When discussing the new starting line-up prior to Wednesday’s loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Sacramento Kings coach Dave Joerger made an interesting comment to the Sacramento Bee’s Jason Jones. Now, let me preface by saying this quote could be nothing to worry about, but it certainly raised my eyebrows when I read it.
Pregame: Joerger said Zach Randolph goes back into the starting lineup tonight, team will play small w/ no WCS. Said Papagiannis probably won't play much and recalling him was" "organizational decision and I'm a team guy so we'll play a little smaller."— Jason Jones (@mr_jasonjones) December 6, 2017
True to his word, Dave Joerger played Georgios Papagiannis a total of zero minutes. The Kings played three bigs, relying on Zach Randolph, JaKarr Sampson, and Kosta Koufos.
So the organization sends Skal Labissiere down to Reno and pulls Papa G back up to the big club, presumably wanting to see if Papagiannis’ recent success in the G League can translate against NBA competition, and Joerger doesn’t seem on board.
Some of that may be the matchups. The Cavs were without Tristan Thompson and played a smaller lineup most of the night anyway. Papagiannis may be needed more on Friday against the New Orleans Pelicans, if nothing else for his familiarity with DeMarcus Cousins and his ability to deliver 6 fouls.
But I can’t help but worry when I see the coach classify a roster move as an “organizational decision”, seemingly washing his hands of any involvement. We’ve assumed, based mostly on comments from Joerger and the front office, that the coaching staff and front office work closely and are on the same page with each other.
Perhaps it was nothing more than an off-the-cuff remark that reads worse than it sounded. Or perhaps it’s an early sign of a communication issue. Hopefully it’s the former, but Kings fan are conditioned to expect the latter. If the two parties aren’t on the same page, especially this early in a rebuild, we can only hope they get on the same page quickly.