Everyone is always yakking about how the Kings are building a great base of players for the future.
But are they?
Do the Kings really have a core of potential-laden players ready to contend in two or three years?
My opinion is no. A resounding no.
And here's the reason: If you compare the core players on the Kings with the other bottom-half teams in the Western Conference, the results are not good.
Here's a look at the bottom dwellers and the verdict on which team I'd rather have in two years.
First, the Kings core:
Now let's compare those to other teams currently in the bottom 7 of the West:
Kings or Grizzlie: Grizzlies get the edge mainly because of Gay. He is smooth as silk and a clutch perfomer. Conley is coming on. Gasol is vastly underrated.
Golden State Warriors
Kings or Warriors: Edge to Warriors on sheer firepower. Warriors will always be able to score. For the forseeable future, the Kings can't. And some believe Curry will end up being the better pro than Evans.
Kings or Wolves: Kings get the edge solely because I can't take Darko seriously, but Love has been putting up sick numbers and Beasley is showing signs of being the off-season steal of the year. The Wolves can easily overtake the Kings if Ricky Rubio ever shows up.
Los Angeles Clippers
Kings or Clippers: Sorry folks, I'd take the Clippers because of two words: Blake Griffin. The guy is a superstar in the making. Kaman is a nice part and Gordon can fill it up. If they could ever get Baron Davis to take the game seriously again, they could contend for a playoff spot.
Kings or Suns: I'll take the Kings because Steve Nash can't possibly maintain his production numbers for the next three years. Without him, the Suns would be the bottom of the barrel.
Kings or Rockets: Yao will probably never be the same, but the Rockets are still a more complete team and figure to get better with all the high draft picks they've compiled for the next couple of seasons.
Conclusion: As currently constructed, the Kings don't figure to be an impact team in the West in two years. The other young teams have just as much and, in most cases, more potential.
This doesn't even take into account the upper-echelon teams in the West, which are not exactly light on having young, potential talent.
What can the Kings do? Well, they can get really lucky with a lottery pick, sign a high-priced free agent or Geoff Petrie can pull of a blockbuster trade. Fortunes can change fairly fast in the NBA. But anyone who thinks the current Kings team is a future title contender or even a sturdy playoff team is vastly overrating the team's talent and potential.