers. He articulates and his message is good. His locker is organized clean and straight. He's on time. He presents himself in a professional way, wears suits all the time on the road.

"I don't know what else to say to you. He's great in every way, shape and form. He's got a great attitude. He's a pro. He understands his role. He's also very good with his teammates. He's a great teammate. He reaches out to them and counsels them and consoles them - everything. He's really special."

Compare this with last year's backup point guard, Jason Hart... a guy who while the franchise was struggling to keep its head above water tried to force a trade by setting the coach against the management. Based on Pelton's reportage, I don't see that happening with Mr. Wilks.

Pelton added some more notes on Wilks in an email.

So all of a sudden Wilks was the team's starting point guard the last four or five games and he was brilliant. Controlled games, made shots. Clearly there is talent there.

Wilks has worked at his game, I mean worked at it. [...] He's not going to make mistakes on the floor, he's going to get into his man on defense (possibly even applying full-court pressure) and he's generally better in smaller doses.

I can't see a team regretting signing Mike Wilks. The Kings seem like a good fit in that, if he did beat out Shakur/Jeter, he wouldn't necessarily be counted on but also could find minutes if he played well. Wilks has earned the right to be in that position at this point.

When Reggie Theus talks about changing the culture of the Kings, we know it's all just words, we'll believe it when we see it. Geoff Petrie's moves so far (if he does sign Wilks, as expected) would bear that out -- Mikki Moore and Mike Wilks aren't going to dazzle you on the court, but they'll work their asses off and provide leadership backstage. That's good for the rebuilding effort, whether those players see the eventual benefit or not.