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What Kind of Season Should We Expect?

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Trying to forecast the 2018-19 season through purple-colored glasses.

Kimani Okearah

After decades of basketball, and what does my true love give to me?

Twelve (and counting) losing seasons, eleven threats to move, ten numbers skipped, and a Pete repeat instead of Petrie.

So it seems. A grumbling force within the fanbase growls at the front-office, looking at the missed opportunities for franchise-changing talent across the league. How many coats of paint can you put on hope?

The Kings fans who remain vocal sponsors of the “have faith” community certainly try - but the fellowship is jaded and the voice is prosaic.

Iman Shumpert joots shumpers during the Sacramento Kings 2018-19 Training Camp


“Kevin Martin is the next Reggie Miller!”
“Tyreke will carry the franchise!”
“Jimmertime!”
“Cousins will conquer the league, he just needs the pieces!” (guilty)
“My large adult son will be the Greek Titan of basketball!”

Let’s hear from fans in all camps - what kind of season should we expect?

• What’s the best record you can imagine?
• What is the record you expect?
• What progress do you expect to see?
• What struggles do you anticipate?
• Is there an all-NBA talent on the roster?
• Who do you think will break out?
• Will the Kings be represented at All-Star Weekend?
• Is there a hope of sniffing the playoffs?
• In your mind, what is the best-case scenario?
• What is the worst-case scenario?

•••
I’ll start it off, to the best of my ability:

The best record I can imagine is 44 wins, but that would require some major injuries and monumental collapses of other teams. I don’t think it’s realistic, but if every single thing possible breaks right, I think this team could win 44 games. Every single thing, though.

The record I expect is 29-53 with some wins against teams they have no business beating. It will be reminiscent of last season at times - competitive games for 42 minutes and getting blown out over the final 6 minutes. I sincerely hope this isn’t the case and this young team surges in late game scenarios.

In terms of progress, I expect better defensive results across the board because the core of the team has played a year together. All of De’Aaron Fox, Bogdan Bogdanovic, and Harry Giles will take serious leadership roles in the defense and the rotations will be crisp when the young athletes are on the floor.

I anticipate struggles with role definition - a lot of these young guys see the Kings as their path to stardom, but the parking is limited. Some will have to accept roles they did not see themselves in and it will be a lesson in professionalism.

The All-NBA talent on the roster is Zach Randolph. Reverence to the former All-Star aside, I’m actually a big believer in Willie Cauley-Stein. Despite the creative narrative that circles his persona, he’s one of the more grounded players on the team. If the contract year is one of the catalysts for a break-out season, so be it. It only benefits the Kings.

As far as the break-out player on the roster, I think De’Aaron and Willie both have shots at that trophy. My sleeper pick is Ben McLemore after witnessing the improvements to his catch-and-release during training camp. I know. It’s like remembering an old dream.

The Kings will have All-Star weekend representation. I’m sure Fox, Bogi, Marvin Bagley, Giles, and Justin Jackson all have a shot at the Rising Stars game and Buddy Hield would be a welcome sight at the three-point shootout. If the Kings start off way hotter than anybody expects, we could hear some grumblings about De’Aaron Fox to the big game, but between the Western Conference and the minutes distribution for the Kings roster, I don’t see them having an All-Star in 2019.

Is there a hope of sniffing the Playoffs? The best record I can possibly imagine is 44 wins, which wouldn’t get it done. So, no. Prove me wrong, Kings.

The best-case scenario features the Kings remaining healthy and united despite any adversity that they experience. We see comradery and growth from the roster, and a smart trade that lands either or both Kosta Koufos and Zach Randolph in competitive situations and lands a 2019 1st. They end with around 29 wins and a clear sense of direction and young players who have made strides in establishing themselves.

The worst-case scenario... Nobody watches my 3rd season of #Lensface. But that won’t happen, because the content is too fantastic to ignore! Check it out on both Twitter and Instagram.

#Lensface Episode 71: Kings Media Day

#Lensface Episode 72: Training Camp (Day 3)

As always, thanks for watching, and thanks for making SactownRoyalty one of the strongest NBA blogs in existence.

What do y’all think? What kind of season is ahead of us?