Time for another NBA team in the Sports Scripts 2013-2013 NBA preview, and like always, make sure you check out previous instalments of this series. Earlier today I covered the Bucks, so make sure you read that here. Moving on, we have the number 23 team now, a team with new owners, and a new sense of optimism, something the franchise hasn’t had since the early 2000s. It’s time to talk about the Sacramento Kings.
Key Additions: Greivas Vasquez (Trade via Pelicans) Carl Landry (Signed via Warriors) Luc Richard Mbah Moute (Trade via Bucks) Ben McLemore (Draft) Ray McCallum (Draft) Owners
Key Departures: Tyreke Evans (Pelicans) Maloofs (Former Owners)
Projected Starters: PG Isaiah Thomas, SG Ben McLemore, SF John Salmons, PF Carl Landry, C DeMarcus Cousins
While there wasn’t too much change beyond the trading away of Tyreke Evans and drafting of Ben McLemore, the real change came via ownership. The reign of the Maloofs, the most incompetent owners in professional sports, finally came to an end when they sold the team, and failed in moving them back to Seattle. With new owners, the Kings can finally begin to rebuild this franchise into what it once was, a dominant contender back in the early 2000s, a team that contended with the dynasty Lakers for Western supremacy. They added Vasquez who’s an excellent passer on a team of blackholes, something they desperately needed. Carl Landry’s a bit overpaid for being a potential sixth man, but should fit well next to Boogie Cousins offensively. It still remains to be seen if they will play any defense with those two on the court. Ben McLemore was the steal of the draft at seven, even above Nerlens Noel. McLemore has the potential to be the best scorer out of the draft and maybe he can be the number three or two guy on a contender. Awesome offseason for this team.
Looking at the starters, and I’m starting to like what I see from this team. Thomas and Vasquez will split time at the point guard spot, Thomas is a firecracker little guard, and Vasquez is the more consistent type, but they’re both very good players. I love McLemore at the two, but I hope Marcus Thornton doesn’t take to much playing time away. Thornton is a one dimensional, chucker of epic proportions, and I would hope he gets traded this offseason. John Salmons is forgettable, and the real weakness of this team, but his deal is expiring so that means he’ll most likely get dealt this season, or the Kings will have even more cap space next summer. At power forward we have Thompson as the projected starter, but I think Landry will get most of the time because he’s just the more talented player. Thompson brings great energy and defense, but you paid a hefty sum to sign Landry, so use him. Boogie Cousins is the big one. He has to make the jump to elite center this year, because he’s that damn good. It all comes down to one thing really with Boogie, and that’s his mental state. It’s taking better jumpshots, having control of his emotions, sticking with things when they don’t go his way. Cousins could be a star, but he’s just not mentally ready yet, but hopefully this is the season that everything comes together.
This is a really solid team. They cut ties with Evans after he had another rather disappointing season, and also got new ownership, meaning it’s finally time for this team to rise again. I expect some more moves to be made during the regular season, some trades that will bring this team closer to getting a star player. But until then, you hope that Boogie Cousins transforms into an all-star and that Ben McLemore can blossom into a star scorer. It’s finally time for Kings fans to be proud of their team again. Hell, you even have Shaquille O’Neal as your part owner, how awesome is that?
Final Prediction: 32-50, 13th Western Conference