I’m a few days late catching up on this, but Bleacher Report’s Adam Fromal wrote an interesting article on each team’s biggest regrets in 2017. The Sacramento Kings certainly have some options to choose from. So I was a bit surprised when Fromal decided that the Kings’ biggest regret from 2017 was not getting enough back in the DeMarcus Cousins trade.
Sure, maybe in the immediate aftermath of the trade there was backlash, but since then I think most Kings fans and the Kings organization are pretty happy with what they got in return, particularly in light of what other big names were later traded for.
Fromal frames the trade as a failure because the Kings lost Tyreke Evans and Langston Galloway in free agency, when there’s no indication the Kings were interested in keeping either player. He points out that Buddy Hield is playing 22 minutes per game, and that Justin Jackson and Harry Giles haven’t produced in their...[checks notes]...3 month NBA careers. It’s fine to think that the Kings didn’t get enough back, but the backing is a bit short-sighted. I’m sure some Kings fans still believe the team didn’t get enough for Cousins. But the majority of Kings fans, including those like myself who opposed the idea of trading Boogie, are happy the Kings hit the reset button.
If we’re going to look at regrets, I think there are far better options.
George Hill’s contract
Fromal does mention this in his article, but still feels the Cousins trade is a bigger regret. I’d disagree. Even with Hill’s improved play, the dollars involved in his contract make him difficult to trade even if he’s playing well. He also makes it difficult for the Kings to give appropriate minutes to De’Aaron Fox and Frank Mason. Dave Joerger has often slid Hill to shooting guard, but that causes minutes issues for Bogdan Bogdanovic, Malachi Richardson, and Garrett Temple. Joerger tries to solve this by playing Bogi and Temple at small forward, which has taken minutes from Justin Jackson. In short, Hill creates logjams, and his contract is hard to move. I’d argue this is a pretty big regret.
Signing Zach Randolph
I’m ok with Z-Bo’s signing and role on the team right now, but it’s only fair to include this as a consideration as a considerable portion of the fan base regrets this move. Randolph has played great on the offensive end, but has never been a good defender. His presence seems to clog the interior of the offense (despite Z-Bo’s surprisingly good three point shooting, he doesn’t spend much time around the perimeter), and take minutes from young bigs. Skal Labissiere in particular seems stuck behind Randolph, and Kings fans have been frustrated at Joerger’s minutes distribution.
Trading down from 10 instead of drafting Donovan Mitchell
The jury is still out on this, but it’s easy to second-guess this one considering how well Mitchell has played for the Utah Jazz. If one of your arguments against the Boogie trade is that Jackson and Giles haven’t produced, wouldn’t that draft day trade be a bigger regret?
Drafting Justin Jackson instead of OG Anunoby
Again, it’s too early to make any definitive statements regarding the draft. But early returns indicate that OG, who was a fan favorite before the draft, might have been a much smarter choice for the Kings to fill the hole at small forward. OG came back from injury much faster than expected, and has played great for the Toronto Raptors.
All of this is just my take on it. Let’s put it to a poll. Which of these do you think is the Kings biggest regret in 2017?
What is the Kings biggest regret for 2017?
This poll is closed
Return from Boogie trade
George Hill’s contract
Passing on Donovan Mitchell
Jackson over OG
Other (explain in comments)