We’ve been answering questions all month, but now it’s time to open the mailbag and get to your questions!
1. “Who sits next to Vivek on October 27th? Drake? or Jamie Foxx?” - 1951
A: I still say that Kelsey Graham was the most random celebrity sighting at a Kings game ever. But if I had to put money on it, I’d say Vivek will save the random celebrities for a different night and will be sitting next to David Stern on opening night.
2. “Who do you think is most likely to be traded at the deadline?” - SMF-PDXConnection
A: Rudy Gay. If I had to create a list of players most likely to be traded, he’d be at the top by a fair distance. It’s simple asset management, and I don’t think the Kings will be able to convince him to re-sign and they’ll need to get something for him, even if it’s just a draft pick, instead of letting him walk for nothing. Other candidates include Kosta Koufos, Ben McLemore, and newcomers Arron Afflalo and Anthony Tolliver (that non-guaranteed money in the second year might be enticing as a trade throw-in).
3. “Some time in the far out future, when the Kings are in the NBA Finals, let’s say you had two tickets to a Game 7 at the Golden 1 Center, and someone offered you $50,000 per ticket to buy them from you (which is how much Warriors-Cavs Game 7 tickets were selling for on StubHub). Would you hang on to your tickets or sell them?” - Klam
A: I’d take the money every time unless for some reason I became a multi-millionaire before then. I could use a fraction of that money and have one of the best watch parties ever with my friends. Could you imagine having that kind of deal on the table only to turn it down and then the Kings lose? That’d be the worst.
4. “When the sports you root for as a distraction from everyday life are all miserable franchises with no glimmers of hope due to inept front offices and owners, when is too much too much? Asking as a Kings/A’s/Niners fan and the prospect of Vivek, Wolff, and Jed York having any sort of pull on my day to day happiness scares me incredibly.” - moproblemz
A: It’s too much when you’re no longer having any fun. Sports are supposed to be fun. Heck, even bad teams can be fun. That’s why I love writing for this website and commiserating with all you guys and gals. You all have made being a Kings fans more fun than the actual Kings have over the past five years.
5. “What is the Kings starting 5 post-trade deadline?” - adamsite
A: Darren Collison, Arron Affalo, Omri Casspi, Willie Cauley-Stein and DeMarcus Cousins.
6. “What happens first, Section wears pants, or the Kings make the playoffs?” - Hobby916
A: If Section were still single I’d go with the Kings making the playoffs but he’s happily married now, and from what I hear, he wears pants at least once a week now. Sometimes twice!
7. “If you had to pick one Kings player who will have a better season than we all think and someone who will have a worse season than we think, who would it be?” - KingsfanLeo
A: That’s an interesting question. I think a lot of people last season would have picked Marco Belinelli for both of those answers. As for this year, I will say that I think Ben McLemore will have a better season than we think, mainly because expectations are so low for him right now and it’s sort of a make it or break it year for him.
For the worse season I’ll go ahead and pick Arron Afflalo. While many fans were excited about this addition, he really isn’t the same player he was in Denver and despite putting up numbers in New York he was inefficient and an offensive black hole. I’m hoping he can bounce back a little bit this year with a more defined system where he isn’t trying to be the #2 guy on offense.
8. “How many technical fouls will DMC get this season?” - hozr
A: 15 and a half.
9. “What does the organization do with Kevin Johnson after his mayoral term ends? Given his issues, I don’t want the Kings to have anything to do with him, but who knows what Vivek et al. are thinking.” - SactoIV
A: I wouldn’t expect much of anything. The team has already visibly lowered their connection to Johnson after last year’s renewed focus on his past. I expect we’ll see something on opening night this year as no matter what you think of the man, he was instrumental to getting this arena built. But after that, I don’t think we’ll see KJ at games as often. Who knows if he even stays in Sacramento long-term after his term is up?
10. “What is more likely to happen: Papagiannis records 10 double-doubles over the course of the season or Cousins records less than 10 technicals?” -10KingsFan10
A: I’ll take Cousins on this because I don’t think Big Papa is going to be playing much at all this year. The only way I do see him playing a decent amount is if Cousins and even one other big man was injured. The Kings have too much big man depth to trust a rookie with extended minutes.
11. “If you could change one thing about StR, what would it be?” - SMF-PDXConnection
A: That’s easy. I’d want Jerry Reynolds to stop being a lurker and become a commenter. Hi Jerry! Your nickname thread is coming up soon, we haven’t forgotten.
Also, it’d be awesome if moderation was easier. It’s easily the worst and least fun part about managing the site.
12. “What are some things about this team that you could actually cheer for?” - Hit4TheCycle
A: Lots of things! I’ll always root for this team to win, even if it’s better for them to lose (I figure I can be happy either way but my rooting interest doesn’t change how the games themselves will go). I love watching rookies and young guys play, and we’ve got three rookies this year, not to mention Willie Cauley-Stein, who was a joy to watch last season. Omri Casspi has become my favorite player on the team, always hustling and adding to his game. His shootout with Steph Curry last year was one of the highlights of the season.
There’s always something or someone to root for.
13. “Why isn’t the local media asking tough questions to Vlade about the addition of Barnes and Lawson, in light of the Darren Collison situation?” - RikSmits
A: You know, typically those are the kind of questions that get asked at media day (Collison and Lawson both were questioned about their misdeeds), but despite the fact that Vlade was there, he chose to not address the media which is a little weird.
14. “Are they finally going to update the in-game music in the new arena? I can’t really tell you how irritating it is to me to listen to “The Next Episode” like 4 times a game in 2016.” - Dub_TC
A: I don’t know the official answer to this, but I think you’re going to be out of luck my friend. Sports in general tends to play the same music everywhere. It’s a rare occassion when teams try to be different, like Atlanta with their organ player.
15. “Does WCS start on opening night next to Cousins?” -Ifeanyi
A: I think so. Given Sacramento’s surplus of big men, I think it makes sense for the Kings to trot out both Cousins and WCS, especially given their complementary skillsets. I do wonder how Joerger will handle rotations though, as I’m sure he’d like to play Cousins with some smaller lineups as well.
16. “Why didn’t we get a statue or something representing the fans of Sacramento on the outside of the arena? A crown at least instead of a bunny? What does that have to do with us here in Sac?” - Stacey via Facebook
A: To be honest, I really don’t get the “Coloring Book” statue, but then again, I’ve also never really been into art. I do think that the 6th man statue that’s currently installed outside of Sleep Train Arena should end up being moved to the Golden 1 Center at some point.
17. “Malachi Richardson was our best player in Summer League. He seems to know how to dribble, drive and can get to the line - something we don’t have a lot of. I see him quickly becoming our backup 2 guard, do you?” - Daniel via e-mail
A: If Malachi becomes our backup shooting guard at any point this season it means one of two things:
a) He’s way better than we thought he’d be
b) We’ve suffered some horrible injuries to our backcourt
I just don’t see Malachi playing a whole lot this season. Afflalo is probably going to get the bulk of the Shooting Guard minutes, and he’ll have to contend for time with Garrett Temple, Ben McLemore and even Matt Barnes. Malachi could very well be the future at the position, but I think the Kings will opt to bring him along slowly.
18. “Is there such a thing as loyalty in the NBA?
I don't believe there is. Everyone has been talking about it this summer because of KD. And it applies directly to the conversation of "should we keep Boogie and hope he re-ups? He seems loyal to the city."
To me, it is a business. Players don't owe anything to their team. They are allowed to do whatever they like, and for whatever reason. Usually that means taking the most money, or the best opportunity to win.
Serious question - can you name anyone from the modern NBA (let's say since 2000) who has been "loyal" to their team to the point that they turned down a better situation elsewhere? There may be a few but I can't think of them. Even if you say Duncan was loyal, well OK, but he had a phenomenal situation where he was. If he thought he had a better chance to win somewhere else he probably would have left too.
Thanks for the fun 30Q series.” - Jeff via e-mail
A: I think you’re both right and wrong. There can be loyalty while still thinking about the NBA as a business. Look at LeBron James for example. He didn’t have to go back to Cleveland, especially after how that fanbase reacted after “the Decision”. He had a ready made contender in Miami, with two championships already under his belt and an attractive market for other prospective free agents. Instead he made the move back to Cleveland despite the risk it entailed, out of what he felt he owed that community. That was incredibly gutsy of him, and not something that I feel many players would have or could have done. In the end, it all worked out for him too, as he’s finally brought a championship to that city and franchise after so many years of struggle.
19. “I understand that we never would have stood a chance signing Durant this offseason, and I get that players of that caliber want to play for a team contending for titles with players of equal skill level, but what do you think it would take to get the attention and signing of a superstar(s) like KD in Free Agency?” - Sean via Facebook
A: It’d be tough to think of a situation where the top Free Agent chose to come to Sacramento. Even the Spurs have never really been able to attract star Free Agents until LaMarcus Aldridge (a Texas native) joined them last summer. The Kings would have to have so many things fall in their favor, not the least of which is probably having the player be from the area in the first place, like if Ryan Anderson was a superstar instead of just a great roleplayer. They’d also have to be well past the organizational chaos, have a coach players love to play for, be a ready-made contender, AND have salary cap space to bring a max player on. Even then, it’d be a tough sell with flashier markets out there.
20. “Will coach let the rookies have a shot this year or does he prefer the veterans to step up?” - Kris via Facebook
A: The only rookie that I can see getting much playing time this season is potentially Skal Labissiere because he brings a skillset the Kings don’t readily have, and he also was the most impressive of the team’s players in the Summer League. I don’t expect any of the three to get serious playing time though unless we have injuries or trades that necessitate them playing.
21. “Will the Kings acquire their Point Guard of the future over the course of the season via trade or more likely during next year’s offseason?” - Ifeanyi
A: I think it’s almost certain that the Kings will look to acquire their so-called “Point Guard of the future” next summer, whether in the draft (which is projected to be loaded with Point Guards) or in a blockbuster Cousins trade, like for example to Los Angeles for a package involving D’Angelo Russell.
22. “So the Sacramento Kings have a Hall of Fame member in Mitch Richmond. Should we also have a statue in front of the stadium like the Giants do for their San Francisco era Hall of Famers? Would it clash with Piglet?” - Brandon via e-mail
A: I love Mitch, but I don’t think one playoff appearance necessitates building a statue of the guy. He had a great career, his jersey is in the rafters, and I think that’s enough.
23. “If there were a battle royale of StR members locked in O’Malley’s basement and only the last person standing could leave, who would you pick to make it and why is it Section?” - SMF-PDXConnection
A: It’d have to be Jlv_2012, because nobody would want to hurt him.
24. “Is a hot dog a sandwich?” - Callison via e-mail
A: Is Tyreke Evans a Point Guard?
25. “Lamar Patterson played for the Hawks last year and received some decent minutes. He can handle the ball, drive and is a big bodied guard. What are your thoughts on him making the team?” - Daniel via e-mail
A: I’d be very surprised to see Patterson make the team. The Kings already have 14 guaranteed contracts on the roster, meaning Lawson, Farmar, Patterson and Isaiah Cousins are all battling for that final roster spot. Given that the Kings only have Darren Collison under contract at Point Guard right now, Lawson and Farmar seem to have the edge and Joerger has already said he’s hoping for a big year from Lawson, which should indicate where the Kings are leaning already. However note that depending on how long Collison is suspended, the Kings could sign someone else while he’s out. Per the CBA FAQ:
Any player who is suspended by the league for six or more games may be transferred to the team's Suspended List following the fifth game of his suspension (and must remain on the team's Active List for the first five games).
That essentially means that the Kings could sign a 16th player in the event that Collison was out for an extended period of time due to suspension. I still think Point Guard would be the priority though, leaving Patterson to find a new team or play for the Reno Bighorns.
26. “This is a point guard league, and we have too many bigs and not enough point guards. No one really knows if Temple can adequately handle the rock, but it seems that we are running out of roster spots. Do you foresee a scenario where Papa G and Skal both start off in the D-League?” - Daniel via e-mail
A: I think all three rookies will play extensively in the D-League, more than probably any other Sacramento Kings 1st round picks ever have. Usually we have been a team light on depth and veterans, but this year doesn’t look like a good one for the rookies to get time here, so I expect they’ll be in Reno often.
27. “Are we ever gonna be a team that contends for a title? We as fans deserve a winner!” - Patrick via Facebook
A: It’s bound to happen at some point. When I first joined this blog, the Warriors were a joke. Now they’ve won a title and added Kevin Durant. Things can change quickly with the right breaks.
28: “Why did they have to make the seats in the new arena so cramped? For this I’m paying several thousand dollars?” - Gene via Facebook
A: Similar to the cupholders, it has to do with getting people as close to the action as possible. Also, it’s still an upgrade from the flimsy plastic chairs at Sleep Train Arena. There’s definitely going to be an adjustment period though.
29. “What happens first at Golden 1 Center: A playoff game, an All-Star game, or a game played with another new Kings head coach? Or a Chris Hansen sighting?” - 1951
A: Well just statistically speaking, it’d have to be a game played with a new Kings head coach. The Kings are on their sixth one in six seasons. I think Dave Joerger will last longer but we’ll see. The Kings are trying to bring the All-Star game here in 2020 and I think the NBA will strongly consider it given the new arena, but I feel like it has to be a joint thing with another city like Napa because we just don’t have the hotel space yet.
30. “Is it easier to read your horrible article drunk or sober? Just in case you don’t know the answer, I’ll answer it for you. NO, sober or drunk and article that is horrible remain horrible that why I don’t read ur bs” - Armen via Facebook
A: Can’t argue with that.
Thanks to all of you who submitted questions. As always, if you have any questions throughout the season, feel free to submit them to email@example.com as we will do the occasional reader mailbag.