Welcome back, my friends! It's time for yet another edition of the Sacramento Kings bi-weekly power rankings! I recommend reading this article while consuming large volumes of scotch. I don't even like scotch, but it seems appropriate in these circumstances.
1. Jason Thompson (Last: 2)
On a team of terrible, terrible players, Jason Thompson remains consistent and a rare bright spot. JT will never be a superstar, he can't carry this team. But he is a solid player, and is the best King on the roster right now. I understand the calls to bring JT off the bench. It would improve the bench unit. Chuck Hayes could pair better with Cousins from a skill standpoint. And honestly, some of that makes sense. As long as JT gets minutes, it wouldn't really matter. But I'm not sure how you go about demoting the most reliable player on the roster.
2. Tyreke Evans (Last: 1)
Tyreke would likely still be in first if it wasn't for his sudden issues with his knees. What was originally supposed to be a one or two game issue that could be solved with rest is now a ongoing concern. When Tyreke has played, he's still been excellent. But continuing to miss time like this is worrisome. Given the Kings history of mismanaging player injuries, I'm terrified. We've seen the team string players along game by game before, and it's never ended well. As much as this team needs Tyreke on the floor, I still am on the bandwagon to shut him down until he's 100%. Put him through a full rehabilitation. Do not risk long term damage.
3. Jimmer Fredette (Last: 7)
Jimmer and Isaiah should be receiving the lion's share of point guard minutes. Smart should be using them together whenever matchups allow. The fact that the Kings are this bad, and Jimmer has looked so good in limited minutes, and yet he still cannot get reliable burn, it boggles the mind. Jimmer's defense is still an issue, but Aaron Brooks is no stalwart. I was researching our point guard's defensive rankings, and they're all bad. We might as well start our lottery pick.
4. Isaiah Thomas (Last: 10)
Free Isaiah. For the love of god, Smart, play the kid. I don't know what Thomas did to upset Smart, but it has gotten ridiculous. For further proof, we need to look no further than the Oklahoma City game. Sacramento had no business being that close that late in that game. Isaiah carried the team in a way that few players on this roster are capable of. That deserves minutes. And the excuse early on that Isaiah was struggling with the new offense? Well, the whole team is struggling with whatever our new offense allegedly is. It's no longer a valid reason to keep IT out of the game. Play Jimmer and Isaiah, change the offense if needed.
5. Chuck Hayes (Last: 6)
I'm sorry, Chuck Hayes. I'm so sorry that you decided to join this franchise. I know it looked like a team ready to turn the corner, but your contributions are wasted here. You remain a professional. You remain consistent. You remain unappreciated. You deserve better. We all deserve better.
6. Francisco Garcia (Last: 11)
The rumors of Francisco Garcia's demise have been greatly exaggerated. He continues to show up when called upon. He remains a veteran professional. I hope he gets traded to a title contender before the deadline. In the twilight of his career he deserves to be a solid bench contributor for a good team.
7. DeMarcus Cousins (Last: 3)
On talent alone, DeMarcus is unquestionably a top-2 player on this team. If only the game was based on talent alone. Cousins continues to frustrate as he continues to whine, complain, lollygag, and generally draw unfavorable attention to himself. I still believe that someday we'll see the redemption of DeMarcus Cousins. I'm no longer convinced that it will come any time soon. Cousins' biggest problem is his unwillingness to accept personal responsibility for anything. Punch O.J. Mayo in the groin? Can't even muster a fake apology. The Cuzizstan red flag shirts were a joke at the time they were made. A commentary on a seemingly undeserved reputation of being trouble. This season, though, DeMarcus is working very hard to deserve that bad reputation.
8. John Salmons (Last: 5)
John Salmons reverted back to being John Salmons. That's pretty much all there is to say. He'd be lower on the power rankings except the rest of the team is just as bad.
9. Marcus Thornton (Last: 8)
It seems that Marcus' struggles may be due to his mother suffering some health issues. His on court performance warrants being ranked this low, but I feel no need to pile anything on. All the best to Marcus' mother. Hopefully she has a speedy recovery. Take all the time you need, Marcus.
10. Thomas Robinson (Last: 9)
I wish Thomas Robinson could do better finishing around the basket, but it's ok. He's a rookie, and he can adjust. I recall Jimmer looking completely lost all of last season and even into this year's Summer League, but now he's doing much better. Robinson is a hard worker, and I have no doubts about his ability to develop long term. It's frustrating right now, mostly because the team is terrible and we could really use an immediate impact. But more frustrating than that is Smart's sudden refusal to actually give Robinson time on the floor.
11. Aaron Brooks (Last: 4)
Aaron Brooks' time in the sun was brief, indeed. His hot shooting was (predictably) unsustainable. He's no better than the two players he's standing in front of, but has far less long-term upside. Bench Brooks. Free IT.
12. Travis Outlaw (Last: 13)
It's pretty much a coin flip, week to week, as to whether Outlaw or Johnson marks the bottom of the rotational power rankings. I'm giving Outlaw the nod this week, simply because he did ok in Portland. A fluke performance should have never led to him starting. Travis Outlaw does not belong in a regular NBA rotation. He definitely should not be starting games.
13. James Johnson (Last: 12)
James Johnson has been a massive disappointment. Remember when we thought his defense could warrant him being a starter? Now I'm at the point when I become angry any time he touches the ball on offense. Please note: our two big offseason acquisitions are ranked 11th and 13th in these power rankings. Great job, Geoff.
14. Tyler Honeycutt (Last: 14)
The Kings are a terrible, terrible basketball team. Tyler Honeycutt is not good enough to earn a seat on the bench for the Kings. As such, he remains in last place.
So there you have it! Who should be higher? Who should be lower? Let me know in the comments.