The importance of the Summer League Championship

Should we have traded for Rudy Gay? Should we have traded IT? Should we have signed Carl Landry? Should we have signed Darren Collison? Should we have traded for Reggie Evans and Jason Terry?

These are questions that have been asked and answered many times on this website. However, the Summer League brought a new perspective to why the Kings signed, traded, or traded away these players. I will be using little to zero analytics in this case. I like analytics, but I think one analytical thing I have left out of all of these moves is winning.

The Kings want to develop a winning culture. We’ve heard that countless times since the new regime took over. How do you develop a winning culture with players that have lost their entire careers? It’s the same answer to the question, how does a man shave? The answer – You don’t. You cannot build a culture with "losers." This is not a derogatory term, but a term applied to players who have not yet won in their career. Rudy Gay has been to the playoffs. Darren Collison has been to the playoffs. Carl Landry has been to the playoffs. Reggie Evans has been to the playoffs. Jason Terry has been to the playoffs. The only new acquisition that the Kings have made that has not reached the playoffs is Derrick Williams. He was more of a risk/reward than anything.

The final piece to the argument is Demarcus Cousins. He has been part of a losing culture, but we have committed ourselves to him. I think this is caused by several factors. First, he is clearly the best player on the team and has the potential to be a perennial All-Star. You don’t trade that kind of talent away. Second, the FO met with him and decided that he was on board with the new plan (and has seemed to reflect that in the past year.) Third, he is a versatile player that fits our new brand of "positionless basketball."

Vegas Summer League is the start of our winning culture. Vivek Ranidive made it clear to the rest of the league that he wants to win everything all of the time. I believe this philosophy will work. First, you bring in veterans that have won. You have them create a culture that pushes the young guys and leftovers to not accept losing as okay. Eventually, you trade or re-sign the winning veterans that become key pieces on your playoff team instead of your stop gap starters. It will take time and effort and pain, but it will come. Vivek Ranidive made that clear during summer league and look at the results that brought us.

(This is a FanPost from a member of the Sactown Royalty community. The views expressed come from the member, and not Sactown Royalty staff.)