For today's 30Q, we asked you guys on the website, Facebook and Twitter to submit your Kings-related questions. We took the 30 best questions and will answer them now!
1. From the comments, airmaxpg asks "What do you think needs to happen for the Kings to make the jump from possible lower end playoff contender in the West to actually being a Championship team?"
A: Well that's putting the cart before the horse, but there's a few basic things that I feel need to happen; DeMarcus Cousins needs to become a no ifs, ands or buts about it Top-5 player in the NBA, and more importantly, stay in Sacramento. The Kings will likely need another perennial All-Star type player, as I don't think Rudy Gay will be that guy long-term. Sacramento will also have to become a good and possibly great defensive team. Right now the team is a long way off so I'd worry more about building the foundation to even get in the playoffs.
2. From the comments, SMF-PDXConnection asks, "What's your favorite SBNation NBA blog to read outside of StR?"
A: SB Nation probably has my favorite blog format of any site I've ever been on, mostly because it allows for such a sense of community. I wouldn't necessarily say I have a favorite outside of StR, but the ones I find myself reading the most are usually BlazersEdge, DenverStiffs, Canis Hoopus and Posting and Toasting.
3. From the comments, SMF-PDXConnection asks, "Who do you think is the most likely player (or group of players) to be traded by the deadline if A) things are going well and Vlade wants to make an extra push or B) if the wheels have come off and it's time to call it quits?"
A: This is hard to answer because we can't really foresee what exactly we would need if things are going well and what has gone wrong if the wheels have fallen off. That being said, I don't think a major move would be made if the Kings were playing well, so maybe someone minor on the bench could be gone if the Kings feel they can get someone a little bit better to put them over the top. If the wheels fall off, like a total meltdown, I could see the team trading Rudy Gay away for someone younger and potentially with a higher ceiling. I do not see the Kings trading Cousins, at least not during the season.
4. From the comments, SactownheartOChouse asks "What can the Kings fans expect in terms of in game access to analytics?"
A: I wouldn't expect too much, especially this year during the final season at Sleep Train Arena. One of the scoreboards that showed blocks, rebounds and steals was inactive for the entirety of last season. When we get to the new arena, I'm sure the new jumbotron will showcase a lot more stats than the current one, and I wouldn't be surprised if the Kings add some sort of statistics to their app.
5. From the comments, 1951 asks, "Which current member of the Kings is most likely to be involved in a trade this season, and why?"
A: If I had to bet on someone getting traded, I think I would put my money on Darren Collison, especially if Rondo is playing well. Collison is a guy that I think a lot of teams would be interested in, he has a great contract, and could probably net the Kings someone pretty useful.
6. From the comments, Carl asks, "What should the Kings do in the final home game to commemorate the end of Sleep Train arena's run?"
A: I'm sure the final regular season game in Sleep Train Arena is going to be an amazing experience already, but there are a few things I'd like to see. I'd like some sort of keepsake for the fans in attendance. I'd like to see as many players from all throughout the Sacramento-era as possible in the house. I'd also like Rick Adelman to be in attendance, as he's the winningest coach in Kings history and in the history of the building. Finally, and this is a bit of a longshot, I'd want to leave knowing that this wasn't the last game in the building because the Kings have reached the playoffs.
7. From the comments, Ifeanyi asks, "Is WCS a PF or a C?"
A: In short, it doesn't matter. Willie Trill has the size of a center and athleticism rarely seen in big men. He can guard multiple positions and will be asked to do so. I think offensively he's more of a Power Forward at this point as you can't really expect him to do much of anything aside from putbacks and finishing Pick and Rolls. I would like to see him develop a passing game, and playing with Boogie should give him plenty of teaching opportunities on how to pass as a big man.
8. From the comments, Shizzo asks "What fan promotions have you seen other teams do that you want the Kings to try as well?"
A: I don't really pay attention to other team's fan promotions all that much, and I've never been to an NBA game outside of Sleep Train Arena. However, I do think it'd be cool if the Kings were one of the featured teams to do a "nickname jersey" night like a few teams have done. Seeing Cousins with "Boogie" on the back of his jersey or Ben with "Pizza Guy" would be pretty funny.
9. From the comments, Klam asks, "What will be more of a factor determining the success or failure of the season: the relationship between Karl and Cousins or between Karl and Rondo?"
A: It has to be the relationship with Karl and Cousins. Cousins is the team's best and most important player, and this team likely isn't going anywhere if he and Karl can't figure out how to get along. Rondo hasn't even proven that he's a long term piece yet. The Cousins/Karl relationship is easily the biggest "boom or bust" situation with this team right now.
10. From the comments, temon00 asks, "Do the Kings have the shooting to succeed in the dribble-drive motion offense?"
A: As Omer pointed out the other day, I don't think you necessarily need all that much shooting to have a successful dribble-drive offense. In fact, George Karl's last year in Denver saw him running a team that was only 25th in the league in 3P% and just 20th in makes and that team still finished with the 5th highest offensive rating in the league. It's more about creating space with motion and good passing to get quality shots than anything. For what it's worth I think the Kings will be a much better shooting team this year thanks to some of their offseason additions.
11. From the comments, Bluejohn asks, "After apparently learning from his mistakes and turning operational control over to Vlade, will Vivek make a mistake or a series of mistakes during the 15-16 season that rival those made during the 14-15 season? If you believe he will screw up big time again this season in what area will he continue to take 1 step forward and 2 steps back?"
A: I don't think Vivek will make a mistake as big as the one he made last season, potentially not ever again. That was just a monumental screw-up and it should remain burned in his mind for a long time. I think he's content for the moment to let Vlade run things and remain in the background.
12. From the comments, PurpleCrown asks, "Whose jersey will be retired next?"
A: The easy answer is DeMarcus Cousins but that's only if Cousins can carry this team to the playoffs and any type of semi-long term success. He doesn't have the credentials right now. If Cousins can't become that guy, then the next retired jersey isn't on this team yet.
13. From the comments, Vespasian92 asks, "Who have been re-treads to see multiple stints in a Sacramento jersey and where will Quincy Acy rank on that list?"
A: Here's your definitive rankings of Kings "re-treads" from best second-stint to worst second-stint: Omri Casspi (only one to be better than his first stint), Corliss Williamson, Billy Owens*, Otis Thorpe (biggest contribution being part of the filler in acquiring Chris Webber), Bobby Jackson, Anthony Johnson, Jabari Smith (clutch playoff free throws raise him a few spots), Carl Landry, John Salmons, Tyrone Corbin, and Bill Wennington. I'd hope that Acy can be second on that list if he improves.
*technically not a re-tread but we did draft him and subsequently traded him for Mitch Richmond after Owens made it known that he did not want to play in Sacramento. Think that one worked out for us.
14. From the comments, Passion4Purple23 asks, "If this year's team played the 2005-06 team in a 7 game series who would win?"
A: That'd actually be a fun matchup because I honestly think both teams would get kinda pissed at each other. Boogie and Artest would probably get into it at some point. I'd have to give the edge to the 05-06 team though. I don't think that team has a good answer for Cousins (he'd walk all over Brad Miller) aside from frustrating him with cheap shots and physical play from guys like Artest and Wells. On the other side of the ball, I'm not sure this year's roster would have had an answer for Artest (who would make Rudy's life hell) or Mike Bibby (still a very good scorer at that point). Bonzi would also be a problem, especially for the much smaller McLemore. I think 05-06 wins in 6 games.
15. From the comments, FFM asks, "Obviously, all of the StR staff are NBA fans. Are all of you primarily Kings' fans? Assumming that you would rate your passion for the NBA at a 9 or a 10, how would you rate your passion for other sports and why?"
A: I can't speak for all of us, but I am primarily a Kings fan. In fact, I don't follow any other sports team or sport nearly as close. I just don't have the time or passion. I've got so much invested in the Kings, and that stems from a deep connection at an early age. Growing up, it was basketball that I watched and played, along with soccer. However, there were never any soccer teams to watch so basketball is what I grew up with. I've grown to really enjoy Football and probably watch it second-most of any sport, but I don't have a rooting interest in any team. My friends are mostly split between 49er and Raiders fans so those are the teams I usually end up watching the most. For the life of me I can't get into baseball aside from casually. It just doesn't hold much excitement for me. I did attend my first MLB game at AT&T Park a few weeks ago, and it was fun, but most of the fun I had was from the experience and atmosphere, as well as being with my friends. Hockey seems fun from the few times I've seen it, but it's hard for me to follow the action because it's so quick. I probably enjoy soccer more than any other sport than basketball, but more from actually playing than watching. I think it might have been different if a team like the Republic had been around when I was a kid. I have been to a Republic game though and it was a lot of fun and I will be attending more.
16. From the comments, zoomzoom96 asks, "When it's all said and done, will DeMarcus Cousins be considered the greatest player in Sacramento Kings history?"
A: I'm leaning towards no. Right now the answer to that question is either Mitch Richmond or Chris Webber, with Webber usually getting the edge for the team success he had. Cousins will have to lead this team to some sort of success before he can even be considered near the greatest player in Kings history. He certainly has the talent to get there, but his other credentials are currently lacking.
17. From the comments, twasserm, asks "If the current Kings played a one-on-one tournament, who would be the top seeds? Who would you pick to win it?"
A: Hmm... I'd probably have Rudy Gay as my #1 seed with DeMarcus Cousins, Darren Collison and Caron Butler rounding out the Top 4. I feel like you have to have a good handle and a great ability to create your own shot to succeed in one-on-one. Rudy's handle isn't the greatest, but he's quick and has a knack for creating scoring opportunities. Boogie's got a decent handle for a big man and would be able to back down pretty much anyone else on the roster. I think Butler is the sleeper pick here and would be much higher if he was closer to his prime. I'd probably still pick Rudy to win it all though.
18. From the comments, The Wiliest Coyote asks, "When will the balance of power between the conferences even out?"
A: The West has been so much better than the East for such a long time now that it's hard to say. While the East has featured phenomenal teams, much of the talent has been very concentrated (see the Boston and Miami teams), while the West features a lot more depth. I think it will take a few things for the disparity to shrink. First, some really big names from good teams are going to have to switch conferences. The biggest chance for such a defection is Kevin Durant's Free Agency this summer. Second, the East is going to have to start nailing some draft picks. Some teams already have. Just look at the success Milwaukee experienced last year on the back of their young team. The Wizards have been built on the strength of their backcourt in John Wall and Bradley Beal. Finally, one or more of the old guard in the West is going to have to fall into rebuilding mode. Dallas looks to be on its way a little bit, although they're trying to stay competitive while Dirk's still around. OKC will be in trouble if Durant leaves. San Antonio probably doesn't have Duncan or Ginobili for much longer. Everything is supposed to be a cycle, and eventually I think we'll see things start to even out a little bit.
19. From the comments, rojoking asks, "Why is Vlade considered such a great chemistry guy?"
A: Vlade Divac was the heart and soul of the old Sacramento Kings guys. He's known as a guy who puts others before himself, and it showed on and off the court. He enjoyed setting up others to score more than scoring himself, and that's a rare talent for a 7'1 center. The Kings had a lot of big egos back in the day, and Vlade was always pointed out as the glue that held it all together. If you look at Vlade's numbers with the Kings, you might be surprised that the team chose to retire his jersey. But Vlade meant more to this team than just numbers and that's why there is hope that he can bring this team together once more.
20. From the comments, wallywagon11 asks, "With Apple recently including ad blocking in iOS9, how nervous are you about the future of sports blogging?"
A: I'm not too nervous, mainly because I feel like there will always be people out there who want to write about their team. I do think some places have a higher emphasis on getting clicks and pageviews, and often you'll see a bunch of different website write the same story about the same piece of news (or often not even news just something related to a team or sport) in order to generate those clicks. I haven't necessarily felt that pressure from the higher-ups at SB Nation. We're encouraged to do our own thing. I'm not saying clicks and views and everything aren't important, but this is a different platform than a lot of other websites use. It's more community based, and I think that's something that can stand the test of time because it keeps people coming back.
21. From the comments, BW Kropotkin asks, "What team stat will be the most poignant for either the success or demise of this year's squad?"
A: Aside from wins you mean? I think defensive rating will be a big factor. I don't think this team is going to have a ton of problems scoring. George Karl had this team running a solid offense last season with much of the team's best players injured and limited practice time. It's on the other end of the court that I think this team needs to work on before they can get better. Fortunately, I feel like they added a lot of pieces to help the defense out this year and I feel they can make a substantial jump there.
22. From Twitter, Brad asks, "What's the record word count for a post on Sactown Royalty?"
A: There have been a lot of words written on StR and while I don't have a way of searching for posts by word count, I would probably hazard a guess that my article "The Not-So-Asinine Trade Post" from 2010 is the one with the most words, clocking in at 11,006. Quite a bit of it wasn't my own words however since it was a collaboration with 29 other bloggers.
23. From Twitter, Jeff asks, "Will the Golden1 Center offer a kids zone?"
A: I honestly don't know but it wouldn't surprise me. I'm sure there is plenty left to be finalized about the interior of the arena. If I had to venture a guess I would say yes, because this team is trying to make this arena state of the art and many modern arenas and stadiums around the country do feature dedicated Kids Zones.
24. From the comments, djrick asks, "How much hack-a-Rondo do you think you can take this season?"
A: While the question was posed in jest, this could be a legitimate problem. Rondo has never been a good free throw shooter but he was particularly horrid last year when he made just 39.7% of his attempts, and he's had two other seasons where he hasn't reached the 60% mark for the year. Those are terrible numbers, especially for a guard, and it could prove to be a problem if he can't be relied upon late in close games.
25. From Twitter, Chris asks, "What is the ultimate role, minutes allotment & reasonable per game stat allotment for Kosta Koufos?"
A: For the answer to that I think the best thing to do is look back at his final year in Denver, when he started 81 games for George Karl. Koufos ended up playing 22.4 minutes a game and averaging 8.0 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocks during that time. Per 36 minutes, his numbers looked pretty similar as a backup in Memphis. I wouldn't ezpect anything too far off from those Denver numbers, including his minutes. I expect Koufos to start and be one of this team's premiere defensive players, but it wouldn't surprise me if he plays the least minutes of the starters as the Kings opt to play a little smaller and faster.
26.From Twitter, J W asks, "The incumbent starting backcourt of last year might come off the bench this year. How much is that a locker room concern?"
A: I don't particularly think it's a locker room concern at all unless the team starts losing. Collison has been a bench player before and likely would have stayed that way if the Clippers didn't decide to give their MLE to Spencer Hawes instead. McLemore is also the farthest thing from a problem child from what I've heard and will probably accept whatever role is given to him. For what it's worth I think McLemore remains the starter at SG anyway.
27. From Twitter, Josh asks, "Is this the most pre-season excitement for a Kings team since they were a perennial playoff team?"
A: I don't think so. I think fans were more excited for the first season after it was confirmed we were staying in Sacramento. I think people are also more cautiously optimistic now than outright excited after being burnt so hard last year.
28. From Twitter, Akaash asks, "What are your stat expectations for WCS? I say 8 ppg & 5 rebs. I think he'll make the Rising Stars challenge for the Allstar game."
A: Those numbers seem a little high for a rookie big man with a focus on defense. I'd say more like 6 points, 4 rebounds and 1 block a game in maybe 15-20 minutes a game of action. I think Willie's the kind of guy who will have a lot of contributions that don't necessarily show up in the stat sheet. If he actually does manage to post any kind of big numbers I will be pleasantly surprised.
29. From Twitter, Sports Outlet asks, "Do you think Jason Thompson will be a contributor for the Warriors in anyway?"
A: I think JT will end up being Golden State's primary backup for Andrew Bogut. He's big, he's strong and he can run up and down the floor. Some Warriors fans are falling for the old "Jason Thompson can shoot threes now" story that we've heard a few times in past offseasons but guys who have made one three pointer over 7 seasons don't magically become stretch fours. I think the Warriors have a nice option of going for offense (Speights) or defense (JT, Ezeli) off the bench.
30. From Twitter, Gmoney asks, "For the love of Chris Webber's knee, who the heck is the starting Power Forward?"
A: DeMarcus Cousins. I think Kosta Koufos will be your starter at Center. Other options include Willie Cauley-Stein (unlikely in his rookie year) and Rudy Gay (if the Kings go with a smaller lineup).
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