Between 1990 and 2010, the Sacramento Kings may not have had a true superstar at the center position, but they definitely had some quality players at the five.
If we were including the past decade, DeMarcus Cousins would absolutely be on the list. Each of his nearly seven full seasons he played as King would easily dwarf the numbers of the players below. If we are going further back, LaSalle Thompson had a few good years that would be featured below thanks to his time with the franchise from the days in Kansas City through the end of the 1980’s.
There are three players whose best seasons will be featured below
Here are the stat lines for three candidates:
Player A) 14.1 points, 10.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists. efg% 51.8, NetRtg +16
Player B) 12.5 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists, efg% .457, NetRtg -8
Player C) 14.3 points, 10.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists, efg% .480, NetRtg +7
The franchise was at a different point during each of the individuals seasons listed above.
All three players were at different stages of their respective careers as well. Player A was in year 8, Player B was in year 10, while Player C was in year 10.
Player A is Brad Miller during the 2003-04 season.
Player B is Olden Polynice during the 1996-97 season.
Player C is Vlade Divac during the 1998-99 lockout shortened season.
Miller was awesome the first three seasons he came in and replaced Vlade Divac as the starting center. He made the All-Star team his first two years with the franchise, including the 03-04 season. His ability to pass out of the high post and be more of a consistent shooter from the free throw line extended was a big reason those Kings teams were such a juggernaut offensively. He finished the 03-04 season with two triple-doubles and helped the Kings to a 55 win season.
Polynice played on mediocre to bad Sacramento teams, but was one of the most consistent players on the 1996-97 edition, along with Mitch Richmond. Polynice wasn’t the most gifted player offensively in terms of sheer post moves, but he could finish around the rim and averaged 3.3 offensive rebounds per game that season. Although his advanced stats are poor, he still had the best seasons of his career in 96-97. That Kings team finished with 34 wins.
Divac signed with the Kings as a free agent just before the 1998-99 season, helping to kickstart the most successful run in franchise history. He formed one of the best big men tandems in the league alongside Chris Webber and their chemistry was undeniable after their first season together. Divac was a chemistry guy, who could pass the rock and helped shape the identity of the squad that ended up losing a deciding fifth game against the defending Western Conference champion Utah Jazz in the first round of the playoffs.
Polynice is the easy choice for third, but who do you think was better during the seasons outlined above, Miller or Divac?