Monta Mail Sac time, beginning with Calvine Chris: "Doesn't it seem as if Monta Ellis is the complete opposite of what the Kings need right now?"
In a word, yes.
In two words, hell yes.
OK, you went through the effort sending in a legitimate question, so let's see if I can pontificate a bit. I honestly don't see what Monta Ellis brings that Tyreke Evans does not. So if they are talking about paying Ellis anything near the 4/$44m that Evans will be making, I'm going to be absolutely baffled by this signing, unless it's to make folks stop thinking about the Carl Landry signing. "See in this hand I am holding Monta Ellis, and in the other hand Carl Landry...why he's gone! Magic!!!"
If Ellis is part of a package via a sign and trade, the sum of the trade might make his signing a little more sensible. But I've never considered Ellis to be a point guard. He's a 1.5 at best, and I would have serious doubts that his skill set would work well with Ben McLemore or Marcus Thornton, or Greivis Vasquez or Isaiah Thomas for that matter.
The acquisition of Ellis would have me hoping that I am dead wrong about him, and can certainly be dead wrong about things. But if all we are doing here is replacing Evans with Ellis and Greivis Vasquez at roughly the same pricing, I'm going to have to see positive results before I am convinced that this was anything resembling a good deal.
From Napa Jack: "If the kings are serious about Monta Ellis, do you think along with Jimmer and Chuck Hayes will Thornton be gone too?"
The numbers would indicate that someone has to be on the move. You would have Vasquez, Thomas and perhaps McCallum at the point. McLemore, Thornton, Fredette and even Salmons at the two. And Ellis at wherever the front office is envisioning him (small forward?...). If Ellis is a one, you probably have to move Vasquez or Thomas, which would seemingly not be that difficult. If Ellis is a two, I would almost think that you would have to move Thornton and Fredette. If you are just picking out five guards and playing Yahtzee with the back court lineup, your best five would likely be (in no particular order) Ellis, McLemore, Thornton, Vasquez and Thomas. But a couple of those guys are going to get very limited minutes, and the guys not on that list would be on injury alert (with McCallum likely playing in Reno).
One thing seems certain (if anything can be certain right now), and that is that if Ellis is signed, more moves have to be on the way, or at least packaged within the Ellis signing via a sign and trade.
Moving on to things non-Monta related, starting with esoteric NBA name: "I'd like to hear more about what you (and others) think about having DMC as the face of our new team. What do we want people to be the first thing they think about with the new-look Kings?"
Well, it makes me nervous as a tick. The potential center piece of the franchise is nowhere near where I would have liked to have seen him physically or mentally at the end of last season. After exceeding my expectations by a pretty good margin in his 2nd year, Cousins did not take that next step that I anticipated in his 3rd year. Was that Cousins falling short or me having expectations that were too high? I don't know. But Jason Thompson was the better player for at least the first two months of the season, and that is frightening to consider.
For 2013-14, the first thing that I would like people to think about when they consider the Kings is that they play hard, from baseline to baseline, for the entire 48 minutes, each and every night. That they are the least fun non-playoff team to square off against, and that they are headed in the right direction and have a bright future. That would make me pretty damned happy.
And one from MI80: "Coaching and management seem to want to bring in an up tempo system with shooters (as well as improved d which has not been addressed). They have been quoted as saying they are looking for a SF who can knock down the 3 ball, and they are going to build around Cousins. That being said, can you envision them bringing in a 3 point shooting SF and starting Patterson as a stretch 4? He shoots the 3 at a good percentage for a 4. A lineup with Cousins having the paint to himself with Vasquez distributing and having McLemore, Patterson, and a shooting SF seems like it would be pretty interesting(tough to double Cousins) and stay with an up tempo style. Obviously defense and rebounding could suffer, but there is no perfect solution they have right now."
I think that this lineup has some merit and potential, but I think that Michael Malone would have an aneurysm if he had to roll that sort of set up out night after night.
If McLemore and Patterson are part of your starting lineup, you could really afford to have a small forward that was less of a 3-point shooter and more of a lockdown defender. Patterson and McLemore could spread the ball well on their own, and with a little ball and player movement your offense would be fine. This would also mean having shooters available to come off the bench (some combination of Thomas, Thornton and/or Fredette), as well as low box scoring punch in Carl Landry.
The challenge will be on the defensive end, which seems to be the end of the floor where you're going to earn your minutes with coach Malone. It has been mentioned here before, but the hope would be that he could do for this group of players what he helped to do for the group in Golden State, which was certainly not known for their defensive chops prior to last year.
David from Fairfield: "So you're the GM for the Kings, what moves do you make to improve the team? Even if it angers the fans, who would you trade and who would be acquired? What's your plan heading into the future and what is the team's outlook as of now?"
This is a top flight, five-star question for the thread. Given the varying opinions of what the new front office has and has not done to this point, let's have everyone put on their GM caps and implement the plan that will take us to the next level. In other words, you can't change the draft, but since signing day is not here yet, you can change anything else (with the knowledge that if you do rescind the Evans or Landry deals you are probably persona non grata around the NBA for years and years to come - have fun in that new GM job!). Ready, set, rosterbate!
And from bugbunny321: "I am a young Kings fan and I never recall the good days when Kings would make the playoffs. Everyone was talking about the "Arco Thunder." With Kings that sold out on season tickets this season, do you think that this "Arco Thunder" will bring home more wins than usual?"
Are the Kings sold out on season tickets? I know that they are leading the league in ticket sales right now, but I don't think that they've sold out the season tickets yet. I think that partial packages will be next on their release list if I am not mistaken (editor's note - section214 is often mistaken).
Opposing players such as Larry Bird and Karl Malone have remarked about the noise from back in the day, and the old barn is something to behold when it's rocking. However, the team has to sustain the fans. Historically, the Kings faithful shows up ready to rock and roll, but there is nothing like a flat and flailing team to suck the air out of the arena. Last year's Knicks game was a prime example. The Kings did everything right in the 1st half, and the place was off its hinges and the Kings went into halftime with a 71-50 lead(!). The Kings than proceeded to get outscored 55-32 in the next 47:59. Mind boggling! A team that scored 71 in the first 48 minutes couldn't score half that much in the next 48 minutes. Most of the noise down the stretch came from Knicks fans (guh!). But when James Johnson's (WTF?) 3-point (WTF?!?) prayer was answered (WTF?!?!?) at the buzzer, the place went bat-shirt crazy.
If the team plays hard and keeps games close, the fans could definitely make a difference. This fan base, which made so much of a difference off the court over the past couple of years, is dying to make a difference during the games.
Pick & Droll question is inspired by fccpw, who asked where in Asia I would most like to travel. I actually have not given that much thought. Italy and the surrounding areas would be my next international destination. I'm not Italian and have no family there, but I would love to experience the history and the architecture of the region. My favorite vacation spot to this point in my life is Maui, and my favorite destination city is Chicago.
So, where is the best place you've ever traveled to and why, internationally and/or domestically, and what's currently at the top of your travel destination list?
And this from the one and only Dirkula: "Has there ever been an official STR BBQ or Meet and Greet function? I think it would be a blast if we could somehow arrange a giant potluck/tailgate party where members could get to know each other on a more "organic" level."
I got excited there for a second, then I went back and re-read your note and realized that you said "organic."
The only "official" gatherings that we've had were the StR nights at ARCO. We had a total of three of them, if I recall. We got our picture taken on the floor after the game twice, and we had a meet and greet with Bobby Jackson one time. We all sat together...vfettke kept poking me with thundersticks at one game and pookeyguru kept forgetting to not swear in front of jjham15's kids at another game. Good times!
I've been noodling with this idea, and I almost think that the best approach might be a couple of gatherings during the year when the team is traveling. That is, have an StR night at Wild Wings in Natomas one time, maybe do Mandangos or some place in the Roseville area one time, and perhaps something in the Laguna/Elk Grove area one time. Not to say that we still wouldn't organize an StR night at Sleep Train, but these other nights would allow members that can't afford tickets (or season ticket holders that wouldn't be sitting with us at a home game) to join in.
We'll need to dig into this when the season gets closer. Meanwhile, everyone please pitch your ideas in the thread.
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